Month: February 2019

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Royals Recap: Royals split snowy series at Asbury

Royals

Photo courtesy of johnsonroyals.com

 

 

“How can you not be romantic about baseball?”

-Billy Beane (Moneyball, 2011)

The Johnson University Royals Baseball team split a double header at Asbury University in Wilmore, KY on Friday. Game 1 was tight throughout. The Royals fought with everything they had and Noah Malicoat (JR/Lake City, TN) pitched 4 innings with only 4 hits and 2 runs. The Royals’ defense kept the game close, but could not get runs across the plate. In the top of the 7th inning, Johnson loaded the bases with no outs, but the batting continued the struggle and all three runners were stranded. Final of Game 1 was 3-0.

Game 2 was a journey. The Royals opened the game strong by putting up a 3 spot in the top of the 1st inning behind a triple from Derrick Lay (FR/Knoxville, TN) and good situational hitting from Noah Malicoat, Chandler Viscardis (JR/Seymour, TN), and Dalton Pruitt (SR/Danville, VA). The Eagles bounced back in the bottom of the inning to score 2 runs. They then built on those two in the second inning to tie the game at 3 runs each.

Tyler Lopes (SO/Fort Myers, FL) entered the game for the Royals in the third inning to get out of a two bases jam. He continued to work for three full innings while only giving up one hit and recording three strikeouts. Said Lopes after the game, “I thought it went great. I was really fired up. It felt really good to go out there and help the team. I know we needed some momentum and, I’m happy I was able to help with that.” As well as the Royals played defense behind Lopes, the Eagles kept up, also holding the Royals to no runs.

In the sixth inning, Zach Wyatt (FR/Seymour, TN) took over on the mound for Johnson. Zach quickly dispatched the first two outs of the inning with strikeouts. After a close play at 3rd, the Royals believed that they were out of the inning. However, the Asbury coaches appealed the play and upon further discussion from the umpires, the call was reversed and the Royals were called back onto the field. This lit a fire under Johnson’s players and the momentum shifted their way for the remainder of the game. Zach Wyatt struck out the very next batter to get out of the inning.

At this point, the snow began to fall. After an uneventful 7th inning, the Royals took their turn at bat in extras. On the first pitch, Chandler Viscardis doubled down 3rd base line just past the glove of a diving fielder. Dalton Pruitt attempted to advance the runner with a bunt down the line to first, and beat out the throw for a single. After a wild pitch by the Asbury pitch, Viscardis scored to take the lead. Noah Malicoat then hit a two strike single to score Pruitt and put the Royals up by 2.

By the bottom of the 8th, the snow was falling hard. Zach Wyatt continued working through the close of the game by recording another three strikeouts to finish the win, bringing his total to eight strikeouts in three innings pitched.

“Our guys came out and played well. Minimized the errors and capitalized on big hits. Pitching has been phenomenal and I can’t give enough credit to (the pitchers) for coming out and shutting it down and getting us a big win today” said Assistant Coach Chase White. “This win is huge. We’ve been right on the brink of getting over the hurdle and I think this really did it for us.”

This game is not one that the Royals will soon forget.

The Johnson Player of the Game was Zach Wyatt for his 3.0 IP, 8 SO, 2 H, and his first collegiate win.

 

Recap courtesy of johnsonroyals.com

Opinion

SOTU: a welcome change, changes 2020 election set up (Opinion)

On Tuesday night, President Donald Trump delivered his second State of the Union address. As I read the transcript after the fact, I was shocked and surprised. I was shocked at how much cross party appeal there was and how much he applauded the work of not only his administration but also the work of Congress.

I know this is widely known, but it has to be said: Trump lied in his speech. Most of his lies were simply him making facts seem better than they were or something along similar lines. For example, Trump said that the American economy is considered “far and away the hottest economy anywhere in the world.” This is just downright false. The American economy only expanded by 3.5% in the third quarter of 2018. Latvia, Poland, India, and China all had higher economic growth than America. That is one example of many other lies.

However, as I finished reading the transcript of his speech, I couldn’t help but wonder where the normal Trump was. The words I read seemed, for the most part, to be more focused on bringing the country together. This was a drastic change in his normal divisive rhetoric. While there certainly were things I don’t necessarily support, his speech was a welcome change from his normal rhetoric.

In the days to come, I’m sure we will hear several politicians and political pundits give their takes on his speech. I’m sure more reports will come out about things he wasn’t fully truthful on. However, what we cannot forget moving forward is how he was asking for bipartisan efforts.

If Trump continues with this type of unifying rhetoric and he actually passes a lot of things he says he wants to that have wide cross-party appeal, meaning not the wall, then I think he could very easily be reelected in 2020. How he handles himself and his administration in the months to come and what the Mueller probe does or does not reveal will drastically shape this coming election. Until then, we cannot know how it will turn out.

