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CERCLA notification requirement delayed

By on December 17, 2019

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest The EPA announced that farms with continuous hazardous substance releases as defined by Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act (CERCLA) do not have to submit their initial continuous release notification until the DC Circuit Court of Appeals issues its order, or mandate, enforcing the Court’s opinion from April 11, 2017. While it appears the reports will be required some time, producers may wait to file after the Court has entered its order, at which time we can expect EPA to provide a filing “deadline.” We also expect that the EPA will  utilize this additional time to bring more clarity to the emissions data and calculations producers should rely upon for determining whether they are subject to CERCLA air emissions reporting.The law requires entities to report releases of hazardous substances above a certain threshold that occur within a 24-hour period. Farms have historically been exempt from most reporting under CERCLA, but in the spring of 2017 the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit struck down the rule that allowed reporting exemptions for farms. Farmers and operators, especially of sizeable animal operations that are likely to have larger air emissions, need to understand the reporting responsibilities. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has published interim guidance to assist farms with the new compliance obligations. The following summarizes the agency’s guidance.What substances to reportThe EPA specifically names ammonia and hydrogen sulfide as two hazardous substances commonly associated with animal wastes that will require emissions reporting. Each substance has a reportable quantity of 100 pounds. If a farm releases 100 pounds or more of either substance to the air within a 24-hour period, the owner or operator must notify the National Response Center. A complete list of hazardous substances and their corresponding reportable quantities is here.Note that farmers do not have to report emissions from the application of manure, and fertilizers to crops or the handling, storage and application of pesticides registered under federal law. However, a farmer must report any spills or accidents involving these substances when they exceed the reportable quantity.How to reportUnder CERCLA, farm owners and operators have two compliance options — to report each release or to follow the continuous release reporting process:• For an individual release that meets or exceeds the reportable quantity for the hazardous substance, an owner or operator must immediately notify the National Response Center (NRC) by phone at 1-800-424-8802. • Continuous release reporting allows the owner or operator to file an “initial continuous release notification” to the NRC and the EPA Regional Office for releases that will be continuous and stable in quantity and rate. Essentially, this puts the authorities “continuously” on notice that there will be emissions from the operation within a certain estimated range. If the farm has a statistically significant increase such as a change in the number of animals on the farm or a significant change in the release information, the farm must notify the NRC immediately. Otherwise, the farm must file a one year anniversary report with the EPA Regional Office to verify and update the emissions information and must annually review emissions from the farm.  No reporting required under EPCRAThe litigation that led to CERCLA reporting also challenged the farm exemption from reporting for the Emergency Planning and Community Right to Know Act (EPCRA). EPRCRA section 304 requires facilities at which a hazardous chemical is produced, used or stored to report releases of reportable quantities from the chemicals. However, EPA explains in a statement issued on October 25, 2017 that the statute excludes substances used in “routine agricultural operations” from the definition of hazardous chemicals. EPCRA doesn’t define “routine agricultural operations,” so EPA states that it interprets the term to include regular and routine operations at farms, animal feeding operations, nurseries, other horticultural operations and aquaculture and a few examples of substances used in routine operations include animal waste stored on a farm and used as fertilizer, paint used for maintaining farm equipment, fuel used to operate machine or heat buildings and chemicals used for growing and breeding fish and plans for aquaculture. As a result of this EPA interpretation, most farms and operations do not have to report emissions under EPCRA. More information on EPA’s interpretation of EPCRA reporting for farms is here.Note that the EPA is seeking comments and suggestions on the resources the agency is providing or should provide to assist farm owners and operators with meeting the new reporting obligations. Those who wish to comment should do so by November 24, 2017 by sending an e-mail to [email protected] more information regarding the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA) section 103, visit EPA release: CERCLA and EPCRA Reporting Requirements for Air Releases of Hazardous Substances from Animal Waste at Farmslast_img read more

