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Mitch's Sports Report: Penguins On The Brink; Yanks Score Comeback Win Via Long Ball

The Pittsburgh Penguins are one win away from their fourth Stanley Cup championship after a 3-1 win over the Sharks in San Jose last night.

Evgeni Malkin broke out of a slump in which he hadn't recorded a point in three straight games with a goal and an assist. Ian Cole also tallied for the Penguins, who can clinch the Cup on home ice back in Pittsburgh with another victory Thursday night. Rookie goalie Matt Murray had a sub-par game in the Penguins' only loss of the series so far in the previous game, but bounced back last night with a twenty-three save effort. If the Sharks are to hoist the first Stanley Cup in their franchise's twenty-five year history they'll have to pull off a near historic comeback. Only one team has ever come back from a three games to one deficit to win a Stanley Cup final series and that's the Toronto Maple Leafs, who pulled off the feat back in 1942 against the Detroit Red Wings, and if the Sharks want to look to that comeback as inspiration they could also note that the Leafs actually trailed three games to none in that series, so the Sharks just have to win three straight against the likes of Malkin, Crosby, and Letang instead of four straight like Toronto did, but somehow I don't think that exactly fits the motivational mold.

In major league baseball the NY Yankees played long ball comeback against the L.A. Angels in the Bronx last night, scoring all their runs by leaving the Stadium. The Halos jumped out to a 2-0 lead against Masahiro Tanaka but back to back home runs by Brian McCann and Starlin Castro tied things up in the seventh before Carlos Beltran put the Yanks ahead for good with a three-run blast in the bottom of the eighth for a 5-2 Yankees win. Andrew Miller struck out the side in the eighth, sitting down a pretty good trio in Kole Calhoun, Mike Trout and Albert Pujols and then Aroldis Chapman put the icing on the cake with a flawless ninth. Michael Pineda gets the start tonight for the Yanks, hoping to get on track. He's 2-4 with an ERA over six in what's been a disappointing season for him so far. Meanwhile the injury-riddled Angels are calling up a rookie from Triple A, David Huff, to make the start against the Bronx Bombers in Yankee Stadium but, you know, no pressure.

The Boston Red Sox were idle last night and open up a brief two-game series against the Giants in San Francisco tonight with Rick Porcello getting the start for the Sox.

The NY Mets and Pittsburgh Pirates were rained out in Steel City last night, which probably meant some extra eyeballs glued to TV sets watching the Penguins push the Sharks to the brink in game four of the Stanley Cup finals.

Locally, things are heating up in the high school baseball playoffs and in the division two semi-finals yesterday number eight seed Mount Abraham knocked off number five Harwood 3-0, all the Mount Abe runs unearned in a messy fourth inning. All the runs came with two outs and with the benefit of just one hit following a walk and two errors. The Eagles move on to face number six seed Bellows Falls for the state division two title after the Terriers pulled off an upset against second-seeded U-32 9-3 yesterday. Alex Groenwold went two for three with four RBI's to lead the Bellows Falls offense.

In division three a triple by Duncan Frazier in the eighth plated the go-ahead run to lead Windsor to a 3-1 win over Leland & Gray. Seth Balch took a no-hitter into the seventh, striking out eight in a complete game victory for Windsor.

In division one boys' lacrosse number one seed CVU beat Essex 11-8 behind three goals by Matt Palmer. The Redhawks are gunning for their fourth consecutive division one state title, and will await the winner of today's contest between Rutland and South Burlington.

In division two boys' lacrosse Chad Haggerty scored four goals to lead Stowe to an 11-8 win over Milton, setting up a championship game against Burlington, with the date of the game to be announced later this week. The top-seeded Seahorses beat Mount Mansfield 12-5 yesterday.

A graduate of NYU with a Master's Degree in journalism, Mitch has more than 20 years experience in radio news. He got his start as news director at NYU's college station, and moved on to a news director (and part-time DJ position) for commercial radio station WMVY on Martha's Vineyard. But public radio was where Mitch wanted to be and he eventually moved on to Boston where he worked for six years in a number of different capacities at member station WBUR...as a Senior Producer, Editor, and fill-in co-host of the nationally distributed Here and Now. Mitch has been a guest host of the national NPR sports program "Only A Game". He's also worked as an editor and producer for international news coverage with Monitor Radio in Boston.
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