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Thursday, June 12, 2014.

The initial Boise Hawks roster released Monday did not include any of the new 2014 Cubs draft picks. But there s one now the biggest one of all. The draft s No. 4 overall pick, catcher Kyle Schwarber out of Indiana, has signed with Chicago and has already reported to Boise. Schwarber took one for the team, signing for far less than the money slotted for that high a draft choice. His $3.125 million bonus was about $1.5 million below the value assigned to the fourth overall pick, providing the Cubs some financial flexibility in signing later-round picks. Schwarber has what many say was the best bat in the draft, but baseball afficionados are anxious to see him behind the plate. He was one of the best defensive college catchers in the country this year, throwing out 37 percent of attempted basestealers. Schwarber could also try the outfield.

With Schwarber come some expectations, naturally. But he shouldn t be judged on his box score line from his professional debut tomorrow night versus Tri-City. If you recall Kris Bryant s first game in Boise, you ll see that s an understatement. Bryant, the highest draft pick ever to play here, made his Hawks debut on July 23 last year. The No. 2 overall selection in the 2013 draft would like to forget it. Bryant went 0-for-5 and struck out all five times. Then he caught fire, and this season he s tearing up the Southern League. There s a clamoring for the Cubs to call him up to the majors.

Beyond Schwarber, it s not the peach-fuzzed Hawks squad you usually see on Opening Night. This is probably the oldest and most experienced club we ve had in Boise, said manager Gary Van Tol, reflecting on his years as a member of the Hawks staff. There are nine players with prior Boise experience. We can lean on those guys for some leadership that s difficult to get from first or second-year players, Van Tol said.

The headline in the Toronto Star reads, Graham DeLaet looks to make Canada proud at U.S. Open. That tells you about DeLaet s place in the Canadian sports landscape. The former Boise State star makes his Open debut today, teeing off at 11:30 a.m. on the famed Pinehurst No. 2 course. DeLaet is the only golfer from north of the border in the field this week, so he s feeling the weight of a nation. But DeLaet understands the need to be relaxed. He has told caddie Julien Trudeau to bring him back from the edge if the smile is gone from his face. I told Julien there are going to be times when I make a couple of bogeys in a row or I ve had a bad stretch, said DeLaet in the Star. If he sees it in me that I m not having fun, to remind me to have fun, that this is the U.S. Open, said DeLaet. The only way you can enjoy this is to try to make the most of it.

The U.S. Open will give DeLaet a grand slam of participation, as he has played the British Open, PGA Championship and Masters in succession since last summer. In July, DeLaet made the cut at the British but finished 19 over par. At the PGA in August he missed the cut after a six-over 76 in the second round. And a disastrous eight-over 80 in the first round led to an early exit at the Masters in April. But otherwise, DeLaet has been riding high. In 26 starts this season, he has logged 12 top-25 finishes, seven of them in the top-10.

Boise State s Marisa Howard has qualified for the finals of the women s 3,000-meter steeplechase at the NCAA Outdoor Track and Field Championships in Eugene. Howard finished fourth in the semifinals last night at legendary Hayward Field with a school record 9:58.45, less than five seconds behind the leader, Rachel Sorna of Cornell. The Broncos Hayli Bozarth, meanwhile, was 22nd in the women s hammer throw.

Tonight Emma Bates takes the track in Eugene as one of the favorites in the 10,000-meters she runs the 5,000-meters Saturday. Bates, still just a junior, has become the face of track and field at Boise State as the most decorated athlete in the sport in school history. She finished third in the 10,000 and seventh in the 5,000 last year at nationals. Earlier this season Bates ran the 12th-fastest 10,000m time in collegiate history at Stanford s Payton Jordan Invitational with a 32:20.83.

Sprinkled among the attendees of Boise State s Elite Football Camp this week are a bunch of prospective 2015 (and 2016 and 2017, for that matter) recruits. I have no idea whether my nephews are considered part of that group, but they re here from Alaska for the camp. Clayton Washburn is the senior starting quarterback at East High School in Anchorage, and Carson Washburn, also a quarterback, is going into his sophomore year. Carson is 6-3 and pushing 200 pounds already. He ll at least get noticed.

Boise State is a third of the way to filling its first football All-Access Clinic for men next Wednesday night. That s not bad for a first-time event, but the staff would like to fill it up, so the price has been lowered to $375. There are only 150 spots available, allowing for one-on-one X s-and-O s time with Bronco coaches, plus food, a social hour, the full recruiting experience and a look at the inner workings of the program inside the Bleymaier Football Center. Oh, and an authentic game-worn Bronco jersey.

It has already become a major summer event. The North Fork Championship III takes over that famous Class V stretch of the Payette River today through Saturday. Expert division kayakers kick off the event with a three-mile downriver race today down the North Fork s Jacob s Ladder and its monstrous features, including Ocean Wave, Rock Drop, Taffey Puller and Golf Course. This contest is an all-out sprint with no gates and no judges. The top five finishers will be wild card entries into the Elite downriver race on Saturday. Tomorrow s highlight is a BoaterX race down S-Turn rapid on the North Fork. It ll be wild, with six heats of 10 paddlers apiece.

This Day In Sports...June 12, 1997:

In a drastic but long-awaited departure for a tradition-governed sport, the San Francisco Giants beat the Texas Rangers, 4-3, in the first regular-season interleague game in Major League Baseball history. A sellout crowd at Arlington watched Nolan Ryan and Willie Mays throw out ceremonial first pitches before the game, which started two hours earlier than three other interleague games that night. Now, of course, there are interleague games every day of the season.

(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.)

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