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Afternoon Headlines for March 28th

Texas Tech sophomore Jamodrick McGruder has been named the Phillips 66 Big 12 Baseball Player of the Week. It marks the second consecutive week that a Red Raider has been named the Big 12 Player of the Week, as first baseman Stephan Hagen was honored last Monday. Oklahoma State’s right-handed pitcher Brad Propst was named the Pitcher of the Week and Texas A&M’s Trey Bratsen was named the Big 12 Newcomer of the Week.

Region I-5A Girls and Boys Bi-District Championship play-off soccer action will take place this evening. In Girls play-off action Monterey will face El Paso Socorro at five from Ratliff Stadium in Odessa, and the Coronado Boys are schedule to do battle against El Paso Bel Air High School at 6 in El Paso. High-school soccer play off action will continue on Tuesday as well as the Lubbock High Boys will square off against El Paso Montwood at 6 from the Grande Communictions Stadium in Midland, and the Coronado Ladies will follow that game up as they’ll face El Paso Montwood at 8 in Midland as well.

In other local soccer news, Lubbock Christian University Men’s Soccer head coach Kyle Beard has announced that the program will host open tryouts on April 4th at 1 p.m. Tryouts will be conducted from the LCU soccer field located on the west side of campus, just north of PlainsCapital Park and the LCHS Baseball Field.

In NCAA men’s basketball news the University of Tennessee has turned to former Missouri State head coach Cuonzo Martin to stabilize their basketball program that’s facing NCAA sanctions following recruiting violations by former coach Bruce Pearl. Tennessee made the announcement Sunday that the 39-year old Martin would become the Vols 18th head coach. Martin takes over at Tennesse not knowing what kind of sanctions the Vols may face next season. Martin went 61-41 in three seasons at Missouri State after eight years as an assistant coach at Purdue under Gene Keady and Matt Painter. During his tenure, the Bears improved from 11-20 in his first season to 26-9 in the 2010-11 season, earning them their first Missouri Valley Conference regular-season championship and Martin the MVC coach of the year honor.

In Major League baseball news the Texas Rangers Opening Day roster is falling into place, after catcher Matt Treanor was traded to the Royals this morning for cash considerations. Texas traded Treanor to Kansas City to free up a spot for an extra reliever in the bullpen, as the team is planning on moving Alexi Ogando into the rotation. Rule 5 draft pick Mason Tobin and Mark Lowe will likely join a bullpen that includes closer Neftali Felix, right handed set-up reliever Darren O’Day and left handers Arthur Rhodes and Darren Oliver, with David Bush serving as the long reliever. Ogando’s move to the rotation come’s after Tommy Hunter suffered a strained groin muscle, sending him to the disabled list for the start of the season. Ogando will start Tuesday against Coastal Carolina in Myrtle Beach, S.C.

In other major league baseball news Houston Astros manager Brad Mills confirmed today that Brett Wallace would indeed be the starter at first base when the regular season begins. Wallace entered Monday’s game tied for the Grapefruit League lead with 18 RBIs and tied for second with 23 hits. The Astros were prepared to move Carlos Lee from left field to first-base if Wallace had struggled at the plate this spring.

Meanwhile in other Astros news Joe Inglett, who was acquired in a trade with the Tampa Bay Rays on Sunday, joined his new teammates today for their final Grapfruit League game of the season against the Philadelphia Phillies, where he got the start at DH. Last year, Inglett led all major league players in pinch-hits, batting .294 (20 for 68) with two doubles, four triples, a home run, and six RBI’s. Houston is still trying to identify a starting shortstop in the wake of Clint Barmes hand injury that’s causing him to miss the next 4 to 6 weeks.  Angel Sanchez and Tommy Manzella are the likely candidates to win the starting job with Inglett, Matt Downs and Anderson Hernandez vying for the two backup infield spots.

The Fox-owned cable channel FX has announced it will broadcast a weekly college football game during the up-coming season. The network will air at least 13 games involving teams from the Big-12, Pac-12 and Conference USA. The channel has show other sporting events in the past, including Major League baseball and NASCAR.

Former WNBA Star and Red Raider Sheryl Swoopes is set to agree to a deal with the Tulsa Shock. The 40 year-old Swoopes last played in the league in 2008 for the Seattle Storm before spending the last few years overseas. She won four championships while playing with the Houston Comets and earned three WNBA MVP awards, the last of which came in 2005. The Shock made waves last season by sgning former Olympic sprinter Marion Jones to a contract and then re-signed her this off-season.

Over in the NBA the league’s best San Antonio Spurs have lost a season-high three straight games since all-star Tim Duncan sprained his left ankle in a win over Golden State Last Monday, but they will look to correct that tonight when they hit the hard wood from home against the Portland Trailblazers with a 7:30 tip-off time.

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