"Big Dog" keys Meteors victory over St. Rita


"Big Dog" keys Meteors victory over St. Rita

Friday, Dec. 3, 2010
11:00 PM

By Michael O'Brien

De La Salle senior Dre Henley calls him "the big dog," but sophomore Alvin Ellis is not supposed to be one of the Meteors' key weapons this season.

Henley, Illinois recruit Mike Shaw and highly-touted sophomore Alex Foster own those roles.

But it was Ellis, the youngest starter on the team, who stepped up and carried the load in No. 5 De La Salle's 67-60 Catholic League North win at St. Rita on Friday.

Shaw was hampered by foul trouble throughout the game. He finished with six points and three rebounds and fouled out with 2:40 left in the game.

"Most people probably wouldn't have expected us to win with Mike putting up those numbers," Ellis said.

Ellis scored 20 and grabbed seven rebounds and scored four in the 9-0 fourth-quarter run that sealed the win.

"I know everyone is criticizing our guards and saying we are too young and inexperienced," Ellis said. "So it's good to be able to step up and help the team get a big win."

De La Salle's young backcourt had plenty of trouble with St. Rita's full-court press. The Meteors (5-0, 1-0) turned the ball over 26 times, which kept the Mustangs hanging around until the fourth quarter.

"We're still getting used to playing with each other," Henley said. "It's still early, that was the first big game of the season."

Henley, who returned to De La Salle after spending last season at Brehm Prep in Carbondale, scored 16 and grabbed nine rebounds.

"It was good to be back," Henley said. "We played last week but this was my first game back in Chicago."

Foster, a 6-7 soph, is developing a significant post game. He finished with 11 points and 11 rebounds, including a tomahawk slam on a fast break late in the third quarter that helped turn the momentum the Meteors' way.

St. Rita is playing without its best player, junior AJ Avery who suffered a hand injury four weeks ago. According to coach Gary DeCesare, Avery will see the doctor on Tuesday and could return relatively soon.

The emergence of freshman Dominique Matthews (21 points) has helped the Mustangs stay competitive. Tony Hicks and Cullen Foulks each added 10 points for St. Rita (2-2, 0-1).

Indians embrace potentially hostile Wrigley Field conditions for Game 3

Indians embrace potentially hostile Wrigley Field conditions for Game 3

With the city drunk on Cubs fever, the Cleveland Indians expect to face hostile conditions when storied Wrigley Field hosts its first World Series game since 1945 on Friday.

But Indians manager Terry Francona said the potential for an unreceptive atmosphere shouldn’t intimidate his club. Francona said Thursday that the makeup of the Indians, a group flush with veterans and and confident young stars, should help the team manage itself in the potentially Unfriendly Confines in Game 3 of the 2016 World Series. Josh Tomlin faces the Cubs Kyle Hendricks in the contest, which begins at 7:08 p.m. CST.

“It will be a tremendous atmosphere,” Francona said. “I don’t think there’s going to be a ton of people cheering for us. But then that’s where it comes in the feeling in the clubhouse because it is going to be us against the world (Friday), but us is pretty good. We have a good feeling. Everybody in there protects everybody else and takes care of everybody else.”

Wrigley Field promises to offer a surreal setting on Friday.

 The Cubs have never played a game this late in the calendar year and they haven’t been to this far in the postseason for several generations.

Fans were lined up for the Cubby Bear as early as 5 a.m. and other local watering holes reached full capacity 4-5 hours before first pitch with patrons paying ridiculous cover charges just to be able to watch the game live from Wrigleyville.

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Still, Cleveland isn’t unprepared for insane playing conditions. The Indians won their only game at always electric Fenway Park in the American League Division Series and then emerged victorious in two of three games at the insanely loud Rogers Centre in front of crowds of 49,507 and 48,800. Veteran first baseman Mike Napoli said he hoped the Indians might face the Cubs in the World Series just so he could experience Wrigley Field in October.

“It's a park you want to come to and play,” Napoli said. “I watched when they clinched to go to the World Series and how crazy it was and seeing the fans in the streets where they had to have police escorts. You could just see the crowd just part ways.

“So it's going to be fun. It's something that I wanted to be a part of, and thought that it would be an unbelievable World Series.”

White Sox claim former top outfield prospect Rymer Liriano off waivers

White Sox claim former top outfield prospect Rymer Liriano off waivers

The White Sox announced on Friday they have claimed outfielder Rymer Liriano off waivers from the Milwaukee Brewers.

Liriano, a former Top 50 prospect by both Baseball America and Baseball Prospectus, missed the entire 2016 season after suffering multiple facial fractures when he was hit in the face by a pitch during a spring a spring training game on March 20.

The 25-year-old Liriano had a brief stint in the majors with the San Diego Padres in 2014 in which he had a .220/.289/.266 slash line with one homer, six RBI and four stolen bases in 38 games.

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Liriano has a career minor-league slash line of .277/.350/.435 with 68 home runs, 378 RBI and 190 stolen bases in seven seasons. Liriano was named the Midwest League Most Valuable Player in 2011 and earned midseason All-Star honors in 2011, 2012 and 2014.

With the move, the White Sox 40-man roster now stands at 40.