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Petit's clutch relief carries Giants bullpen again

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) Yusmeiro Petit bounced off the mound pumping his fists and shouting "Let's go!" The right-hander from Venezuela certainly has found his swagger this October as a lights-out long man who delivers in the clutch game after game, inning after inning. He did it again Saturday night for the San Francisco Giants, pitching three scoreless innings of relief against the Kansas City Royals in an 11-4 victory that tied the World Series at two games apiece. Petit came oh-so-close to throwing a perfect game in 2013 - now he's a perfect 3-0 this postseason. He entered in the fourth inning of Game 4 with the Giants trailing 4-2 and held Kansas City in check while his teammates rallied. "I know my job is very important because I have to hold them and allow our hitters to come back," Petit said. "In every round I feel more and more confident." The unsung star of the San Francisco pitching staff keeps adding memorable moments to a breakout season that's made him one of the game's most versatile arms. Even if much of the baseball world might struggle to pronounce his first and last name (use-MARE-o peh-TEET), he's sure making a name for himself this month. Ryan Vogelsong's short night meant a long one for the San Francisco bullpen. And it worked out fine, thanks to another gutsy performance by Petit and his fellow relievers. Petit has thrown 12 scoreless innings of relief over three postseason outings this year. He has allowed four hits and struck out 13. Pretty dominant numbers for a pitcher who was left out of the playoff rotation. This is the same guy who already set a major league record this season by retiring 46 consecutive batters over eight appearances, six in relief, from July 22 to Aug. 28. Moved into the rotation in late August to replace struggling right-hander Tim Lincecum, the 29-year-old Petit has dazzled almost every time he has taken the mound in his first postseason. Petit showed signs of this a year ago, when he carried a bid for a perfect game into the ninth inning against Arizona before allowing a two-out single on Sept. 6, 2013. "He's a guy who was not a lot of expectations when he came onto the team a couple years ago," Giants CEO Larry Baer said. "He exemplifies the heart of the team. He has his role. He never complains about not starting or anything. He just takes the ball and performs in a heartfelt way." On Saturday, Petit allowed two hits and struck out a pair of Royals. Well after the game ended, he returned to the field to snap a few photos. "Petit comes in and does what he always does," Vogelsong said. Petit became the first relief pitcher to win three games in one postseason while going at least three innings in each appearance and not allowing a run. He even came through at the plate with a surprising single, making him the first Giants reliever with a hit in the World Series since Slick Castleman in 1936, according to STATS. In all, the Giants got three singles, a run and a walk out of the No. 9 spot in their order. On a pitching staff with stars like Madison Bumgarner, Jake Peavy and Tim Hudson, Petit has more than hung tough each time manager Bruce Bochy calls his number. Giants closer Santiago Casilla jokes with Petit about teaching him how to better his fastball. "We joke: `How do you throw your fastball down and away? I want to do that, too,"' Casilla said. "He's unbelievable." Petit entered in the 12th inning of a 2-1, 18-inning win at Washington in Game 2 of the NL Division Series and threw six shutout innings, allowing one hit and striking out seven for the win. "That game in Washington gave me a lot of confidence. It was a difficult situation, but I did it," he said. Petit pitched three more scoreless innings out of the bullpen to win Game 4 of the NLCS against the Cardinals. And while Bochy might have let Vogelsong's short leash run a bit too long Saturday night, Petit's brilliance on the big stage made it a moot point. "You can't overstate how important he's been to us," catcher Buster Posey said. "He's expected to go in and pitch three, four, five innings, sometimes less. You don't know when it's going to be. He's got to be ready every game. For him to stay sharp, if he can be a stopper out of the `pen, he's been that for us."

Sun, 26 Oct 2014 05:44:00 +0000
No. 24 LSU upends No.3 Mississippi, 10-7

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) Bo Wallace's pass was intercepted by Ronald Martin in the final seconds, and No. 3 Mississippi lost for the first time this season, 10-7 to 24th-ranked LSU on Saturday night. Ole Miss was lining up for a potential tying field goal from 42 yards, but was called for delay of game. So the Rebels decided to run a play instead and Wallace threw his first interception in a Southeastern Conference game this season. Soon after, fans were streaming onto the Tiger Stadium field. Leonard Fournette ran for 113 yards, and LSU (7-2, 3-2) finished with 264 yards rushing against defense that came in allowing 97.1 per game. Anthony Jennings' short touchdown pass to tight end Logan Stokes gave LSU the lead late in the fourth quarter. Mississippi (7-1, 4-1) led most of the way, but mainly because LSU turned the ball over four times and missed a short field goal.

Sun, 26 Oct 2014 03:07:00 +0000
DT McCoy signs 7-year deal with Bucs

Defensive tackle Gerald McCoy has signed a seven-year extension with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers worth $98 million, making McCoy the highest-paid player at his position. McCoy, a 2013 All-Pro, will get $51.5 million guaranteed, the most ever given to a defensive tackle in NFL history. His new deal will average $14 million per year. Including his current salary for 2014, McCoy would make $111 million over the eight-year period. The deal was concluded Saturday by McCoy's agent, Ben Dogra, and Buccaneers general manager Jason Licht. "Gerald is extremely excited to remain with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and he is especially thankful to Bucs owners, coaches, and Jason Licht for working so hard throughout the process," Dogra said. McCoy is in his fifth NFL season and comes off his best year, when he had 9 1-2 sacks and 35 tackles. He is considered the anchor of Tampa Bay's rebuilding defense. The Buccaneers (1-5) have struggled this year, allowing 204 points, the most in the league. But McCoy is among the league's best defensive tackles, often drawing double teams. He has played part of this season with a cast on his broken left hand. Now, McCoy has long-term security in Tampa and can begin working on getting the Bucs into the postseason, something he has never experienced. "That's eating away at me, man," the 6-foot-4, 300-pound McCoy said this summer. "I do all this training and preparing, trying to do what I can for my team for us to get to the playoffs. I just want to experience it." --- AP NFL website: www.pro32.ap.org and www.twitter.com/AP-NFL

