Curtis Partch Dominates Inb First Start For Sacramento; Parker Shines In River Cats 5-1 Victory Over Las Vegas 51s

 Photos by ShawnJonas

WEST SACRAMENTO, Calif.Jarrett Parker shined under the lights Friday night in front a sold-out crowd at Raley Field as he powered the Sacramento River Cats past the Las Vegas 51s 5-1 to take the series finale and the series. Right-hander Curtis Partch dominated in his first start for Sacramento, striking out a season-high seven in four innings.

Parker showed off his easy power in the first inning, doubling to the deepest part of the yard in right-center. Mac Williamson and Trevor Brown both came around to score on the knock, putting the River Cats up 3-0. The double was his 12th of the season.

The 26-year-old unleashed again in the fourth, belting a solo home run, his 16th, to left to give the River Cats a 4-1 lead. Overall, Parker was 2-for-4 with a double, home run, and 3 RBI in the win.

Curtis Partch (1-2, 3.54) made a spot start for the River Cats after last weekend’s doubleheader pushed the rotation back a day. The start was his first since May 20, 2014 when he went three innings for the Triple-A Louisville Bats. The right-hander had made 36 relief appearances prior to tonight, maxing out at 2 2/3 innings on July 1 against Salt Lake.

The transition appeared effortless for Partch who recorded a new season-high seven strikeouts over four innings, also a season-high. He threw 52 pitches (35 for strikes), allowing just one run on two hits and a walk.

The River Cats used six different pitchers in the win, and although Partch’s start was certainly impressive, left-hander Josh Osich’s appearance may have edged his out for the best of the night. Osich entered the game in the top of the eighth in a bases-loaded, no-out situation and proceeded to strikeout out the side to get the River Cats out of the jam.

The left-hander mixed a 96-97 mph fastball with a devastating 90 mph slider and a disappearing changeup to keep Las Vegas off balance and flailing at the plate. He pitched a scoreless ninth inning, striking out one more, to close out the game and picked up the win, his first, for his dominating effort.

Sacramento finishes the month having gone 15-13, posting a winning record in a single month for the first time since April (12-9). They will head out on the road tomorrow for a four-game set with the Salt Lake Bees. August also marks the start of a stretch where the River Cats play 21 of their next 30 on the road.

Toeing the rubber tomorrow night will be left-hander Ty Blach (9-8, 4.00). Opposing him will the righty Alex Sanabia (1-10, 7.44). First pitch is set for 6:05 p.m. PT and can be heard live on rivercats.com and on ESPN 1320.

San Jose SaberCats Claw Back From A 13-Point Deficit To Defeat Arizona Rattlers 56-29; Clinch Number One Seed In Playoffs

All Photos by Shawn Jonas

SAN JOSE – The San Jose SaberCats (16-1) clinched the number one overall seed in the Arena Football League and home field advantage throughout the playoffs, with a triumphant 56-29 victory over the Arizona Rattlers (13-4).

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The showdown featured the previous two AFL Most Valuable Players in quarterbacks Erick Meyer and Nick Davila. Leading the way for the SaberCats, Meyer, the 2013 MVP, completed 73 percent of his passes for 286 yards and eight touchdowns. Meanwhile, the San Jose defense came up huge, allowing just three second half points.

“We didn’t play well the last two games in our mind and we wanted to come out and have a good showing with a lot of energy and they did that tonight,” said Owner and Head Coach Darren Arbet.

The Rattlers got on the board first when fullback Mykel Benson finished a six play drive with a three-yard touchdown run. San Jose would answer on a scoring drive of its own, as Reggie Gray caught a seven-yard pass and dove into the end zone, evening the score at 7-7.

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Arizona would answer in the second quarter with an eight-yard touchdown pass from Nick Davila to Rod Windsor and another score on a 20-yard pass to Kerry Reed, as the Rattlers led 20-7.
With the history of these two rivals, the back-and-forth pendulum swung, as the SaberCats cut into the Rattlers’ lead with an 11-yard touchdown pass from Meyer to Maurice Purify. The touchdown was the first for Purify as a SaberCat, who spent the past three seasons with Arizona, and cut the lead to 20-14.

