Sands makes most of opportunities with Indians
Jerry Sands, who has lived and taught youth baseball clinics in Wendell, got an opportunity and made the most of it.
The Smithfield-Selma High graduate was called up by the Cleveland Indians from their Triple-A club and promptly went 3-for-4 in his first game (April 11) with four runs batted in.
Since then, Sands has lead the Indians in batting with a .389 average (7-for-18) and has played in five games.
Sands was called up to add some right-handed batting help to the Indians’ bench.
“After the next couple day’s starts, we really don’t need a fifth starter, so we’ll have an extra arm in the bullpen,” Indians manager Terry Francona told mlb.com. “And we’re facing a bunch of left-handers in the next couple weeks, so having the extra position player – especially a right-handed hitter – an help us.”
Sands, who has played with the Dodgers in the Majors previously, hit .304 in spring training with two home runs and seven RBIs in 22 games.
“He had a good spring,” Francona said of Sands. “He came in and he had that [season-ending wrist surgery in 2014] that was taken care of before, and there was some thought that he might not really be ready. But he did such a good job that he was more ready. I think what opened our eye was – because we knew he could swing the bat – was the way he handled himself defensively.”
The two doubles he notched in his MLB debut this season quickly made him a cult favorite among Indians fans at Jacobs Field and around the globe. He was trending on Twitter after that Saturday’s performance.
Cap 8/GNRC Challenge?
Schools in the Cap 8 and the Greater Neuse River 4A conferences are trying to create a challenge event in basketball. Teams from the two conferences would be paired by projected league finish and they would play at a central site.
The proposed dates would be two games on Dec. 3, two games on Dec. 4 and four games on Dec. 5. Enloe may host the boys and Knightdale the girls during the first year.
The matchups at the top would have been good ones last year – Southeast Raleigh girls vs. Millbrook and eventual state champion Garner against Millbrook.
The format should create some early-season interest in high school basketball.
Registrations, tryouts open
▪ N.C. Hustle, a travel basketball team based in Knightdale, is looking for boys in grades 2 through 7 and high schoolers to play for the travel season from March through June. Practices are in the Knightdale Baptist Church gym on Thursday nights from 6 to 9 p.m. through June. For more information, contact Dexter Williams at 919-413-3014.
▪ Registration is now open for spring tennis for ages 7-12 with Zebulon Parks and Recreation. Classes are led by Brian Solik at Whitley Park and will begin Monday, April 13 from 4:30 to 5:30 p.m. The cost is $25 for residents and $30 for non-residents. Call 919-823-0432 for more information.
▪ TriCounty Futbol Club is accepting registration for the spring season. Information about the soccer club is available at TCFCNC.com or through Darin or Stephanie Dixon at 919-760-5126.
5K race training
Flowers Plantation’s Spring Couch to 5K will help participants train for a 5K race in a fun and supportive group. Registration covers group runs, informational sessions, training shirt, and entry into the annual Clayton Road Race 5K on May 9. For information email flowersplantation.com or call Tracy Condie at 919-553-1984.
Piedmont Bass Classics tournaments
The Piedmont Bass Classics tournament trail fishing tournaments have been set for the season. Events are held at Shearon Harris, Jordan, Kerr, Falls and Mayo lakes. Visit piedmontbassclassics.com or email firstname.lastname@example.org for more info.