SPORTS BRIEFING

Odd twinbill

NEW YORK (AP) — Dexter Fowler hit a go-ahead, three-run homer moments after Paul DeJong’s tying shot in the eighth inning, and the St. Louis Cardinals beat the New York Mets 9-5 to sweep an odd double feature Friday night. Hours earlier, DeJong helped the Cardinals complete a rally that started the night before, grounding an RBI single against Edwin Diaz in the 10th inning of a 5-4 win. The series opener Thursday was suspended following 8 1/2 innings, right after Harrison Bader drove in the tying run with a two-out double off Diaz in the rain. It took St. Louis 18 minutes to complete the victory.

Copploe 13th at nationals

GREENSBORO, N.C. — Recent Canfield High School graduate Giovanni Copploe finished 13th in the boys championship 5,000 meters at the New Balance Nationals Outdoor on Friday night.

Copploe was 13th out of 30 runners in the national high school meet in 14 minutes, 51.26 seconds at North Carolina A&T University.

He was seventh in the Division I 3200 meters at the Ohio state meet two weeks ago.

Robbie Cozean from Xavier High School in Connecticut won the 5,000 meters in 14 minutes, 26.18 seconds.

Cozean is the Connecticut state indoor and outdoor champion in the 3,200 meters and led Xavier to the state cross country title last fall.

The New Balance Nationals continues today and Sunday.

Cap, gown and driver

PEBBLE BEACH, Calif. (AP) – Brandon Wu will have to skip graduation at Stanford this weekend.

Wu was among the biggest surprises at Pebble Beach, shooting 2-under 69 to easily make the cut.

Wu won his final match at Stanford as the Cardinal won the NCAA title over Texas. Then, he flew to Ohio and qualified for his first U.S. Open. Wu said after that qualifier that his goal was to make the cut in the U.S. Open, and that maybe he would wear his cap and gown down the 18th fairway of Pebble Beach if he can’t make the commencement.

“This is honestly the dream ending I could have had in my senior year at Stanford,” he said.

Furyk sticking around

PEBBLE BEACH, Calif. (AP) – Jim Furyk will stick around for the weekend in his 24th consecutive U.S. Open.

It didn’t look like that would be the case when the 2003 champion stood at 4-over par through 14 holes in the opening round. But he birdied two holes own the stretch and carried that momentum into the second round where he posted the lowest score of the morning with a 4-under 67.

That left the 49-year-old Furyk at 2 under for the tournament, five shots off the lead.

“I needed to come out today and play a solid round,” Furyk said. “I think that finish the last six holes yesterday I played very well, and that allowed me to kind of get out there today and kind of build off of it.”

Canada watches Raptors’ title

LAS VEGAS (AP) — The final numbers are in, and the NBA Finals were a smashing success for Canada all the way around.

The NBA said Friday that 56% percent of the Canadian population watched at least some part of the NBA Finals, with an average viewership of about 8 million for the Toronto Raptors’ title-winning victory over the Golden State Warriors in Game 6.

The league also said the total combined U.S. and Canadian audience for the finals was up 11 percent over the combined viewership of the 2018 title series between Golden State and Cleveland.

Thursday’s game was the most-watched NBA game in Canadian television history, a record that was toppled several times during this postseason because of the Raptors’ popularity. Viewership for each of the six finals games rank among the 10 most-watched television programs in Canada so far this year.

“Everybody who supported us during the season, all the fans in Toronto, everyone in Canada — this is for you,” Raptors forward Serge Ibaka said after Toronto’s first NBA championship. “This is for Canada, baby. You should be proud.”

And not only were Canadians watching, but they were buying.

The NBA said that online sales through the league’s official portals smashed records for the day following the end of a championship series, up more than 80 percent from the previous mark (set when Cleveland beat Golden State in 2016) and were more than 100 percent over sales on the day following the Warriors’ sweep of the Cavaliers last season.

The Raptors are planning a parade in Toronto on Monday, one that will likely take more than two hours.

Broncos owner dies

ENGLEWOOD, Colo. (AP) — On a cool night in Santa Clara, California, on Feb. 7, 2016, John Elway thrust the Lombardi Trophy into the air and hollered, “This one’s for Pat!” It came 18 years after Denver Broncos owner Pat Bowlen had declared, “This one’s for John!” following the franchise’s first Super Bowl championship, a 31-24 win over Green Bay in San Diego after Elway helicoptered his way into NFL immortality in his fourth shot at a title.

Elway called it the greatest moment of his Hall of Fame career, and he was determined to return the favor after rejoining his beloved Broncos as Bowlen’s general manager and vice president of football operations in 2011.

He finally got the chance when the Broncos beat the Carolina Panthers 24-10 in Super Bowl 50, 18 months after Alzheimer’s forced Bowlen to step down from his daily duties running the team.

“I’m just glad I had the opportunity,” Elway told The Associated Press in the locker room that night. “I didn’t want to think about it too much because I didn’t want to jinx anything. But I was waiting for the day that I was able to do that.”

Bowlen, who transformed the team from also-rans into NFL champions and helped the league usher in billion-dollar television deals, died late Thursday, just under two months before his enshrinement in the Pro Football Hall of Fame. He was 75.

In a statement posted on the Broncos’ website, Bowlen’s family said he died at home surrounded by loved ones. They did not specify a cause of death. Bowlen had Alzheimer’s for several years.

Bowlen was the first owner in NFL history to oversee a team that won 300 games — including playoffs — in three decades.

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