The highlights of Friday’s AP Sports report. An up-to-the minute listing of all stories planned, including games and events, is available in Coverage Plan on AP Newsroom, http://newsroom.ap.org/coverageplan You can also find a link to Coverage Plan on the left navigation of the Newsroom home page, http://newsroom.ap.org
For access to AP Newsroom and other technical issues, contact AP Customer Support at 877-836-9477 or firstname.lastname@example.org
All times EDT
The supervisor is Doug Feinberg. The New York sports desk can be reached at 800-845-8450, ext. 1630. Sports photos, ext. 1918; graphics, ext. 7636. Agate, 877-836-9477.
The AP’s Ralph Russo hosts the latest AP Top 25 College Football Podcast. https://podcasts.apple.com/podcast/idhttps-podcasts-apple-com-us-podcast-ap-top-25-college/id1138957862
SAN DIEGO -- The blowback from a sign-stealing scandal three years ago and a losing record during the pandemic-shortened regular season don’t mean a thing to Dusty Baker and the Houston Astros. Like them or loathe them, the Astros are on the cusp of a third World Series in four seasons and joining the 2004 Boston Red Sox as the only teams to rally from a 3-0 deficit to win a seven-game series. George Springer and José Altuve delivered big hits, Framber Valdéz pitched six brilliant innings and the Astros beat the Tampa Bay Rays for the third straight time, 7-4 Friday to force a deciding Game 7 of the AL Championship Series.. By Bernie Wilson. SENT: 800 words, photos.
ARLINGTON, Texas -- One Will Smith outdid another Will Smith to keep the season alive for the Los Angeles Dodgers. A common name, a special result for the Dodgers catcher. Smith hit a go-ahead, three-run homer off the Atlanta Braves reliever with the same name, Corey Seager homered twice and the Dodgers avoided elimination with a 7-3 win in Game 5 of the NL Championship Series on Friday night. By Baseball Writer Stephen Hawkins. SENT: 800 words, photos.
FLASH SALE! Unlimited digital access for $3.99 per month
Don't miss this great deal. Offer ends on March 31st!SAVE NOW
From New England to Atlanta to Indianapolis, the focus was not on football on Friday. It was on, not surprisingly, coronavirus tests. The Patriots canceled practice Friday and later placed center James Ferentz on the reserve/COVID-19 list. He became the fifth player on the team to test positive for the virus. With the Colts, there were four positive tests that, when retested, came up negative. The Falcons returned to their facility one day after abandoning it when they had a second positive. By Pro Football Writer Barry Wilner. SENT: 800 words, photos.
HOUSTON — Zach Wilson threw four touchdowns and finished 25 of 35 for 400 yards as No. 14 BYU rallied for a 43-26 win over Houston. Dax Milne caught nine passes for 184 yards and three touchdowns to help BYU improve to 5-0 for the first time since 2008. SENT: 650 words, photos.
FBC--VIRUS OUTBREAK-COLLEGE SPORTS
LAWRENCE, Kan. — Kansas coach Les Miles is cleared to return to the Jayhawks after his positive COVID-19 test, but out of caution is skipping the game at West Virginia. Also, Southern Mississippi at UTEP is the sixth game for Saturday to be postponed this week. By Dave Skretta. SENT: 500 words, photos.
The NCAA strips Massachusetts of three seasons’ worth of victories in men’s basketball and women’s tennis for overpaying financial aid. The victories, from 2014-17, include 59 basketball wins and an Atlantic 10 title in women’s tennis. By College Sports Writer Ralph D. Russo. SENT:500 words by 5 p.m.
PHILADELPHIA — The go-to guy at courtside, on the field and in the press box who covered Philadelphia sports from the days of Wilt Chamberlain to Bryce Harper for The Associated Press and other outlets has died. Jack Scheuer worked as a freelance sports stringer for the AP for 46 years after starting out with the Philadelphia Bulletin newspaper. During a retirement tribute at Citizens Bank Park on the final day of the 2019 season, it was estimated he had covered 3,500 Phillies games and 3,600 basketball games. Scheuer was a member of the Big 5 Hall of Fame. Son Bob said his father died Friday in hospice care from kidney and cancer complications. Jack Scheuer was 88. SENT 750 words.
Saturday’s Time Schedule (EDT)
Baseball (Championship Series)
At Arlington, Texas
Atlanta vs. Los Angeles Dodgers, 4:38 p.m.
At San Diego
Houston vs. Tampa Bay, 8:37 p.m.
College Football (Top 25)
Top 25 Football
No. 1 Clemson at Georgia Tech, noon.
No. 2 Alabama vs. No. 3 Georgia, 8 p.m.
No. 4 Notre Dame vs. Louisville, 2:30 p.m.
No. 5 North Carolina at Florida State, 7:30 p.m.
No. 11 Texas A&M at Mississippi State, 4 p.m.
No. 13 Miami vs. Pittsburgh, noon.
No. 15 Auburn at South Carolina, noon.
No. 18 Tennessee vs. Kentucky, noon.
No. 23 Virginia Tech vs. Boston College, 8 p.m.
Sporting Kansas City at Chicago, 3:30 p.m.
Inter Miami at Montreal, 7 p.m.