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The momentum carried over for the SaberCats after Davila fumbled the snap and Donte Paige-Moss recovered the ball, giving San Jose possession. The SaberCats would capitalize with a 10-yard touchdown reception by Odie Armstrong to tie the game 20-20 with just under a minute remaining in the first half.

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Arizona followed the 14 points scored by San Jose with a 10-yard touchdown reception by Windsor; however, the PAT kick would be blocked by Francis Maka and scooped up by Rodney Fritz, who returned the kick, awarding the SaberCats two points and cut the lead to 26-22. Following the stellar special teams play, San Jose scored on a four-yard pass from Meyer to Purify, his second of the game, as the SaberCats held their first lead of the game at 29-26 to end the first half.

After recovering the second half kickoff from a ball off of the net, the Rattlers tied the game 29-29 with a 27-yard field goal by Fabrizio Scaccia. The SaberCats would answer as Gray would get open in the back of the end zone for the 16-yard touchdown reception, giving San Jose a 35-29 edge.

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The SaberCats’ number one ranked defense continued to stifle the Rattlers. Following an interception by David Hyland, San Jose capitalized on the turnover when Purify grabbed the pass from Meyer, broke a tackle and took off for a 34-yard touchdown, as the SaberCats lead swelled to 42-29 with 1:38 remaining in the third quarter. Purify finished with 10 receptions for 108 yards and three touchdowns.

“There is never a doubt in anyone’s mind no matter what the score,” said Meyer. “We always know that there is going to be a play made and the momentum will switch in our favor eventually.”

Not allowing the Rattlers to get into a rhythm offensively, Donte Paige-Moss and Francis Maka teamed up for back-to-back sacks to force a 4th and 19, culminating in an incomplete pass by Davila and turnover on downs. Leading the AFL in touchdown receptions, Gray would find a soft spot in the end zone and haul in his third touchdown of the game, extending the SaberCats lead to 49-29.
With a routine 12-yard reception in the second quarter, Gray broke Jason Willis’s franchise record for most receiving yards in a season (1,606) set in 2013. Gray, who hauled in 11 receptions for 88 yards and three touchdowns, is now the SaberCats all-time leader in receptions, receiving yards, touchdown receptions and scoring in a season.

Veteran SaberCat Clevan Thomas recorded two tackles, en route to becoming the ninth player in Arena Football League history with 600 or more career tackles.

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“They were in tuned with each other and they played well tonight,” said Arbet. “The first goal is to win your division, second goal is home field advantage and from there it’s to get to that game.”

The SaberCats will hit the road to take on the LA KISS on Saturday, August 8th in the regular season finale.

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Offensive Player of the Game: QB Erik Meyer
Defensive Player of the Game: LB David Hyland
J Lewis Small Playmaker of the Game: WR Maurice Purify
Cutters Catch of the Game: WR Reggie Gray 12-yard record setting catch
AFL Highlight of the Week: WR Maurice Purify 34-yard TD

Game Recap Courtesy of the San Jose SaberCats Media Relations

Sacramento River Cats Welcome DeVry University to Raley Field

Photo by Shawn Jonas

WEST SACRAMENTO, CA. -The Sacramento River Cats are excited to welcome DeVry University to Raley Field tonight, Friday, July 31 for their series finale with the Las Vegas 51s.

The River Cats are recognizing DeVry’s “Member of the Month” Karl Immer. Immer will enjoy a unique ballpark experience, including a tour, batting practice viewing, and exclusive seats for tonight’s contest. He will also throw out a ceremonial first pitch.

“We are honored to help DeVry University celebrate some of its best and brightest students,” said Greg Coletti, Director of Corporate Partnerships, Sacramento River Cats Baseball Club. “As a community partner, we welcome the opportunity to provide Karl with a special ballpark experience and recognize him for his accomplishments.”

