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The Canadian Bronco picks up the sticks again

The Canadian Bronco picks up the sticks again

by Tom Scott

Bio | Follow: @thescottslant


Posted on June 20, 2013 at 7:23 AM

Thursday, June 20, 2013.

I ran though this on Sunday Sports Extra during Graham DeLaet’s vacation week—I’ll do it again as DeLaet gets back into action today at the Travelers Championship in Crowell, CT.  The former Boise State star professes to be fresh after his two-week stay at home in Meridian, and he’s on the cusp of a couple season and career milestones.  DeLaet has played 16 tournaments this year and has made the cut in 13 of them, pacing way ahead of any of his previous three seasons on the PGA Tour.  He he has three top 10 finishes—he has tied for ninth twice, at Torrey Pines and at the Honda Classic.  There’s one facet of DeLaet’s game that has carried him: hitting greens in regulation.  He leads the PGA Tour in that category at 72 percent.  And he is $66,413 away from hitting the $1 million mark in season earnings at the earliest point in his career.

Speaking of DeLaet’s career, he's on quite the upward trajectory on the PGA Tour.  He's made the cut in 47 of his 71 events and has nine top 10 finishes since first getting his tour card in 2010.  DeLaet's best finish was in his rookie season three years ago, a tie for third at the Shell Houston Open.  That was also his biggest payday--$336,000—and he did it a month after missing five straight cuts.  The impressive thing about the Weyburn, Saskatchewan, native is the incredible rebound he's made after missing virtually all of the 2011 season with a back injury.  As for the other milestone DeLaet’s closing in on, he’s $36,107 away from $3 million in winnings for his career.

Just another year at the office for Boise State football.  Earlier this spring Athlon Sports, publisher of one of the top college football preseason magazines, picked the Broncos as the No. 11 team in the country.  Yet Boise State placed just two players on Athlon’s All-Mountain West first team released yesterday, defensive end Demarcus Lawrence and offensive tackle Charles Leno Jr.  That’s the way it often goes for the Broncos.  It’s the sum of their parts that makes them tick.

College football blogger Jerry Hinnen of reports that an offshore betting site called 5Dimes has gotten down to the decimal points on its odds in the Mountain West race this season.  Boise State is the favorite at 1.10-to-1.  That means you’d reap $1.10 on a one-dollar bet on the Broncos.  The 5Dimes site puts Fresno State at 2.55-to-1, and then it drops off.  San Jose State sits at 8.60 (that seems a bit low), San Diego State 9.75 (that seems a bit high), Utah State 10.00, Nevada 17.00, Air Force 23.00, Wyoming 45.00, Colorado State 65.00, UNLV 85.00, New Mexico 90.00, and Hawaii 125.00. 

Yasiel Balaguert’s batting average is fair, but his clutch hitting is fairly stellar.  The Boise Hawks outfielder is hitting .261 while amassing a Northwest League-leading nine runs batted in over the first six games of the season.  Balaguert singled in the Hawks’ first two runs last night in the fourth inning, and that was all Boise needed in a 5-1 win over Salem-Keizer.  It was the Hawks’ first home win of the 2013 campaign.  For the season, the Hawks are just 10-for-60 with runners in scoring position, but Balaguert has four of the hits.  Boise pitching got healthy last night as James Pugliese notched his second win in his second start.  Pugliese finally allowed his first run, an inside-the-park homer by the Volcanoes’ Jeremy Sy.  The Hawks go back on the road now for a five-game series beginning tonight in Spokane.

In early May, College of Idaho junior Hillary Holt became the first Coyote  runner to qualify for the U.S. Outdoor Track and Field Championships in program history, using a big final lap to defeat a star-studded field in the 1,500-meters in the Oregon Twilight at Hayward Field.  Now the big stage is here, as Holt runs in the national meet this afternoon against 16 other athletes in the second of two first-round heats in Des Moines, IA.  Holt, the two-time defending NAIA champion in the 1500 out of Mountain View High, has the seventh-fastest time among qualifiers in her heat (the 4:11.62 she ran in Eugene).

Five-time defending national 800-meters champion Nick Symmonds also competes in the first round of his event this afternoon.  Symmonds, the Bishop Kelly grad, ran a 1:45.40 in his last major race, the Prefontaine Classic in Eugene, finishing third.  That time is 2½ seconds off his personal best, the 1:42.95 he ran at the 2012 Summer Olympics.  Symmonds said at the time of the Pre Classic he had hadn’t done any specific training for the 800 this year.  I imagine he has now.  Meanwhile, Boise State’s Jordin Andrade runs his first heat in the 400-meter hurdles this afternoon. 

The Idaho Steelheads can put their 2013-14 schedule on the calendar now, as it was released yesterday by the ECHL.  The 72-game slate begins October 18 when the Steelheads visit Utah.  Seems they open against the Grizzlies every year.  The home opener is October 23 versus the San Francisco Bulls.  There are always quirks on ECHL schedules.  The Steelies’ most common opponents are Utah (12 games), the Alaska Aces (11), and the Bakersfield Condors (11).  Those three opponents account for almost half of Idaho’s schedule.  And Bakersfield isn’t even in the same division.

This Day In Sports…June 20, 1993, 20 years ago today:

John Paxson’s three-pointer with 3.9 seconds left holds up for a 99-98 Chicago win in Game 6 of the NBA Finals.  With the victory the Bulls complete their first three-peat by beating the Phoenix Suns, four games to two.  Michael Jordan averaged a Finals record 41 points a game, but no one realized it would be Jordan’s final game prior to his first retirement.  Jordan left for an ill-fated attempt at baseball in the Chicago White Sox organization before returning to the Bulls almost two years later.

(Tom Scott hosts the Scott Slant segment Sunday nights at 10:30PM on KTVB’s Sunday Sports Extra and anchors five sports segments each weekday on 93.1 The Ticket.  He also served as color commentator on KTVB’s telecasts of Boise State football for 14 seasons.)