SPORTS digest

YSU women’s golf adds Jonda, Grans


Youngstown State Head Women’s Golf Coach Nate Miklos has announced the signing of two student-athletes who have joined the YSU program for the 2018-19 season.

Britney Jonda, a Boardman graduate, was named First-Team All-AAC in each of her four seasons. She posted a nine-hole scoring average of 39 as a senior and was named Honorable Mention All-Northeast Ohio each of her final two seasons. She notched a low nine-hole score of 36 and a low 18-hole mark of 78 during her senior campaign. Jonda’s high school teammate, Jenna Vivo, will also be a freshman for the Penguins this season.

Victoria Grans, a native of Stockholm, Sweden, has become the third international golfer on YSU’s 2018-19 roster. She joins Puthita Khuanrudee and Rattika Sittigool of Thailand, who each signed National Letters of Intent to join the program last fall. Grans is currently ranked in the top 50 of 21-and-under Swedish female golfers. She posted a tournament average of 77 during her prep career and was named as the 2018-19 recipient of the Northeast Ohio Presidents’ Cup Scholarship at YSU.

DeFalco, Ritter join YSU baseball


The Youngstown State baseball program has added four student-athletes from Ohio and Pennsylvania to its 2018 signing class, Head Coach Dan Bertolini announced on Wednesday.

The additions include Ohioans Blake Benyo, Marco DeFalco and John Ritter, as well as Pennsylvania native Dylan Swarmer. Benyo, Ritter and Swarmer are position players, while DeFalco will play two ways as both a left-handed pitcher and outfielder.

DeFalco was a three-year starter at Niles. He was a two-time AAC Player of the Year and a three-time first-team all-conference selection. He threw three career no hitters and posted a 17-4 record, 209 strikeouts and a 1.97 ERA. DeFalco registered 101 hits, a .380 average and a .408 OBP as a hitter.

Ritter, a Springfield graduate, was selected to the Mahoning Valley Athletic Conference All-Star Team. He was named first-team All-MVAC as a senior and second-Team All-MVAC as a junior.

Youngstown horse to run in Travers Stakes

Trigger Warning, a thoroughbred colt owned by Youngstown businessman Jim Thompson, is set to run in this Saturday’s 149th edition of the Travers Stakes at Saratoga Race Track in Saratoga Springs, NY. The purse is $1.25 million.

NCAA replaces RPI for hoops evaluations

The NCAA has a new ranking system to replace RPI when evaluating college basketball teams for the NCAA Tournament.

The NCAA Evaluation Tool announced on Wednesday will rely on game results, strength of schedule, game location, scoring margin, net offensive and defensive efficiency and quality of wins and losses. NET will be used for the 2018-19 season by the committee that selects schools and seeds the tournament.

NET rankings will be released early in the season and updated through Selection Sunday, with a final ranking following the tournament.

NET was approved in July following months of consultation with the NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Committee, the National Association Basketball Coaches, top basketball analytics experts and Google Cloud Professional Services.

Last season, the NCAA introduced a quadrant system to put greater emphasis on road wins.

Ex-Phantom Hirano signs with Nailers


The Wheeling Nailers, the Pittsburgh Penguins’ ECHL affiliate, signed former Youngstown Phantom Yushiroh Hirano on Wednesday. The Japanese forward scored 24 goals and had 22 assists during the Phantoms’ 2015-16 season.

In the interim, he played for Japan’s Tohoku Free Blades and Sweden’s Kalmar HC.

Staff/wire report

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