About DeVry University

DeVry University’s mission is to foster student learning through high-quality, career oriented education integrating technology, business, science and the arts. Founded in 1931, the university offers undergraduate and graduate degree programs onsite and online covering 34 different career fields within its five distinguished colleges of study; Business & Management, Engineering & Information Sciences, Health Sciences, Liberal Arts & Sciences, and Media Arts & Technology.

The university is institutionally accredited by The Higher Learning Commission and is a member of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools, www.ncahlc.org. DeVry University provides an education that prepares its students for a lifetime of success with dedicated faculty and staff who are committed to their students’ academic success. Its highly credentialed faulty members work in the fields that they teach, providing real-world experiences that prepare students for in-demand careers.

With more than 75 locations in the U.S., DeVry University is one of the largest private-sector universities in North America. The university is part of DeVry Education Group (NYSE: DV), a global provider of educational services. Find DeVry University on Twitter @DeVryUniv and Facebook at /DEVRYUNIVERSITY, or visit newsroom.devry.edu

Welcoming Courtesy to the Sacramento River Cats Media Relations

Oakland Raiders Second Year Cornerback T J Carrie Excited For Training Camp

Photo by Shawn Jonas 

T J Carrie the Oakland Raiders second-year cornerback addressed the media on Thursday at the team’s Napa Valley Training Complex.

Carrie and other Raiders’ veterans arrived at the team’s Napa Valley Training Complex Thursday morning. Carrie is excited to get back to work.

“I’m excited, man. A lot of energy has been boiling up. A lot of hard work has been prepared and put in to come down to this moment and start Day 1 of training camp. So we’ll get it kicked off today with the conditioning test and go from there.”

OFFSEASON

“A lot of working on technique and focusing on learning different aspects of the defense. We’ve got a new system going in and things like that. So just getting acclimated to what we’ve got to perform on the field and definitely working on my craft.”

Talks Team

“A lot has been asked from all of us as individuals to perform at a high level coming into season two. The coaches have put a lot of trust into us as far as the prior draft classes and things, so the expectation is high for each and every one of us. I’m glad we’ve been able to put in some work as a team and as a unit in OTAs and mini-camp. Today we’ll be able to hash out some more things and be able to become more one as a team.”

Expectations

“When you are looked at as a starter, the mistakes and errors have to be limited to pretty much none. So last year as a rookie, they’re willing to give you those mistakes and opportunities to fail because you’re learning, you’re getting acclimated to the NFL and to the season and the different aspects of what you have to do. But coming into the next year and you’re projected to be a starter, they expect more of a higher level from you as an athlete. The pressure is definitely building higher. That’s something that we live to play this game for, is to be in the pressure. All pressure is good pressure.”

Carrie’s Thoughts Of Amari Cooper

“Amari has been able to do tremendous things on that field. He’s coming in and he has a business mind-like, a professional mind-like at a young stage, which is very good, because the pressure they’re going to continue to put on him and the rest of the receiving corps is going to be vital. “I think he’s made everyone on that defense better as far as him and, like I said, the other receivers. Bringing in more receivers and their expectation of being great challenges us to – iron sharpening iron as far as us being able to go at each other and battle each other every day, day in and day out, and sharpen each other’s skills.”

Sacramento Beats Las Vegas 51’s 4-2; San Francisco Giants Trade River Cats Adam Duvall to Reds for Mike Leake

All Photos by Shawn Jonas

WEST SACRAMENTO, Calif.-Early scoring for the River Cats, led by Sacramento’s Kevin Frandsen, proved enough to outlast the Las Vegas 51s in a 4-2 victory Thursday night at Raley Field. Nik Turley was excellent for Sacramento on the mound, tossing seven innings and striking out eight to match his season-high.

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The River Cats kicked things off early, scoring in the bottom of the first inning on Adam Duvall’s run-scoring single. Juan Perez singled with two outs and stole second before scoring on Duvall’s liner to left. The RBI was Duvall’s 80th this season.

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Sacramento kept adding on, scoring three more times in the bottom of the second inning. Trevor Brown and Brandon Hicks hit back-to-back singles before Everth Cabrera was hit by a pitch to load the bases. With two outs in the inning, Frandsen smoked a high drive to deep right-center. The ball short-hopped the wall as Frandsen cruised into second standing. The double cleared the bases and put the River Cats up 4-0. The double was Frandsen’s 13th of the season and gave him RBIs 29, 30, and 31 on the season.