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Report: Chelsea 4 Watford 2

By on November 16, 2019

first_imgChelsea 4 Watford 2: Batshuayi, Azpilicueta spare champions’ blushes Joe Wright Last updated 2 years ago 21:33 10/21/17 michy batshuayi - cropped Getty Images Antonio Conte breathed a sigh of relief after Chelsea came from behind to snatch a 4-2 win over Watford. Cesar Azpilicueta and Michy Batshuayi proved Chelsea’s heroes as they battled to a thrilling 4-2 win over Watford at Stamford Bridge on Saturday.Batshuayi came off the bench to make it 2-2, with Watford having led for much of the second half through Abdoulaye Doucoure and Roberto Pereyra, before Azpilicueta and the Belgium international secured the win in the dying minutes.The result came on the back of consecutive defeats for the Premier League champions and the pressure on boss Conte is likely to ease somewhat, with the Blues registering only their second win in five league games. Article continues below Editors’ Picks Lyon treble & England heartbreak: The full story behind Lucy Bronze’s dramatic 2019 Liverpool v Man City is now the league’s biggest rivalry and the bitterness is growing Megan Rapinoe: Born & brilliant in the U.S.A. A Liverpool legend in the making: Behind Virgil van Dijk’s remarkable rise to world’s best player Chelsea started the match in stunning style as Pedro’s wonderstrike, the 8000th goal scored in the club’s 112-year history, put them ahead in the 12th minute.Watford, who had claimed 10 points out of 12 on the road under Marco Silva before Saturday’s meeting, responded before the break through Doucoure’s strike and Pereyra put them ahead just after half-time.Conte’s decision to take off Alvaro Morata for Batshuayi was greeted with boos by some Chelsea fans but the striker responded to his doubters with an excellent header from Pedro’s cross to level the scores.Azpilicueta then popped up to convert the third before Batshuayi added a fourth in injury time, giving Conte a much-needed boost and lifting his side above Watford into fourth in the table.. @_Pedro17_ ‘s goal is Chelsea’s 8,000th in all competitions in our 112-year history!  #CHEWAT pic.twitter.com/lNrUCOfCBt — Chelsea FC (@ChelseaFC) October 21, 2017 A confident-looking Watford were the better side in the early exchanges but fell behind  to Pedro’s moment of magic.The Spain winger collected Eden Hazard’s pass from a short corner and let fly with a first-time strike that curled beyond the motionless Heurelho Gomes and in off the left-hand post.Watford felt aggrieved that the initial corner was given, with Hazard having run the ball out of play himself on the byline, but their frustrations would have been greater had Gomes not stood up well to stop Cesc Fabregas chipping home a second goal from close range.Thibaut Courtois made a good save to keep out a Tom Cleverley free-kick but Chelsea’s lead was a comfortable one for much of the first half, as Watford struggled to turn good possession into chances.That was until the last seconds before the interval, when David Luiz cleared a long throw-in only as far as Doucoure, who smashed a fine outside-of-the-boot shot through the crowded penalty area and past Courtois at his near post.Abdoulaye Doucoure in the #PL this season:4 shots on target4 goals#CHEWAT pic.twitter.com/HOTiHfRB3G — Premier League (@premierleague) October 21, 2017 Richarlison somehow failed to turn the ball into an empty net from just a few yards out, but the Brazilian made amends moments later to help Watford to a superb start to the second half.Tiemoue Bakayoko lost possession in midfield and, when the ball was worked to Richarlison, he played a precise pass across the box to the unguarded Pereyra, who finished past Courtois in style.Richarlison again fluffed his lines with a free header six yards out and it was a miss that ultimately proved costly, as Batshuayi shrugged off his marker to steer a pinpoint header past Gomes following Pedro’s wicked cross from the right.The Belgian fired narrowly wide as Chelsea pushed for a winner, but it was Azpilicueta who restored the hosts’ lead, heading substitute Willian’s deep cross past Gomes to send Stamford Bridge – and Conte – into raptures.There was still time for Batshuayi to add gloss as he capitalised on a Miguel Britos error before lifting the ball over Gomes, ensuring a harsh-looking scoreline for the visitors Key Opta facts:- Chelsea are unbeaten in their last 13 meetings with Watford in all competitions, winning 10 and drawing three.- Watford have shipped four goals on each of their last three top-flight trips to London (0-4 v Tottenham, 3-4 v Chelsea and 2-4 v Chelsea today).- Pedro has been directly involved in more goals for Chelsea in all competitions in 2017 than any other player (21 – 12 goals, 9 assists).- Eden Hazard registered his first Premier League assist in 15 appearances in the competition (since April 2017 v Crystal Palace).- Abdoulaye Doucoure has scored with all four of his shots on target in the Premier League this season.  read morelast_img read more

