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Image 9 of The Independent April 9, 2012

Part of The Independent

PAGE B1 SPORTS THE INDEPENDENT / MONDAY, APRIL 9, 2012 REDS KEEP ON ‘ROLEN’ Third baseman, Bruce’s two homers push Cincinnati to 6-5 walk-off win over Miami CINCINNATI (AP) A star third baseman most of his career, 37-year-old Scott Rolen made a big impact in a rare pinch-hitting appearance. The 37-year-old drove in the winning run in the ninth inning with a sharp infield single that third baseman Hanley Ramirez failed to handle, lifting the Cincinnati Reds to a come-from-behind 6-5 win over the Miami Marlins. Pinch-hitting is often thought of as a niche for marginal players who can adapt to the demands of the role. Rolen, a seven-time All-Star and eight-time Gold Glove winner, looked just fine in it. ERNEST COLEMAN / AP Cincinnati’s Jay Bruce, left, Ryan Hanigan, right, and Scott Rolen, center, celebrate after Rolen drove in the game-winning run. The Reds picked up a 6-5 win over the Miami Marlins on Sunday. F or many high school students, the end of spring break signals the onset of depression, laziness and an overall disinterest in school, especially at first. For seniors, the highly contagious disease known as senioritis roots itself deep within like a hibernating parasite, if it hadn’t already. Those who avoid all senioritis-like symptoms the longest achieve the most success. For baseball and softball players, especially those who AARON paid visits to sunSNYDER beamed beaches of Sports ]editor South Carolina and Florida, it can be an even shakier transition. Not only do players have to adjust to temperatures dipping into the 50s (by Tuesday) after basking in 80-degree weather, they also have to adapt to not living like major leaguers during spring training. The kids who had the luxury of traveling south probably had unforgettable experiences, both on and off the field, because of the clubhousetype camaraderie that goes with it. Spending six or seven days straight with one another non-stop can either make or break a team. It can bring it substantially closer or cause it to drift apart. The Shortstop thinks that the teams which bonded the best will rack up the most wins as tournament time approaches, and have some fun along the way. But, nonetheless, it’s back to the grind for area players. Now is when the seriousness level ratchets up a notch. Single Ashland’s Logan Salow has just a handful of starts in his pitching career, mostly because he’s been so valuable as the Tomcats’ closer. After a five-inning shutout of Williamsburg, which included 13 strikeouts, Salow may tally up some more starts. By the way, he is a junior, not a senior, much to the dismay of others in the 16th Region and See SNYDER / Page B3 grounder with a forehand grab on his backhand side. He just knocked it down and had to watch as Stubbs crossed the plate with the run that gave the Reds two wins in the threegame series. Bruce’s homer cost former San Diego closer Heath Bell (0-1) a save in his first opportunity since signing with Miami as a free agent. “My job is to save games, and I didn’t do it,” Bell said. “I need to earn the respect from these guys. I need to be more accountable. I didn’t make a pitch when I needed to make a pitch.” Left-hander Aroldis Chapman (10) pitched two shutout innings of relief. The Marlins got at least one hit in every inning against Cincinnati starter Bronson Arroyo and every starter — including Carlos Zambrano — had a hit. Zambrano retired 13 of 14 batters See REDS / Page B3 THE MASTERS Bubba hits it big time THE WEEKLY CYCLE Spring bonds bode well “It’s certainly not easy,” said Rolen, now 8-for-18 as a pinch-hitter in his career. “Everybody says you come in cold, but believe me, your blood pressure’s through the roof. You’re not really cold. Your circulation’s going crazy.” Manager Dusty Baker figured that Rolen, in his 17th big league season, would be prepared to grab a bat. “You don’t really have to tell him ahead of time,” Baker said. “He knows to get ready. That was a big game.” Jay Bruce started the comeback with his second home run of the game and third of the season, an opposite-field drive into the left-center field seats that cost Marlins new closer Heath Bell (0-1) a save in his first opportunity. One out later, Drew Stubbs chopped a single that hit Ramirez’s glove. Stubbs moved to third on Ryan Hanigan’s single to right. Ramirez’s tried to handle Rolen’s Watson needs playoff to pull off first win at major AUGUSTA, Ga. (AP) Bubba Watson started the day by watching the rarest shot in golf. He ended another thrill-a-minute Sunday at Augusta National with a signature shot of his own to win the Masters. So deep in the trees right of the 10th fairway that he couldn’t even see the green, Watson hooked a wedge off the pine needles from 155 yards to about 10 feet from the hole. That set up a par, good enough to beat Louis Oosthuizen on the second playoff hole. “If I’ve got a swing, I’ve got a shot,” Watson said. It was Oosthuizen who set the tone for this wild day with a double eagle — only the fourth in Masters history — on the par-5 second hole when his 4-iron from 253 yards landed on the front of the green and rolled some 90 feet into the hole for MATT SLOCUM / AP Bubba Watson hugs his mother, Mollie, after winning the Masters following a a 2. sudden death playoff on the 10th hole Sunday. See BUBBA / Page B3 Top 10 Final round Bubba Watson (Playoff) ..-10 Louis Oosthuizen ..............-10 Lee Westwood....................-8 Phil Mickelson....................-8 Matt Kuchar ......................-8 Peter Hanson......................-8 Ian Poulter ..........................-5 Justin Rose ........................-4 Padraig Harrington ............-4 Adam Scott ........................-4 Jim Furyk............................-3 Complete leaderboard on B2 Mickelson gave away green jacket T he hugs with his family took place on the clubhouse lawn, not the 18th green. That was occupied, and by this time there was nothing Phil Mickelson could do about it. He had celebrated there before, most famously eight years ago when he won his first green jacket and took his young daughter in TIM DAHLBERG his arms, saying, “Daddy won! Can you believe it?” AP columnist Now it looked like he couldn’t believe he had lost. A fourth green jacket would have put him in the company of Tiger Woods and Arnold Palmer at the Masters. A fifth major championship would have moved him among the likes of Byron Nelson and Seve Ballesteros. But it all fell apart, in large part because once again Phil couldn’t help being Phil. He aimed where other players wouldn’t dare go on the par-3 fourth hole, certain that his calculations were better than theirs. The target wasn’t even the green, but Mickelson was sure he could escape with par from the bunker or anywhere left of there — even the grandstand. He thought too much, and disaster ensued. Nothing new there, he’s been doing it his whole career. Six years ago it cost him the U.S. Open at Winged Foot when he famously pulled out a driver he didn’t need on the 18th tee. The ball went sideways and he made double bogey, prompting him to proclaim “I am such an idiot.” Those listening then could only nod their heads in agreement. Those › Phil Mickelson reacts after missing a birdie putt on the 12th See JACKET / Page B3 green during the final round of the Masters. Page designed/edited by Kyle Hobstetter •

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