Nik Turley (5-5, 4.90) put on another strong performance as he went seven innings, scattering just three hits and giving up one run with one walk. The southpaw also struck out eight in the outing, tying his season-high. This is the third time Turley has struck out eight in a game and the first time he has pitched seven innings this season.

Erik Cordier recorded the save, his ninth of the season. He threw 1 1/3 perfect innings while striking out two.

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Late in the game, news broke that the San Francisco Giants had acquired right-handed pitcher Mike Leake from the Cincinnati Reds. Shortly after, infielder Adam Duvall was pulled from the game for the River Cats. It was confirmed after the game had concluded that Duvall was included in a trade to the Reds to bring Leake to San Francisco.

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Duvall posted excellent numbers for the River Cats in 2015, hitting .279 with 26 homers (2nd in the PCL) and 80 RBI in 100 games. He had a hot July, hitting .346 with 10 home runs and 30 RBIs coming into tonight’s game. He also started at first base for the PCL All-Star team earlier this month.

Sacramento looks to take the series tomorrow behind right-hander Curtis Partch. He will make his first start for the River Cats this season. Partch has made 36 appearances in relief and has posted a 1-2 record with a 3.65 ERA. Las Vegas will send right-hander Logan Verrett (3-1, 2.93) to the mound. First pitch is set for 7:05 p.m.

San Francisco Giants Aquire Cincinnati Reds RHP Mike Leake In Exchange for River Cats Adam Duvall And RHP Keury Mella

All photos by Shawn Jonas

West Sacramento, Calif. – Late in the game, news broke that the San Francisco Giants had acquired right-handed pitcher Mike Leake from the Cincinnati Reds. Shortly after, infielder Adam Duvall was pulled from the game for the Sacramento River Cats. It was confirmed after the game had concluded that Duvall was included in a trade to the Reds to bring Leake to San Francisco. The Giants also included RHP Keury Mella in the deal.

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Adam Duvall posted excellent numbers for the River Cats in 2015, hitting .279 with 26 homers (2nd in the PCL) and 80 RBI in 100 games. He had a hot July, hitting .346 with 10 home runs and 30 RBIs coming into tonight’s game. He also started at first base for the PCL All-Star team earlier this month.

Oakland Raiders Training Camp Preview: Get To Know Mario Edwards Jr.

Photo by Shawn Jonas

Alameda, California – With the third pick in the second round, 35th overall, The Oakland Raiders Select Mario Edwards Jr.

Mario Edwards Jr.
Defensive Line
Florida State
6- foot-3
279 pounds

College career: Edwards was the No. 1 prospect out of high school, and played three seasons at Florida State. He registered 89 tackles, 23 tackles for loss, eight sacks and three forced fumbles over his career. He was a first-team All-ACC and a second team All-American as a junior.

Edwards Jr. is considered a defensive tackle in a 4-3 defensive system that the Raiders use. His versatility may be the best aspect of his game. He can be used as an interior rusher, especially after Antonio Smith was cut. He flourishes in stopping the running game. The Raiders plan to keep his weight around 280-285 lbs. which leads me to believe he will also used as a defensive end. With the versatility of Khalil Mack and now Mario Edwards they could use both in a multitude of ways to keep offenses and opposing quarterbacks guessing.

NFL Scouting Report

OVERVIEW
Started 13 games and selected first-team All-ACC in 2014. Did not play against N.C. State after suffering a concussion the previous game (vs. Clemson). Selected third-team All-ACC in 2013 and missed two games with a hand injury. Had a sack in the BCS National Championship Game against Auburn. Only true freshman to start on defense in 2012 after replacing injured Tank Carradine. Rated No. 1 prospect in nation out of high school and was selected USA Today Defensive Player of the Year. His father, Mario, Sr., was a heralded cornerback at FSU and won a national championship in 1999-2000. His father also played in the NFL for five years after being drafted by the Dallas Cowboys (sixth round) in 2000.