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The AL East Wont Be About The YankeesRed Sox Rivalry This Year

By on September 28, 2019

4New York Yankees8281788481.3 2Toronto Blue Jays8186838583.8 Based on projected wins or over/under win totals. Data gathered on March 27, 2017.Sources: Baseball Prospectus, Fangraphs, Clay Davenport, Las Vegas Review-Journal In honor of the 2017 Major League Baseball season, which starts April 2, FiveThirtyEight is assembling some of our favorite baseball writers to chat about what’s ahead. Today, we focus on the American League East with Sports Illustrated senior baseball editor Emma Span and ESPN.com baseball writer Dan Szymborski. The transcript below has been edited. RANKTEAMPECOTAFANGRAPHSDAVENPORTWESTGATEAVERAGE How forecasters view the AL East 3Tampa Bay Rays8583807981.8 neil: Hey folks! Welcome to the chat.emmaspan: Who’s ready to be wrong about some baseball? I know I am!neil: Let’s be wrong in order of the table above, starting with the Red Sox …dszymborski: TABLES DON’T TELL ME WHAT TO DOemmaspan: Well, I’m guessing this is one we all agree on. The Red Sox have to be everyone’s clear favorite, right?dszymborski: I’d like to be contrary, but I don’t see the “in” here. The Red Sox have the best roster in the division.neil: Yep, they were a team that finally unleashed their potential with 93 wins in 2016. And they might be even better in 2017, considering:They undershot their Pythagorean expectation by 5 wins.They also had bad cluster luck.They went out and added Chris Sale.dszymborski: It’s hard to quibble. Sale’s terrific, even though I’m constantly annoyed by his ability to eat 6,000 calories a day and retain his Gumby physique.emmaspan: David Price’s elbow is maybe the only obvious concern, because when you hear about a pitcher and elbow pain, it’s almost never better than you think it will be. But I think that even if he did get injured, they’d still be the best team in the East.neil: Yeah, what do we make of Price’s 2016 anyway? He had his worst ERA since 2009, but his peripherals were mostly OK. If he stays healthy, does that HR rate regress?emmaspan: Yeah, I’m a David Price fan, and I think he wasn’t as bad last year as people thought. Not as good as anyone was hoping for, obviously, but it’s not like he collapsed completely. But again, any time the words “elbow” and “Dr. James Andrews” come up about any pitcher …neil: Not good.dszymborski: Typhoid Jimmy.emmaspan: The Angel of UCL Death.neil: If there’s one area where Boston might regress, do you think it’s that starters Rick Porcello and Steven Wright might be due for a correction? (Both had career years in 2016.) Or am I looking for weaknesses where there are none?dszymborski: Porcello is funny. My projection system, ZiPS, thought his contract extension was bang-on and I doubted it, so my PC locked me out of all my programs.neil: And then taunted you like Newman in Jurassic Park.dszymborski: The thing about Porcello is, even though he’s obviously not a baseline Cy Young winner, his peripherals in Detroit were excellent through most of his time there. 2016 was closer to his real level of ability when he doesn’t have the Tigers infield behind him.emmaspan: I don’t think Porcello will be a Cy Young contender again, but they don’t need him to be the ace now that Sale is there. They just need him to be solid.neil: OK, so then we have to talk about that world-beating offense from last year, which scored 12 percent more runs per game than any other AL team. They’re losing Big Papi, but is that enough reason to think they won’t go crazy again?dszymborski: Losing Ortiz’s 2016 production is a pretty big deal. Now, they’d likely have lost a lot of that even if he returned, but you can’t lose 600 PAs of an OPS over 1.000, bring in Mitch Moreland and expect there to be no consequences.Top prospect Andrew Benintendi helps, but there aren’t a lot of players on the offense you expect to do better than they did in 2016. They’ll still be an excellent offense, of course — I just don’t see them with a 100-run lead on the rest of the league.emmaspan: Agree that they’ll feel the loss — Ortiz had the best final season of all time. But