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Mitch's Sports Report: That's Rich! Hill Blanks Cubs; Jays Stay Alive; St. Mike's Loses Heartbreaker

Look up "journeyman pitcher" in any baseball dictionary and you're likely to see a picture of Rich Hill pop up. The L.A. Dodgers lefty is thirty-six years old and has had cups of coffee with a host of teams over his career, including the Boston Red Sox, Oakland A's, the independent league Long Island Ducks, and the team he beat last night, the Chicago Cubs.

Pitching in the biggest game of his long and winding career, Hill out-dueled Cy Young Award winner Jake Arrieta, allowing just two hits and no runs in the Dodgers' 6-0 win over the Cubs in L.A. last night. The win has the Cubs on the defensive, where the franchise has been historically, but not this season, in which they've led the National League almost wire to wire with the best record in baseball. Now they trail the Dodgers two games to one in the National League Championship series and they have Clayton Kershaw of the Dodgers waiting in the wings for at least one more game. After winning game one, the Cubs have not only lost the next two, they've gone scoreless in each, putting up goose eggs in game two against Kershaw and now another against Hill. The Dodgers' offense was driven by three hits off the bat of Corey Seager, including the eventual game winning RBI single in the third, and a two-run homer by Yasmani Grandal in the fourth.

Game four tonight has former Red Sox and Cardinals starter John Lackey on the mound facing Julio Urias for the Dodgers.

The Toronto Blue Jays are singing the Bee Gees this morning, staying alive after a must-win 5-1 victory over the Cleveland Indians at Rogers Centre yesterday that staved off elimination and handed Cleveland just its first loss in the 2016 playoffs. Josh Donaldson homered and made a fine defensive play at third base to keep the Jays alive and even though Toronto is down three games to one, they have reason to be optimistic. The Cleveland pitching rotation is already missing two of its best starters to injury, and the bullpen's been great, but the lack of depth may be about to catch up to them. Case in point is the pitcher starting game five today, Ryan Merrit, and if you're not familiar with that name it's probably because the entirety of his major league experience amounts to eleven innings pitched. He'll be opposed by Marco Estrada for the Blue Jays. Yesterday, it was Jays ace Aaron Sanchez limiting the Indians to just one run on two hits over six innings and the Jays bullpen took care of the rest.

To the NHL, and the conventional wisdom about the Montreal Canadiens is that as goes Carey Price, so go the Habs. The Montreal netminder and Vezina trophy winner was injured much of last year, and the Canadiens' season unraveled in lockstep with his absence. Last night at the Bell Centre Price was again out of the lineup due to flu symptoms, but veteran back-up Al Montoya pitched a shut-out in Montreal's 4-0 win over the defending Stanley Cup champion Pittsburgh Penguins. He was helped out on offense by goals from David Desharnais, who tallied twice, Max Pacioretty, and the newly acquired Alexander Radulov, who picked up his first goal in a Canadiens uniform.

Locally on the mens' soccer pitch the Middlebury Panthers wrapped up the non-conference part of their schedule with a 3-1 road win against Colby Sawyer. Drew Goulart got the Panthers on the board just five minutes into the game, but the Chargers tied it up in the 30th minute. Daniel O'Grady got the eventual game winner nine minutes later and Goulart added his second goal of the contest in the second half to seal the win. The Division three, 15th ranked Patnthers improve to 9-1-3 on the season with the victory.

The Castleton Spartans ran off with a convincing 7-1 victory against Johnson State, led by a hat trick in a career day for Jack Kingdon, who also added an assist in the rout.

The Castleton women also beat their counterparts from Johnson in a 6-1 victory, running their winning streak to four games. The Spartans never looked back after scoring five first half goals, two each by Makenzie Bellando and Kiley Baran and the Spartan women are now a game above .500 for the season at 7-6-3.

Elsewhere the St. Michael's Purple Knights lost a heartbreaker to regionally ranked Southern New Hampshire in Colchester yesterday. St. Mike's got goals from Emily Durette and Greta Ricigliano and were tied at two when SNHU's Abigail Maker scored the game winner with just one minute left in regulation play. The loss drops St. Mike's to 3-11 overall on the season, but they've played much better soccer than their record indicates, and this game against Southern New Hampshire is a good example, as the Penmen are ranked 10th in the most recent National East Region poll.

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 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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