PITTSBURGH (AP) — The National League Central is providing Major League Baseball with a needed dose of pennant fever. All five teams are separated by just 4 1/2 games coming out of the All-Star break. The other five divisions have at least a 5 1/2-game gap between first and second. Chicago Cubs manager Joe Maddon says the division is tight because all five teams are trying to win. That includes upstart Cincinnati and resilient Pittsburgh, which are in the thick of the race with the Cubs, Milwaukee and St. Louis.
IRVING, Texas (AP) — Oklahoma is the favorite to win another Big 12 football title, according to the conference’s preseason media poll. The Sooners have won the league the last four years and 12 Big 12 championships overall. Texas was picked second by media covering the league. The top two teams meet in the conference championship game on Dec. 7. The Longhorns lost to the Sooners in the title matchup in 2018. The preseason rankings had Iowa State, TCU and Oklahoma State rounding out the top five.
LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) — The longtime coach of the Nebraska softball team has been placed on administrative leave while school officials address concerns raised by or about players. The athletic department declined to detail what led to the action against Rhonda Revelle, saying it was a personnel matter. The department released a statement saying that administrators “take seriously any concerns raised regarding our student athletes.” Attempts to reach Revelle were unsuccessful.
UNDATED (AP) — Matthew Wolff made a name for himself by winning the 3M Open in his fourth PGA Tour start after turning pro. The 20-year-old who starred at Oklahoma State will try to make it two in a row this weekend at the John Deere Classic. Wolff was the tour’s youngest winner since Jordan Spieth won at TPC Deere Run at age 19 in 2013. And like Spieth, he’s being hyped as a future star as he arrives in the Quad Cities.