Analysis

STRENGTHS: Scheme versatile. Can play base end or defensive tackle in a 4-3 (depending on weight) or as a 3-4 defensive end. Has thick bubble and legs. Comes off snap with decent power. Can brace and anchor at point of attack. Flashes upper-body strength to press and lock out tackles. Above-average closing burst as tackle. Strength to leverage and toss blockers when motivated.

WEAKNESSES: Ineffective as pass rusher. Played some stand-up defensive end in college and showed no explosiveness off snap. Play speed and fire go missing from pass rush. Hand usage is hit or miss and appears to lack power with hands. Inconsistent getting arm extension, limiting ability to control and dominate a snap. Too involved in hand fighting and plays through a straw, losing sight of ball carrier.

DRAFT PROJECTION Rounds 3-4

BOTTOM LINE He’s a 3-4 defensive end or a 4-3 defensive tackle who has to make a living playing the run. Edwards failed to reach expectations while at Florida State and ended his career as a core defender rather than dominant force. His “level of ability” is higher than his current level of play and could continue to be the case unless he finds more passion and effort from snap to snap.

Oakland Raiders Q & A Transcript

Q: Did you grow up a Cowboys fan because of your dad? Who did you root for growing up?

Edwards Jr.: “I definitely was a Cowboys fan because my dad played, but I’m excited that Oakland chose me.”

Q: Were you in the same recruiting class as Menelik Watson at Florida State? Did you come in together?

Edwards Jr.: “No we didn’t come in together. Menelik came and had one year left. He was older than me.”

Q: Did you guys overlap one year?

Edwards Jr.: “Yeah we were there one year. I was there with him one year.”

Q: How much do you weigh right now? I had read that you are about 272 ppund, at least it was that way at your pro day.

Edwards Jr.: “Right. I’m at 277 right now.”

Q: Were you surprised that the Raiders called? Did you know that they were in on you? Was there interest expressed at the combine?

Edwards Jr.: “My first time I had talked to them was yesterday and then I talked to them again this morning and then my agent called me about four or five minutes before they were on the clock and let me know I was moving out West.”

Q: Are you excited to be reunited with Raiders linebackers coach Sal Sunseri?

Edwards Jr.: “Definitely man, my two years when he was there were great. I learned so much from him and we developed a great relationship and now to go back and play under him again is definitely an honor.”

Q: What’s the weight range that you feel comfortable playing at, because I know you’ve played different positions?

Edwards Jr.: “Talking to them, they like me at the 280-285 weight range, so that’s pretty easy to stay at.”

Q: Do they want you as an end then at that weight?

Edwards Jr.: “They want me as a Leo and to rush and then mismatch on the inside and do things like that as well.”

Q: Did you get caught up in all the pre-draft criticisms about your effort, desire and weight and how do you answer all those criticisms?

Edwards Jr.: “Not really. If they really understood that coming into FSU there was never a set weight for me to be at. The whole motto or the whole goal was as long as you can run and do what we ask you to do I don’t care what your weight is. And I’ve even asked [Florida State Head] Coach Jimbo Fisher to what was just too high of a weight and he replied, if you’re 310, 312 then they have to deal with you being at 310, 312. Don’t worry about the weight just play. It was never a structured weight for me to be at. Then again it was in my sophomore year when we were playing just two quarters and we were done when I was 280-287 and then I also have where my following junior year I’m 310 and I’m playing 70-75 plays a game. We played 14 games and out of eight or nine of them I didn’t step foot off the field. Even if I was 277 right now, nobody can go 100 percent 77 plays straight and be effective. If they really understood how it was set up and that there was really no weight limit for me, then they would understand how things turned out.”

Q: When you come out of high school as a top recruit, do you think that the bar is set so high that if you statically fall anywhere short of that then you are going to hear about it?

Edwards Jr.: “I mean that’s just the world that we live in today. I feel like if I would have controlled my weight my three years that I could have lived up to what my rankings were. However I can’t put myself behind the eight ball. I took full responsibility for that. I understand how it works.”

