GreenJackets’ Kline reassigned

A staffing change higher up in the San Francisco Giants organization has forced an adjustment to the 2012 Augusta GreenJackets coaching staff.

Steve Kline, originally slated to return to Augusta for his fourth season as the GreenJackets pitching coach, was moved up to the Advanced-A San Jose Giants staff, according to a statement released by the GreenJackets on Friday.

The move came after Brian Cooper, picked to lead the San Jose arms in 2012, left the organization earlier this week, the statement said.

The team announced Mike Caldwell will take over as Augusta’s pitching coach.

The 63-year-old former big league pitcher was the pitching coach for the Arizona League Giants last season.

• Right fielder Hunter Pence and the Philadelphia Phillies agreed to a $10.4 million, one-year contract.

The deal was at the midpoint between the $11.8 million he had asked for in arbitration last week and the $9 million the Phillies had offered. He can earn additional award bonuses.

Pence hit .314 with 22 homers and a career-high 97 RBI for Houston and Philadelphia last season, when he made $6.9 million. He was acquired from the Astros on July 29.

Philadelphia also signed outfielder Juan Pierre to a minor league contract, giving Pierre an invitation to spring training with a club he’s been a nemesis to for years.

The 34-year-old hit .279 with two homers, 50 RBI and 27 steals for the Chicago White Sox last season, starting 152 games in left field. The left-handed batter hit .329 against lefties.

• USC Aiken is picked to finish seventh and Augusta State ninth in the the Peach Belt Conference Preseason Baseball Coaches Poll.

Francis Marion, which is the preseason No. 1 in one poll, is the Peach Belt Conference favorite. Columbus State was picked second, while Georgia College was tabbed third.

USC Aiken opens its season with 13 consecutive home games, starting Feb. 4.

Augusta State opens its season Friday, playing host to Carson-Newman in a 2 p.m. start at Lake Olmstead Stadium.


College Basketball

Duke women top Clemson by 44

In Clemson, S.C., Tricia Liston scored 16 points and Elizabeth Williams added 14 to help No. 5 Duke remain perfect in Atlantic Coast Conference play with a 81-37 victory over Clemson on Friday night.

The Blue Devils (17-2, 8-0 ACC) didn’t miss a beat against the Tigers (5-13, 1-6), pulling away to their 11th consecutive win this season.

Quinyotta Pettaway had 12 points to lead the Tigers, who scored just 13 points in the second half.


Figure Skating

Davis, White are ice dance leader

Meryl Davis and Charlie White, the first Americans to win a world title in ice dance, took a comfortable lead at the U.S. Figure Skating Championships in San Jose, Calif.

And their score of 76.89 in the short dance is sure to get the world’s attention.

Davis and White are four-plus points ahead of Maia and Alex Shibutani, last year’s U.S. runners-up and the surprise bronze medalists at the world championships.

• In Sheffield, England, Carolina Kostner halted the Russian march at the European figure skating championships by grabbing a narrow lead in her bid to capture a fourth continental gold.

The 24-year-old Italian scored 63.22 points. Kiira Korpi of Finland was second, with 61.80 heading into today’s free skate.



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