they should still be good. That outfield is so talented and so young, it’s nuts.dszymborski: I hope their choreographed dances become more and more complex.neil: It seems likely that Boston will become the East’s first repeat winner since 2012. But how do they stop what happened against Cleveland in the playoffs from thwarting them again? (For what it’s worth, they’re still behind the Indians in terms of AL pennant odds, according to both Vegas and FanGraphs.)dszymborski: Boring answer: Just win the games.emmaspan: They’re set up as well as anyone to beat the Indians, but I don’t know that there’s anything you can do to have better luck in a seven-game series. Just make sure you get there and hope for the best.neil: OK. Now let’s shift focus to the Blue Jays, who seem like a team in a weird place. They had the oldest team in MLB in 2016, and they lost the ALCS in back-to-back seasons — do they have a chance to finally get over the hump this year, or is this window closing fast?dszymborski: Window’s closing, but I don’t think this is the year it shuts. Departed DH Edwin Encarnacion was good, but just how good he was can be overstated a bit.neil: But he was better than, say, Kendrys Morales, right?dszymborski: Sure. But it’s not like they’re losing Josh Donaldson. It’s maybe two wins.emmaspan: It’s taking me a while to adjust to this new reality where 40 HRs aren’t as valuable as I’m used to thinking they are.dszymborski: Watch the ball suddenly be dead this year.emmaspan: I still think the Jays have an edge on the non-Boston AL East teams, but last year I thought they were World Series contenders and I’m not sure I see it this year. That said, their pitching was even better than I expected it to be.dszymborski: They got nothing from the bench last year, and Troy Tulowitzki has some upside left. And there are reasons for optimism in their pitching. Not that they’re likely to win the AL East, but 85 to 88 wins or so is a real contender for a playoff spot.neil: Let’s talk about that rotation … It still looks deep on paper, though they’ve also relied on the second-most innings pitched from starters of any team over the past 2 seasons.emmaspan: I worry a little bit about Marcus Stroman’s jump to 200 innings last year.dszymborski: I think expecting fewer innings from Stroman can be balanced somewhat by him pitching a bit better. And I’m cautiously optimistic about Francisco Liriano. He really dropped that walk rate going back to the AL last year, and that kind of thing tends to stabilize very quickly.emmaspan: And Aaron Sanchez was legit in his first season as a full-time starter. Killer sinker, still just 24 years old.neil: Toronto might need all of your collective optimism on the pitching front, because the offense doesn’t seem as high-octane as we might expect from the names on the lineup card. They finished 8th in the AL in OPS+ last year, and that was with Donaldson continuing to play at near-MVP levels.emmaspan: I think Jose Bautista will be better this year, assuming he stays healthy. His injury last year cost him a TON of money.neil: Bautista seems kind of emblematic of this whole lineup: “Gosh, I really hope this over-30 hitter can post huge numbers! Otherwise we might be in trouble.”dszymborski: At least the idea isn’t that deluded. Bautista has a reasonable shot to hit better than he did last year. If that doesn’t happen, Toronto’s window could slam shut surprisingly quickly.emmaspan: Thirty-year-old Donaldson was as good as ever last year, too. But I agree they’re not as deep as the Red Sox, plus they’re older, so there’s less room for error. And I don’t know what Tulo has left. But if he were to put up a vintage season, they’re a whole different team.dszymborski: Yeah, if Joey Bats, Morales, Tulo, etc., don’t bounce back, the ceiling on this team comes down hard. Yet that same group is a source of upside that could make them surprise us and be a 94-win team or something.neil: Let’s move on to the Rays, who are a surprising third in the projections. There’s probably reason for more optimism than last year’s 68-win record would suggest: They deserved 77 wins according to Pythagoras, and they had bad cluster