Q: What do you think of this role, as the Leo position can have a bunch of different responsibilities?

Edwards Jr.: “I’m excited to play anything, honestly. Whatever they want me to play, whatever fits best. I’m not just focusing on one specific thing, whether it’s pass rushing or anything like that. I’m trying to be a complete player. I’m trying to go out there and be great in the run and be great in the pass and go out there and contribute to the team.”

Q: You’ve played in a lot of big college games at Florida State. What kind of an advantage, if any, does that give you over some other prospects?

Edwards Jr.: “We may have played a few other better players, but I was [inaudible]. I don’t think it gives me any advantage over anyone else, because now if they’ve made it to the NFL, that means that they’re good as well. Every game, every week is going to be like a national championship game, because now it’s the cream of the crop. Everybody is good. Everybody is great. Everybody is big, strong and fast, so now you have to go separate yourself from them.”

Q: What was the scene like when you got the news today? Where were you and who was with you?

Edwards Jr.: “I was in Ocean Springs, Miss., with my grandma there, my aunts, uncles, brothers, sisters, immediate family. Man, it was great. My whole house shook when they called me name on TV. We were definitely excited.”

Q: How many people do you think were there total?

Edwards Jr.: “Maybe about 20 to 22 people. Not many.”

Q: Your dad said you were a little overconfident coming out of high school. Do you think that was true?

Edwards Jr.: “I could say some of that was true. Coming out, No. 1 in in the nation and all that stuff, you have people saying you’re this and that, and all you’ve got to do is this and this and that. You kind of relax and take the foot off the pedal a little bit. But now, knowing that was the wrong thing to do, because once you get comfortable, as my dad said, you either get worse or you get better. There’s no in between. Me taking my foot off the gas pedal definitely caused me to gain weight and become worse. I just say that me getting a little too comfortable and complacent with where I was ranked kind of had its toll on me coming in overweight.”

Q: When did that light come on for you, when you realized you weren’t giving it what you needed to?

Edwards Jr.: “I would kind of say it came on when I first started in the Orange Bowl my freshman year. Coming into my sophomore year, I played at 280 to 287. Then my junior year, I came in at 310. I would say probably my freshman year. I got up to 310, but I was still a 500-plus squatter, 450-plus bencher, and still running 17 or 18 miles per hour. So it wasn’t that I couldn’t perform, I just couldn’t perform for a long time.”

Q: A lot of scouts think you helped yourself at your pro day. Did it feel like that to you?

Edwards Jr.: “Definitely. I felt like I had a decent enough grade coming out and I knew that if I could do great in my – first of all, getting my weight down and controlling it for a long period of time, from Oregon until now standing in the 270-280 range – then on top of my combine and pro day workout, I felt like I could have helped myself tremendously in the draft.”

College Bio

Entered Florida State as the nation’s No. 1 recruit and lived up to the billing as he developed into an All-ACC First Team selection and All-American as a junior in 2014…appeared in 36 games with 26 starts in his career and had 89 tackles, 23 TFLs and eight sacks.

2014: Versatile second-year starter led the Seminoles with 11 tackles for loss in 13 games, while playing defensive end, defensive tackle and Jack linebacker…also played fullback in some jumbo goal-line packages…All-ACC First Team selection by the coaches and media and two-time ACC Defensive Lineman of the Week…collected Sports Illustrated All-America Second Team accolades…established season-high marks in tackles (44), pass break-ups (5) and forced fumbles (2)…ranked second on the team with three sacks…registered new career-highs with nine tackles against Virginia, including four for losses; also forced a fumble to win second ACC Defensive Lineman of the Week honor…forced a fumble on FSU’s first defensive play and finished with three TFLs versus Wake Forest…able to play on the inside and on the edge on FSU’s defensive line…his 23 career tackles for loss was four shy of FSU’s all-time top 20…appeared on the Bednarik, Nagurski and Lombardi Watch Lists.