Overall, his speech tonight was a welcome change. I hope he continues with this language, but I fear his twitter in the coming days will prove my hopes to be in vain. Not only do I hope that this language continues, but that he actually gets serious about working with Democrats to pass meaningful legislation that will help America.

I hope both parties can put aside their political blinders and work across the aisle. I continue to urge all Christians to pray for our leaders and that they ultimately will do the right thing for our nation.

HomeSports

Royals Recap: Royals conquer Suns in thriller

The Johnson Royals defeated the Johnson Suns in a thriller on Tuesday night.

When Johnson’s sister school comes to town, excitement comes with them. This was evident yet again on Tuesday. From the tip, the game was played fast and loose. Both teams came out of the gates firing on all cylinders with very high energy. The first half was tightly contested and neither team led by more than 10 points throughout. The Royals took off with the early lead entering the half ahead by 5 at 49-44. 

The second half saw a Suns comeback and plenty of action. Both teams played physical and there were a total of 54 fouls were called throughout the game: 36 against the Suns and 18 against the Royals. Because of all of these fouls, the Royals scored 44 pts. from the free throw line in 52 attempts. When the Suns took a 6 point lead with just under 3 minutes, the Royals stepped up to the challenge. Taylor Gilpin (SR/Bloomington, IN) hit a free throw with 1.5 seconds left on the clock to tie the game and force overtime. Once overtime began, the Royals took charge. They got off to an early lead and never looked back, winning the game with a final score of 120-109.

Taylor Gilpin led the team to the victory with 48 points! 28 of these 48 came from the free throw line. That is a career high for Gilpin and moves him into 2nd on the all-time scoring list for Johnson University; behind only John Parkey. Gilpin also had 3 assists and 2 steals. Other notables are Coby Jones(SO/Hampton, TN), who had 25 points and 12 rebounds in his 39 minutes and Estiven Estacio (JR/Cali, Columbia) who had 13 rebounds and 3 blocks. 

Courtesy of johnsonroyals.com

HomeOpinion

Opinion: It’s time to listen to one another

We are just coming out of the longest government shutdown in the history of our nation. We are already preparing for an election that is 21 months away. One need not look too far for hints of strong division already spewing from the candidates’ mouths. As of October 2018, 53 percent of Americans polled by the PEW Research center said it was “stressful and frustrating” to talk about politics with those who disagreed with them, which is up seven percent from March 2016. I’m not going to say Trump is the sole cause of all of this hate and division, but it would be hard to deny he is a factor.

It’s not hard to look at his twitter feed and see where he has been hateful and just downright rude. As I write this during the morning of the day of the State of the Union, Trump is already taking to twitter to bash Democrats and the media, two of his favorite targets. Hear me on this: Trump has the right to say these things, but we as Americans have an obligation and a duty to our great republic not to fall to his level. Especially those of us in the Church who have been called to something better than petty name calling and all of this hateful talk. It would be naive of me to say that I have been perfect at this. Those who know me know that I have been hateful and divisive with my own speech from time to time. However, lately it has been on my heart to change the words I use and exchange words of hate and divisiveness for love and unity. One of the key ways we all can become better at this is by listening to one another.

I’m talking to you, liberal, and to you, conservative. Instead of yelling at each other and saying that the other’s opinion shouldn’t be heard because you disagree or someone might be offended, why don’t you sit down and listen? You can order some pizza and peacefully discuss your opinion and honestly listen to each other. But don’t waste the opportunity. Earnestly try to understand where the other is coming from.

I’m talking to you, Christian, and to you, Muslim. You both have your own belief system. This is what we want in an open society like ours, but instead of bringing up various scriptures and doctrines to hurl back and forth at each other, why don’t you pull up a table next to the liberal and the conservative? Get yourself a slice of pizza, and civilly discuss your viewpoints and beliefs. I think you’ll learn more from each other than if you had been screaming back and forth for a couple of hours.

And, yes, I’m talking to you, President Trump, and I’m talking to you, everyone who disagrees with him. I personally see where you both come from (whether I agree or not with you is another matter). Are we hearing one another and debating or are we just sending angry tweets back and forth and screaming at each other without solving the problem? While you might need a slightly bigger table, pull up some chairs. Keep the pizza coming and LISTEN to each other. We cannot spend the next two years in the lead up to an important election in this state of disarray and division.

We cannot afford to spend anymore time running further away from each other. As Paul once wrote, “Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace.” Make every effort.

So, put away the executive orders for a second, lower the protest signs for just a little bit, and give one another a chance to present their arguments as to why they think what they are doing is right. Listen to each other and figure out how we, as the people and government of the United States of America, can live in peace and harmony with one another.

The time for this unnecessary violence, bigotry and division is over. It’s time to come together, everyone.