luck, too. But they also have a history of underperforming these kinds of projections. Do we trust that last year was a fluky down year, or is Tampa Bay overrated by the numbers?dszymborski: ZiPS is positive. They do have considerable upside on their team and some ready young pitching. PECOTA wasn’t wrong in liking the Rays last year — maybe just a year or two ahead of things.emmaspan: For me, the rest of this division is pretty much a clump of mediocrity. I wouldn’t be surprised at any order of finish between the Rays, Yankees and O’s.dszymborski: There’s no actual bad team in this division.emmaspan: The Rays’ pitching should be good, but it would probably help to have more than two good hitters.neil: Yeah, in that lineup they’ve got Kevin Kiermaier, Evan Longoria and … what else, exactly? Brad Miller? A bounce-back year from Matt Duffy?dszymborski: They have real offensive problems at the traditional offense-heavy spots. That’s going to put a limit on just how many runs they can score. And to really hit their upside as a team, they’re going to have to at least have a good offense, because the pitching is unlikely to be able to carry the team that high singlehandedly.emmaspan: That was a very nice way of saying “Logan Morrison is their first baseman,” Dan.dszymborski: Morrison, Steven Souza, Corey Dickerson and Colby Rasmus are just an uninspiring group to have on the offensive side of the defensive spectrum.neil: Maybe the bigger thing for the Rays is that the hallmarks of the Andrew Friedman/Joe Maddon era are eroding. They used to have MLB’s best defense; now it’s just average. And 2016 saw their fewest homegrown WAR since 2006. That’s tough when you also have the lowest payroll in MLB.emmaspan: The scout Sports Illustrated talked to for its preview issue was extreeeeeemely down on Tampa: “The Rays are like a mini-Baltimore, but without the closer and their bullpen is dreadful.” “They’re going to have to pitch their brains out.” “Let’s put it this way — they’re counting on Colby Rasmus.”I’m not as down on them as he was, but it’s tough for me to see them challenging Boston or Toronto.neil: Is time running out for Chris Archer to deliver on his superstar potential? He was supposed to break out last year, but just ended up being average.dszymborski: I think Archer has delivered in the past, even if he didn’t become a Cy Young candidate. Short of an arm issue or something, I’m optimistic on him.emmaspan: Archer lost 19 games last year, but it’s like the old saying goes: You have to be a pretty good pitcher to lose 20 games.dszymborski: Mike Maroth’s going to love this chat.neil: So let’s talk about the Yankees next. It still feels odd to have them fourth in the pecking order, even though that’s where they finished last year. In fact, their 84 wins last year meant that 2016 was tied for the worst Yankees season since 1992 — and that was with 5 wins of Pythagorean luck tacked on.dszymborski: They have more young players on offense than the Blue Jays, but there’s still that reliance on older players bouncing back from off years.neil: And they’ve lost a number of veteran hitters from a team that already had the second-worst OPS+ in the AL. (On the other hand, hot-hitting young catcher Gary Sanchez will be in the lineup for a full season.)dszymborski: I think the offense will be better than that, but they’re likely getting declines from outfielders Jacoby Ellsbury and Brett Gardner, and anything they get from Matt Holliday should be gravy.emmaspan: I’ll say this: The Yankees were a younger, better, more interesting team by the end of last year than they were at the start of it. I think they’ll have some growing pains with some of these young players (I probably have them in a virtual tie for third with the Orioles), but they should be a lot more fun to watch than they have been in a while.dszymborski: In the end, they’ll score a decent number of runs. The big downside is that rotation, which could come apart very easily.emmaspan: CC Sabathia gave them 180 decent innings last year. Without him, I think it would have fallen apart.neil: Yeah, the rotation held up reasonably well last season, but you can see the danger lurking.Is this