2013: Seminoles starter at the right end and a key contributor to the nation’s third-ranked total defense (281.4 ypg) and No. 1 scoring defense (12.1 ppg)…the sophomore was named one of the top defensive linemen in the conference by both the coaches and the media…in his second season in Tallahassee made 11 starts and appeared in 12 games, making 28 tackles…became a major force when it came to splash plays in 2013 with two fumble recoveries, a forced fumble, 9.5 TFL, 3.5 sacks, an interception and a TD return…recovered a fumble and returned it 37 yards for a touch- down at Clemson…had a monster performance in the BCS National Championship Game, totaling a career-high 3.0 tackles for loss in- cluding a sack… had six tackles against Auburn…recorded 2.0 TFLs and 1.0 sacks on four total tackles against Miami…intercepted a pass and made two tackles, including 0.5 sacks, at Wake Forest… had three tackles and then-career-highs with 2.0 TFL, an eight-yard sack and a forced fumble at Florida…posted three tackles in the season opener at Pitt…finished with four tackles and 1.0 tackles for loss against Nevada…made one tackle – a 3-yard loss – and broke up a pass against Idaho.

2012: Appeared in 11 games and made his first career start in the ACC Championship Game replacing Cornellius Carradine…the only five-stars from Rivals, Scout and 247Sports…unanimously ranked No. 1 at his position whether it be defensive end or defensive tackle…the top player coming out of the state of Texas… Scout said it is hard to find a player as big and explosive as Edwards…of his 72 tackles as a senior 32 were for a loss including 11 sacks…named the state of Texas Class 4A Defensive Player of the Year as a junior by the Associated Press…recorded 127 tackles, 50 tackles for loss and 18 sacks leading Denton Ryan to a state runner-up finish…recorded 69 tackles and three sacks as a fresh- man on top of catching 17 passes for 361 yards and three TDs…his high school coach raved about his work ethic as he and his father, former FSU star Mario Edwards, work out together at 6 a.m. each morning…Edwards wears the same number (15) as his dad did at FSU…chose Florida State over Texas, Alabama, LSU, Oklahoma and Oklahoma State, among others.

Only true freshman to register a start for FSU on the defensive side of the ball…came into the ACC Championship with seven tackles on the season and doubled that number in one game, registering seven versus the Yellow Jackets, including a tackle for loss… made three tackles and registered his first pass break-up against Northern Illinois in the Orange Bowl in his second career start… recorded his first career sack on the road in a win over Maryland… was projected to redshirt in 2012, but was forced into action due to the loss of Brandon Jenkins in week one and then into the starting line-up after losing Carradine in week 12.

Blackburn Tosses Seven Shutout Innings, Slugs First Home Run; Leads River Cats To 4-2 Win Over The Las Vegas 51s

Photos by Shawn Jonas

WEST SACRAMENTO, Calif. – Sacramento’s starter Clayton Blackburn led the River Cats in their 4-2 win over the visiting Las Vegas 51s Wednesday night at Raley Field. The right-hander tossed seven shutout innings and added to the offensive with a solo home run.

In his 13th start this season, Blackburn (6-3, 3.50) stifled the 51s, scattering five hits across seven innings. He walked just one and struck out five while throwing 63 of his 94 pitches for strikes.

“I felt good tonight. I was throwing a good sinker to both sides of the plate and my curveball was pretty sharp for me tonight,” Blackburn said. “My last couple bullpens I’ve been working on my direction and on finishing my pitches, and I think it’s really started to show these last few games.”

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Blackburn has won his last three starts, posting a 1.80 ERA over 20 innings and striking out 10. He has now gone seven innings in back-to-back starts.

The right-hander also contributed with his bat, slugging the first home run of his professional career.

“He threw a fastball down and over the plate, which is about the only place I can hit one out of the ballpark. The stars aligned, you know, and that was, I think, as hard as I can hit a ball.”

The solo shot was crushed to straight away center and gave the River Cats a 2-0 lead in the third. To Blackburn’s memory, it was his first since his “senior year of high school.”

The home run continued a recent trend for River Cats starters, who have been hitting the ball all over the field as of late. In their last four games, Sacramento’s starters are hitting a combined .556 (5-for-9) with a home run, five RBI, and a sacrifice.

