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College Baseball

Pacers 10th in preseason poll

USC Aiken’s baseball team is ranked 10th in the 2013 preseason Collegiate Baseball NCAA Division II poll.

It marks the 17th consecutive year that the Pacers have now been ranked in national preseason polls.

The Pacers finished 20th in the final 2012 Collegiate Baseball NCAA Division II poll with a 37-18 record.

College Basketball

Texas player to sit for 23 games

The NCAA continued to punish any coach or player who doesn’t provide factual information during an enforcement interview, handing down a stringent 23-game suspension Friday to Texas sophomore guard Myck Kabongo.

Kabongo originally was banned for a year by the NCAA, but an appeals/reinstatement committee reduced the penalty to 23 games, which includes the 11 games the Longhorns (7-4) already have played.

“Kabongo accepted airfare, personal training instruction and then provided false and misleading information during two separate interviews with university officials,” the NCAA statement said.

A Texas spokesperson said Kabongo was not truthful to university officials but did not lie to the NCAA.

Kabongo is eligible to return to the Longhorns on Feb. 13 against Iowa State.

There will be eight games remaining in the conference schedule.

NHL

Players close to dissolving union

NHL players are a step closer to dissolving their union.

The Canadian Press says NHL Players’ Association members voted this week to give the union’s executive board the power to file a “disclaimer of interest” until Jan. 2.

The news agency, citing an unidentified source, says the vote drew more than the two-thirds of support needed. The union declined comment, saying it’s an internal matter.

If the executive board files the disclaimer, the union will dissolve and become a trade association. That would allow players to file antitrust lawsuits against the NHL.

Baseball

Liriano to make yet another stop

Veteran left-hander Francisco Liriano, who spent 5½ seasons with the Minnesota Twins, will join his third team in five months after agreeing to a two-year, $14 million deal with the Pittsburgh Pirates, according to The Star Tribune of Minneapolis.

Liriano, traded from the Twins to the Chicago White Sox in late July, was 6-12 with a 5.34 ERA in 2012.

He’s 53-54 with a 4.40 ERA in six full seasons.

Liriano, 29, pitched a no-hitter in May 2011 but failed to muster much success the rest of the season, finishing 9-10 with a 5.09 ERA.

• The Milwaukee Brewers signed left-handed reliever Tom Gorzelanny to a two-year contract.

The 30-year-old Gorzelanny went 4-2 with a 2.88 ERA and one save in 45 games with Washington last season, a stint that included one start.

He posted a 1.33 ERA in 27 innings pitched out of the bullpen following the All-Star break.

• The Houston Astros signed veteran right-handed reliever Jose Veras to a one-year contract.

The 32-year-old Veras was 5-4 in 72 relief appearances for Milwaukee in 2012 with a 3.63 ERA with 79 strikeouts and 61 hits in 67 innings. Veras has 151 appearances over the past two seasons.


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