SPORTS DIGEST || Sprint Car driver killed at Pennsylvania course

Sprint Car driver killed at Pennsylvania course


Sprint Car driver Greg Hodnett has died after a crash Thursday night at BAPS Motor Speedway.

The 49-year-old Hodnett, from Spring Grove, was the World of Outlaws Rookie of the Year in 1993 and went on to win 20 World of Outlaws races. He won the opening night this year at the Knoxville Nationals.

“Greg represented the true gentleman competitor in the pit area,” World of Outlaws CEO Brian Carter said.

A statement was posted on Hodnett’s racing website, saying: “Please keep [wife] Sherry, the entire Hodnett family, and the Heffner racing team in your thoughts and prayers. Greg was a professional in every sense of the word, and will be desperately missed!”

Rangers fire Banister after two seasons


The Texas Rangers have fired manager Jeff Banister before the end of what will be the team’s first consecutive losing seasons in 10 years.

Bench coach Don Wakamatsu will serve as interim manager for the remainder of the season, starting with Friday night’s game against Seattle that starts the final home series of the season. The Rangers announced Bannister’s dismissal earlier in the day.

Banister, hired after the 2014 season, had a 325-313 record in his first managerial job. The Rangers won the AL West title in each of his first two seasons, losing to Toronto in the AL Division Series both times.

The Rangers had a 64-88 record going into Friday night’s game. They were 78-84 last year.

Cubs put Russell on leave for abuse claims


Chicago Cubs shortstop Addison Russell has been placed on administrative leave following fresh allegations of domestic violence by his ex-wife.

Last year, Melisa Reidy posted a photo on her Instagram account with a caption suggesting her husband of about 18 months had been unfaithful to her. In another post, a user — described by Melisa as a close friend — made the accusation that Russell had “hit” his wife. The post was later deleted. Russell denied the allegation and the two were soon divorced.

Late Thursday, a blog post attributed to Reidy contained more detailed allegations, including years of physical and emotional abuse.

The Cubs said it supported the decision.

Cleveland State tops YSU in volleyball


Sophomore Margaux Thompson had a strong showing with 13 kills and 19 digs as the Youngstown State volleyball team fell 3-0 at Cleveland State on Friday night in the Horizon League opener for both teams. The set scores were 25-17, 25-19, 26-24.

Thompson’s 13 kills came on a match-high 47 swings, and she hit .213. She led the Penguins in both kills and digs, and she was one of five YSU players with an ace. Aleah Hughes had eight kills and 15 digs while hitting .250.

While Thompson carried the load for the Penguins, Sara Skeens led the preseason-favorite Vikings. She posted 16 kills on just 30 attempts, and she limited her errors to just three. Three other Vikings had at least nine kills, and Rachel Dohar contributed a match-best 27 digs.

YSU will head to Rochester, Mich., to take on Oakland at 4 p.m. today.

Europe takes 2-0 lead in Laver Cup


Britain’s Kyle Edmund regained command in a tiebreaker and beat American Jack Sock on Friday as Team Europe took a 2-0 lead in the Laver Cup.

Edmund’s 6-4, 5-7, 10-6 victory followed Grigor Dimitrov’s 6-1, 6-4 win over Frances Tiafoe of Team World in the opener at the United Center.

Edmund broke Sock’s service to capture the first set 6-4. Sock, who came out to warm up wearing a Chicago Bulls jersey over his shirt, fought back and broke Edmund to go up 6-5 in the second set before serving it out as the crowd came alive.

Staff/wire report