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The rest of the offense came through for Sacramento tonight, as well, scoring four times on 10 hits. Adam Duvall put the River Cats up 1-0 in the second with a home run – his 26th of the season – to left field. Ryan Lollis was 2-for-4 with an RBI and Everth Cabrera went 2-for-4 with a run scored.

Mike Broadway closed things out, making it look easy as he struck out the side in the top of the ninth to record his ninth save of the season. The hard-throwing right-hander touched 98 mph with his fastball and put away the 51s with a tight 87 mph slider. Broadway is now a perfect 9/9 in save opportunities with an 0.95 ERA for Sacramento this season.

With the series evened at one, the River Cats will look to take the lead with a win tomorrow behind their left-hander Nik Turley (4-5, 5.37). The southpaw is coming off a rough start, but recently turned in a six-inning no-hit performance at home against the Fresno Grizzlies. Opposite him will be Las Vegas’ RHP Luis Cessa (7-1, 5.05). First pitch is set for 7:05 p.m. and the game can be heard online at rivercats.com and on the air on ESPN 1320.

Game Recap Courtesy of the Sacramento River Cats Media Relations

San Jose SaberCats Add Defensive Lineman Chris McAllister

Photo by Shawn Jonas

SAN JOSE, CA. – The San Jose SaberCats announced that they have been assigned defensive lineman Chris McAllister.

McAlliser (6’2 255) joins the SaberCats in his first year in the Arena Football League. A standout at Baylor University, McAllister earned All-Big 12 First Team honors after registering 6.5 sacks in 2013. As a junior in 2012, McAllister totaled six sacks and was named Defensive Most Valuable Player in the Holiday bowl. His 15 career sacks are tied for the all-time school record at Baylor.

“Chris had an impressive collegiate career and having a player of his caliber will add depth to our defense,” said Owner and Head Coach Darren Arbet.

In 2014, McAllister signed with the Houston Texans of the National Football league as an undrafted free agent.

Sacramento River Cats Baseball Saves Lives With BloodSource at Raley Field

West Sacramento, CA – Local residents can save lives and enjoy a Sacramento River Cats game by donating blood at Raley Field during the Sacramento River Cats Blood Drive on Friday, August 7. All participants will receive a complimentary pair of Assembly tickets to an upcoming River Cats game and MyBloodSource Rewards

MyBloodSource Rewards  Link :

<https://www.bloodsource.org/mybloodsource/Welcome/tabid/719/Default.aspx?returnurl=%2fDefault.aspx%3falias%3dwww.bloodsource.org%2fmybloodsource>.

Sacramento River Cats Blood Drive

Raley Field – 400 Ballpark Drive, West Sacramento

Friday, August 7

10:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.

Every two seconds, someone in the United States receives a blood transfusion. Blood donations help patients like Caden, a busy, active, fun-loving toddler after surviving cardiac surgery as an infant. His family thanks BloodSource blood donors every day for their lifesaving gifts that keep them on their toes, chasing a wonderfully healthy little boy.

Please bring a photo I.D., eat healthy foods and drink plenty of fluids before donating. For more information, please visit bloodsource.org or call 866-822-5663.
About BloodSource

Established in 1948 as a not-for-profit community blood bank, BloodSource serves a population of over 5 million and provides blood and medical expertise to over 40 hospitals in 30 counties. With 16 BloodSource Donor Centers and over 2,200 mobile drives annually, BloodSource relies on volunteer donors, chairpeople and volunteers to ensure that community blood needs are always met. Together, we do save lives.

About Blood Donation

Donating blood is safe, easy and takes about an hour. Donors must weigh at least 110 pounds, be at least 17 years old (16 with a signed BloodSource parental consent form) and in good health. There is no upper age limit for blood donations. Donors must bring a photo ID and drink plenty of fluids before donating. Potential marrow donors ages 18-44 can register for Be The Match(r) national marrow registry through BloodSource. Schedule an appointment or learn more at 866.822.5663 or bloodsource.org.

Press Release Courtesy of the Sacramento River Cats Media Relations