Sports briefs provided


Baseball

PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. (AP) — Tim Tebow made his first rookie mistake even before stepping into the batter’s box.

The New York Mets newcomer walked behind home plate and took his practice swings near Boston’s on-deck circle.

Tebow’s debut as a big leaguer didn’t go much better Wednesday.

The former NFL quarterback went 0 for 3, twice looking at strike three and also grounding into a double play with the bases loaded in a spring training exhibition against the Red Sox.

Tebow did safely reach when he was hit by a pitch in the right shoulder. But his stay on base was brief — he got doubled off first on a line drive.

The 29-year-old Tebow batted eighth as the designated hitter. Signed last fall, he’s in camp on a minor league contract, hoping to make it as an outfielder. He’s next scheduled to play for the Mets in a split-squad game Friday against Houston, and manager Terry Collins said Tebow would be in the field.

Tebow’s day started out with a fun-filled morning stretch. He was loudly welcomed by slugger Yoenis Cespedes and kidded by Pittsburgh native Neil Walker — the second baseman barbed Tebow for once leading the Denver Broncos over the Steelers in the playoffs. Tebow warmed up by swatting a few home runs in batting practice.

Soccer

Christian Pulisic reached yet another milestone, scoring his first Champions League goal to help Borussia Dortmund reach the quarterfinals.

The 18-year-old midfielder from Hershey, Pennsylvania, chipped the ball over onrushing goalkeeper Ederson from 7 yards in the 59th minute, giving the hosts the aggregate lead in a 4-0 win over Portugal’s Benfica on Wednesday night. Dortmund overcame a 1-0 deficit from the first leg for a 4-1 win in the home-and-home, total-goals series.

Pulisic also assisted on the first of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang’s three goals, flicking Ousmane Dembele’s corner kick to the far post for the fourth-minute goal that tied the matchup.

Pulsiic became the seventh American to score in the Champions League, joining Borussia Dortmund’s Jovan Kirovski, PSV Eindhoven’s and Glasgow Rangers’ DaMarcus Beasley, Rangers’ Maurice Edu, Schalke’s Jermaine Jones, Anderlecht’s Sacha Kljestan and Borussia Moenchengladbach’s Fabian Johnson.

Pulisic’ goal came when he ran onto Lukasz Piszczek’s through pass and scored with a right-footed shot from just to the side of the 6-yard box.

BARCELONA, Spain (AP) — Barcelona needed a miracle to make history Wednesday. Three, to be precise.

Just minutes away from elimination, Barcelona had to conjure up three instant goals and it was Neymar who stepped up.

The Brazilian striker first scored from a free kick then a penalty before floating a perfect pass for Sergi Roberto to score the dramatic winner in the fifth minute of injury time as Barcelona beat Paris Saint-Germain 6-1 to complete the biggest ever comeback in the Champions League.

Roberto’s strike gave his team a 6-5 victory on aggregate, making Barcelona the first side to overturn a 4-0 first-leg defeat since the current format started in the 1992-93 season.

PSG seemed certain to go through after Edinson Cavani scored a valuable away goal following Barcelona’s opening salvo of three goals, which included a Lionel Messi penalty, before Neymar turned it all around.

The winner sent Barcelona’s bench flooding onto the pitch as the stadium celebrated the club’s 10th consecutive appearance in the quarterfinals. Coach Luis Enrique, who announced he would leave the club this summer, embraced Neymar and any other player or staff member within reach.

PSG coach Unai Emery’s strategy of not pressuring Barcelona backfired, as his team sat back and passively let the hosts hem them into their box.

The visitors’ entire backline was frozen when Rafinha’s routine cross came into the box in the third minute, and Luis Suarez was able to nod a bouncing ball over goalkeeper Kevin Trapp.

Iditarod

ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — Mushers are jockeying for the early lead in the world’s most famous sled dog race.

Wade Marrs, a 26-year-old veteran who had his highest finish at fourth last year, was the first to leave the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race checkpoint in Tanana on Wednesday.

He departed just ahead of four-time champion Dallas Seavey and Pete Kaiser.

Rounding out the top five are two-time winner Mitch Seavey and Nicolas Petit, a native of France who lives just south of Anchorage.

Petit was fêted Tuesday for being the first musher to reach Tanana and the Yukon River. A chef flown in from Anchorage prepared a five-course meal, featuring cioppino and roast duck, served with champagne.

The winner of the nearly 1,000-mile race across Alaska is expected in Nome early next week.

http://press-leader.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/03/web1_SportsBallPhoto-6.jpeg
comments powered by Disqus