a year where the Yankees are close enough to contending that they can’t afford to experiment, or is it a bridge to the future (with that great farm system), where you just say, “Why not try things and see what happens?”emmaspan: A lot has to go wrong in Boston for the Yankees to have a prayer at the division, but that second wild card makes it really hard to punt on even a mediocre season.I think when the Yankees became sellers last year, though, it was an acknowledgment that they need to hit the reset button. (I mean, as much as the Yankees ever can.)neil: It was telling that 2016 was the first time that the average age of the Yankees’ roster was under 30 since 1993 — and they’ll be even younger in 2017.dszymborski: ZiPS and me have tended to be a few wins above the other analysts on the Orioles, but ZiPS is a little under most other projections on Baltimore this year, and I tend to agree with it. That pitching rotation can fall apart even quicker than the Yankees’. (This wasn’t the best offseason for the team to desperately need to add a starter.) And let’s not forget that the Orioles were only seventh in the AL in runs scored and it took 253 homers to get them there. Plus, there’s not really any help on the farm and their sources of upside are limited after Kevin Gausman and Dylan Bundy.neil: Wow, Dan. You seem very keen to move on to the O’s!dszymborski: I’m from Baltimore!neil: Well, suffice to say that there’s a reason they’re projected in last place here. But doesn’t it always seem like they beat their projections?dszymborski: Call me cautiously pessimistic this time around. I think the team is reaching the end of the run.emmaspan: I seriously underestimated the O’s last year and I feel like I often have. So I want to pull a Costanza and say they’ll beat their projections. (En route to maybe a third-place finish, but still.)neil: They feel like a tough team to figure out (as always). They weren’t bad last season, but they were kinda average in each phase of the game last year, aside from that lights-out bullpen.dszymborski: These O’s feel a lot like the 1985-1986 teams did. If everything hangs together and they have no nasty surprises at the top of the rotation, they’ll survive. But they are extremely limited in their ability to address problems. They’re literally the one team in the division who can’t realistically add an elite player at the trade deadline.Say the Giants have a down year and it looks like Johnny Cueto is opting out. How would the O’s outbid anyone for him?neil: Yep, in terms of prospects to trade, they have the fourth-worst farm system, according to Baseball America.dszymborski: If you can’t fix problems with a trade, and you can’t fix problems from within, and you can’t fix problems with a signing, how do you deal with the problems that can crop up? That gives them a significant downside.emmaspan: Did Ubaldo Jimenez really have a good stretch last year, or did I just hallucinate that?dszymborski: He was so good that he made Buck Showalter forget that Zach Britton existed …emmaspan: Jimenez’s second-half ERA was 2.82. I’m not putting money on him being able to repeat that, but if he’s even decent, that rotation looks a lot better.dszymborski: But think about how bad someone has to be in the first half if a 2.82 ERA in the second half only brings their full-season ERA down to 5.44!emmaspan: Last year’s inexplicable non-use of Britton aside (admittedly a big aside), at least Showalter is a smart manager whose skill with the bullpen and matchups regularly gets them a few extra wins a year.dszymborski: They can win, but there’s a lot that can go wrong and not a lot that can go really right. The depressing thing is that I’m an O’s fan. This is the lowest I’ve been on the O’s in some years.emmaspan: Save your depression for this chat two years from now, after Manny Machado has signed with the Yankees.dszymborski: Can I do a different division that year?CORRECTION (March 27, 10:30 p.m.): An earlier version of this article incorrectly stated that Aaron Sanchez throws a killer slider. He throws a killer sinker. EXPECTED NUMBER OF WINS 1Boston Red Sox8791849388.8 5Baltimore Orioles7481788078.3 read more