Sun, 26 Oct 2014 03:08:00 +0000
No. 13 Ohio State beats Penn State 31-24 in 2OT

STATE COLLEGE, Pa. (AP) Quarterback J.T. Barrett scored twice in overtime to help No. 13 Ohio State escape with a 31-24 double-overtime victory over Penn State on Saturday night. The Buckeyes (6-1, 3-0 Big Ten) built a 17-0 lead and were cruising when Penn State defensive tackle Anyhony Zettel intercepted Barrett's pass and returned it 40 yards for a touchdown in the third quarter. Christian Hackenberg threw a 24-yard touchdown pass to Saeed Blacknall early in the fourth, and Penn State (4-3, 1-3) tied it on Sam Ficken's 31-yard field goal with 9 seconds left in regulation. In the first overtime, Penn State tailback Bill Belton took a direct snap from the Wildcat formation and scored on a 10-yard run. The Buckeyes countered when Barrett carried two straight times, the first for 17 yards and the second 5 yards for a touchdown. Penn State was called for a personal foul on the touchdown, giving Ohio State the ball at the 12 to start the second overtime. With a third-and-2 from the 4, Barrett powered through the middle of Penn State's defense for a touchdown. Joey Bosa sacked Penn State's Hackenberg on a fourth-and-5 play to end the game. Ezekiel Elliott ran for 109 yards on 26 carries for Ohio State, and Barrett added 75 yards on 20 attempts. The Buckeyes have won five straight games and 19 in a row in the conference. Hackenberg was 31 of 49 for 224 yards and a touchdown. DaeSean Hamilton set a Penn State record with 14 catches for 126 yards.

Sun, 26 Oct 2014 04:44:00 +0000
Cooper leads No. 4 Alabama past Tennessee, 34-20

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (AP) Amari Cooper caught nine passes for a school-record 224 yards and scored two touchdowns to help No. 4 Alabama beat Tennessee 34-20 on Saturday night for its eighth consecutive victory in the series. This game marked a return to Neyland Stadium for Alabama offensive coordinator Lane Kiffin, who coached Tennessee in 2009 and angered Volunteers fans by leaving for Southern California after only one season. Kiffin's offense produced touchdowns on four of its first five series - including Cooper's 80-yard touchdown catch on Alabama's first play from scrimmage - as the Crimson Tide (7-1, 4-1 SEC) raced to a 27-0 lead. Tennessee (3-5, 0-4) got back into the game thanks to quarterback Joshua Dobbs, who provided a spark after entering the game on Tennessee's third possession. Dobbs helped the Vols cut the lead to 27-17 in the third quarter before Alabama's Derrick Henry stopped Tennessee's momentum with a 28-yard touchdown run. Cooper's 224 yards receiving broke the school single-game record set by Julio Jones, who had 221 yards receiving in a 41-10 victory over Tennessee in 2010. By the end of the first quarter, Cooper already had five catches for 185 yards and two touchdowns. The biggest suspense leading into the game was how the sellout crowd of 102,455 would treat Kiffin. As fans tailgated before the game, a plane flew overhead with the message "Go Vols Beat Kiffin." One banner hanging from a parking garage featured Tennessee coach Butch Jones' face along with the message "Lane Kiffin? Never Heard of Her." At a rock on campus where students often paint various messages, the faces of Jones and Kiffin were featured with the word "future" by Jones and a crude remark next to Kiffin. Hours before the opening kickoff, all references to Kiffin on the rock were blacked out. Alabama's team arrived at Neyland Stadium amid heavy security, but about 80 percent of the 1,000 or so fans who gathered to watch Alabama's players and coaches step off the team bus were Tide supporters. A few of them screamed "Lane" as Kiffin headed into the locker room. Kiffin's offense wasted no time making an impact. On Alabama's first play from scrimmage, Cooper caught a short pass from Blake Sims, ran to his right and raced 80 yards down the Tide sideline. Cooper reached the end zone again on Alabama's second series with a 41-yard reception down the left sideline. He added a 30-yard catch on Alabama's third series to set up T.J. Yeldon's 1-yard touchdown run. Alabama gained 249 yards and scored three touchdowns on its first three possessions. Tennessee didn't go away thanks to its own surprisingly potent offense. The Vols entered the night having failed to score a touchdown in their last two SEC games, and they had to face Alabama without three injured starters: Worley, left guard Marcus Jackson and right tackle Coleman Thomas. But the Vols moved the ball effectively behind Dobbs, who threw for 192 yards and two touchdowns while also rushing for 75 yards on 19 carries. Nathan Peterman actually opened the game as Tennessee's quarterback, but Dobbs came on midway through the first quarter and stayed the rest of the way. Tennessee scored 10 points in the final 7:03 of the first half to cut Alabama's lead to 27-10. Dobbs threw a 9-yard touchdown pass to Josh Malone and got the Vols into range for Aaron Medley's 27-yard field goal on the final play of the half. After Dobbs capped Tennessee's first drive of the second half with a 9-yard touchdown pass to Von Pearson, a 27-point deficit was all the way down to 10. But that's as close as Tennessee would get.

Sun, 26 Oct 2014 03:14:00 +0000