HomeNewsTennessee

19-year-old wins Knoxville’s Professional Bull Riders Velocity Tour

By  Mina Blaylock and Jenna Stahlman

KNOXVILLE     There was a full crowd for Saturday night’s Professional Bull Riders Velocity Tour’s stop in Knoxville at the Thompson-Boling Arena. Dylan Smith, a 19-year-old from Ararat, Va., wrangled in his first win of the season.

45 cowboys mounted bulls and competed to move onto the short round, in which the top ten scoring riders would compete for first place. Only 17 of the 45 riders in the long round met the required time of 8 seconds    the time necessary for a qualifying ride     for which the judges then award them points.

Smith rode ‘Switch Hitter’ in the long round for a ride score of 89 points, putting him at

Dylan Smith's 89 pt ride on Switch Hitter

Knoxville’s 2019 winner, Dylan Smith, during his 89 point ride on the bull, Switch Hitter.

the top of the leaderboard in the long round.

Smith’s ride was accompanied by the Tennessee favorite, ‘Rocky Top’. When asked what he thought about this song being played during his winning ride and if he’d seen a better crowd, Smith said he had not.

“This is the most fun I’ve had at a bull ride ever,” Smith said. “I’m just blessed to be here, for sure.”

There were no qualified rides in the short round, so the scores from the long round determined the night’s victors.

Smith left Knoxville with a check worth $6,400, as well as the opportunity to compete at one of PBR’s elite tour stops, in Los Angeles, on Feb. 22-23.

Ouncie Mitchell, a competitor from Fresno, Tx. , placed 2nd with an 88 point ride on ‘Last Chance’ . He received a check for $4,700.

Jason Mara of Cloncurry, Queensland, Australia, attained 87.5 points on ‘Blood Money’. He took home $3,000.

East Bernard, Tx. native Bryan Titman placed 4th with a ride worth 86.5 on ‘Striker’ and received a check for $2,000.

The top five winners were rounded off by Lindomar Lino of Anapolis, Brazil. He had an 86 point ride on ‘How Bout It’ and was awarded a check for $1,140.

4th place winner Bryan Titman said he enjoyed the competition in Knoxville.

“It was awesome,” Titman said. “The crowd was awesome. Y’all just filled the place in here. It’s phenomenal. It’s a blessing to be here.”

Knoxville’s hometown cowboy, Cody Clint Brewer, had a successful 82 point ride atop ‘Ring of Fire’ as his home crowd roared in the stands. He ranked 16th in the event overall.

The next stop for the PBR Pendleton Whisky Velocity Tour is in Edinburg, Tx. on Feb. 9.

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CultureHomeTennessee

Professional Bull Riders Velocity Tour returning to Knoxville

 

By Mina Blaylock and Jenna Stahlman

KNOXVILLE     Professional Bull Riders Velocity Tour will stop in Knoxville for the second year in a row, on Feb. 2, at the Thompson-Boling Arena. Bryan Titman, a bull rider in the PBR, is ready to compete in Knoxville.

bryantitman

Bryan Titman, PBR competitor.

Titman, a Texas native, was raised in a bull riding family with his dad and grandpa having competed in the sport. He turned down a football scholarship to pursue bull riding instead and said that he does not regret it.

“I don’t see myself getting any bigger and I’m a pretty small guy when it comes to muscle wise, so I didn’t feel like I wanted to get hit and lift a bunch of weights every day,” Titman said. “My dream was always to ride bulls so I figured I’d follow that one. Football, I just happened to be pretty good at, but it really wasn’t what I wanted to be.”
He said the most complicated aspect of bull riding is keeping your mind clear and focused.

“The most difficult is your head,” Titman said. “You can’t get through it without your head… You’re not gonna make it very far. Your head’s a big thing in bull riding.”
Titman said he hopes to win the event in Knoxville, but he is also excited just to compete there once again.

“I mean, I’m excited to be there,” Titman said. “I just love Tennessee. Texas born – Tennessee couldn’t get any better.”
The tour’s stop in Knoxville will mark a little over two weeks since the death of Mason Lowe. Lowe was a competitor in the Velocity Tour. He was bucked off of a bull, and then stepped on, at the PBR event in Denver on January 15. He later died at the Denver Health Medical Centre due to the injuries.

Titman said that this loss does affect those who competed with and knew Lowe.
“It’s a bit rough but he wouldn’t want us to be down and low,” Titman said. “He’d always been a happy person so he’d like us to just keep spurring and doing the riding for him, so that’s what we want to continue to do and just push forward. It’s a sad day but we all know what we what we gotta do just to push on, and just thank him, and he won’t be forgotten.”

This one night event will be held at the Thompson-Boling Arena on Feb. 2 at 7 p.m. The doors will open at 6 p.m. Tickets for the event can be purchased here.