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Do Athletes Really Run Hot And Cold

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More: Apple Podcasts | ESPN App | RSS | Embed Embed Code FiveThirtyEight Welcome to the latest episode of Hot Takedown, FiveThirtyEight’s sports podcast. On this week’s episode (Aug. 15, 2017), we discuss how the NFL responds to players’ behavior off the field in light of Dallas Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott’s six-game suspension for violating the league’s personal conduct policy. Next, FiveThirtyEight’s Rob Arthur joins the gang to discuss his recent article on baseball’s hot hand. Using a new calculation on fastball velocity, Rob worked out a way to determine when a pitcher is really getting hot — and when he’s going cold, too. We discuss the implications that his findings could have on our understanding of momentum in other sports. Plus, a significant digit on baseball’s long (and getting longer) games.Here are links to what we discuss during the show:Rob Arthur’s latest, which found that baseball’s hot hand is real.This 2012 MIT study on big plays and psychological momentum in the NFL.Significant Digit: 5, the average number of minutes that MLB games have increased since last year. The average game this season has been three hours and five minutes long, the longest in the history of baseball. This is happening despite Commissioner Rob Manfred’s efforts to cut game length. read more

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OSU baseball looking for good fortune in trip to Las Vegas vs

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OSU junior left fielder Ronnie Dawson (4) takes a swing during a game against Coastal Carolina on Feb. 27 in Conway, South Carolina. Credit: Courtesy of OSUThe Ohio State baseball team (6-4-1) is heading to Las Vegas to test its odds against the UNLV Rebels (5-6) for a four-game series that will stretch from Friday to Tuesday. Predicting the outcome of the Buckeyes baseball season thus far has been a gamble. The Scarlet and Gray have cooled off since their undefeated 3-0-1 start to the season, going 3-4 over the last two weekends. To get back on a hot streak, OSU coach Greg Beals said the team will be focused on the task at hand, which is taking on UNLV.“We’ve just gotta go take care of business, and our guys need to understand they’re going to Sin City, but it’s a business trip for us,” Beals said. “Las Vegas is going to be there for a long time, (but) their window of opportunity representing Ohio State is here right now, and they need to make sure they take care of that.” Scouting UNLVLady Luck hasn’t been on the Rebels side so far this season, as the team’s batting average has been a lackluster .223. However, the Buckeye pitchers will have to be careful when throwing to sophomore left fielder Payton Squier. The Phoenix native powers the club with his .429 batting average. The UNLV pitching staff is led by junior starting pitcher D.J. Myers. The 6-foot-5 righty from Henderson, Nevada, leads the team with 20 strikeouts in just 16 innings of work. Beals said UNLV has faced some tough competition versus Texas, West Virginia and San Diego State to open the season, justifying UNLV’s record. OSU’s sixth-year coach said he sees UNLV’s talent despite the losses, but he wants his team to focus on what they can control: themselves.“The biggest thing for me is that I’m focused on Ohio State, and we need to take care of ourselves and focus on what we do,” Beals said. “The talent on our baseball team is good enough to play with everybody. We need to play up to that expectation level.”Cleaning up the errorsOSU fell in a close game to Illinois State last weekend 5-4 due to an untimely error by senior infielder Nick Sergakis. Sergakis has been an offensive catalyst for the team, batting a team-high .378 on the year. But OSU’s co-captain has also been the biggest liability on the defensive side, committing a team-leading nine fielding errors in 10 games. In total, OSU has 22 fielding errors, something Beals said needs cleaned up if his team wants to be ready for conference play, which opens two weeks from Friday against Northwestern.“When we play good defense, we’re winning baseball games,” Beals said. “When we play a cleaner game we’re winning those games. We’ve got to shore up the defense. The defense should be there on a daily basis.”Pitching inconsistencies hurting BuckeyesThroughout the course of the season, OSU’s pitching staff has had an up-and-down start. Other than junior starter Tanner Tully (2-0, 2.70 ERA), redshirt sophomore Yianni Pavlopoulos (1-0, two saves) and redshirt sophomore Austin Woodby (2-0), the Buckeye pitching staff as a collective unit hasn’t lived up to its own expectations. Beals said looking at the stats doesn’t show the whole picture, though,and he likes the way his pitchers have played to this point; but the key for improvement is going to have to come from a consistently solid defense behind the pitchers. One pitcher who is looking to step up for the Buckeyes is redshirt senior reliever Michael Horejsei. He said the pitching staff will face a great test from UNLV during the four-game series, and each guy has to be ready when his number is called upon. “We have to come in and do our job and our job is, like we reiterate every day, to attack the bottom of the zone and go after hitters,” he said. “Don’t shy away from them and try to get in on them. Force them to swing and let your defense play behind you if they put a good swing on the ball.”  OSU battling the injury bugBeals said the Buckeyes’ power hitter, redshirt junior Jacob Bosiokovic, is dealing with a hamstring injury that has the right fielder listed as doubtful for the series against UNLV. With one of its biggest bats out of the lineup, OSU will look to senior outfielder Daulton Mosbarger to take Bosiokovic’s spot in the lineup. But the senior transfer from Akron said he knows it’s a near-impossible request to come in and match Bosiokovic’s production thus far.“Obviously, Bosi is going to be Bosi, I can’t be Bosi,” Mosbarger said. “I’ve gotta just be me. I can go out there, I’m not going to hit the ball 500 feet like he is, but I can get on base, I can produce for the team, and I can just do anything it takes to win.” The Buckeyes appear to be focused and will be looking to cash in with a good team performance against the Rebels. “It’s a business trip, though, it’s not a vacation,” Horejsei said. “It might be spring break for us with school, but we’re heading there for a four-game series against a very tough opponent. They came here last year and they competed against us and gave us everything they had and took two of three from us. So this year, our goal is now to go in and win the series against them. It’s our turn to go to their home turf and take it to them, as we always try to do.”The first pitch on Friday is scheduled to be thrown at 9:05 p.m.After the four-game series in Las Vegas, the Buckeyes are slated to play their first game at Bill Davis Stadium in Columbus in a three-game weekend against Hofstra from March 18 to 20. read more

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