Local players advance to semifinals of USSSA World Series

ORLANDO, Fla. — The Everett Maxey Majors baseball team advanced to the semifinals of the USSSA Boys 12-and-under Major Elite World Series Friday.

Pine Bluff’s Kam’ron Hunt and Redfield’s Devon Koonce and Ollie Reddick are members of the team.

EM Majors, out of Bentonville, will play the Arkansas Mighty Ducks, out of Russellville, at 8 a.m. for a spot in the championship game at noon. The semifinal will be streamed live at www.usssalive.com, while the final will be streamed live on ESPN3.com.


Jeter returns to DL with quad strain

BOSTON — Derek Jeter’s 2013 season is back on hold after just one game.

The New York Yankees announced on Friday that they have placed the former All- Star shortstop on the disabled list because of a Grade 1 right quad strain.

The move is retroactive to July 12, one day after Jeter suffered the injury in his season debut against the Kansas City Royals. He went 1-for-4 in the contest as the designated hitter, connecting on a single in his first at-bat before going from first to third on a Robinson Cano base hit. He then scored on a sacrifice fly and also drove in a run in the 8-4 victory.

However, the 39-year-old was pulled for a pinch-runner in the eighth inning due to what was initially called a tight right quad. An MRI revealed the strain.

Jeter had missed the first three-plus months of the season while recovering from a fractured left ankle suffered during last year’s AL Championship Series against Detroit.

NHL players to participate in Sochi Olympics

NEW YORK — The NHL announced Friday that an agreement has been reached with the International Ice Hockey Federation to send its players to the 2014 Olympic Winter Games in Sochi, Russia.

The league will take a break from its schedule on Feb. 9 and resume play on Feb. 26.

“The National Hockey League features the most international player population in professional sports, and our outstanding athletes take tremendous pride in representing their homelands on the global stage,” NHL commissioner Gary Bettman said in a statement. “The decision to participate in the XXII Olympic Winter Games in Sochi was in many ways a difficult one, but one that we know will be well received by our players and, most importantly, by the vast majority of our fans and sports fans everywhere.”

The NHL has been sending players to the Olympics since the Nagano Games in 1998.

“The players are very pleased that an agreement has been reached that will allow the world’s best hockey players to compete at the Winter Games in February,” NHLPA executive director Don Fehr said in a statement. “Having the opportunity to wear their nation’s sweater in Sochi is something the players look forward to.”


Costa wins Stage 19 as Froome maintains Tour lead

LE GRAND-BORNAND, France — Portugal’s Rui Alberto Costa won Stage 19 of the Tour de France on Friday, while Britain’s Chris Froome maintained the overall lead amid rainy conditions.

Costa claimed his second mountain stage at this year’s event with a solo breakaway on the final climb of Col de la Croix Fry. Costa, who was the first to reach the finish line in Gap on Tuesday, completed the 204.5-kilometer trek from Bourg d’Oisans to Le Grand-Bornand in five hours, 59 minutes and one second.

German Andreas Kloden was second, 48 seconds behind, and Belgian Jan Bakelants was 1:44 back in third. Froome and his main competitor, two-time Tour champion Alberto Contador, finished together roughly nine minutes behind Costa.

Froome kept his advantage of 5:11 over the Spaniard and is closing in on becoming the second British rider to win the race after Bradley Wiggins’ triumph last year.

Saturday’s 20th stage is another mountain journey before the traditional Sunday finish along the Champs Elysees in Paris.