Towson wins ECAC FCS Division I Team of the Year
Towson was named Eastern College Athletic Conference Division I Football Championship Subdivision Team of the Year for the first time. The Tigers won the Division II Team of the Year in 1983, 1984 and 1986. Voting was done by coaches and media. Towson will be honored March 27 at the Eastern College Football Awards Banquet in East Rutherford, N.J. The team finished 13-3, including a loss to North Dakota State in the FCS national championship game.
ESPN2 adds season opener March 31 against Red Sox
The Orioles' 2014 season opener will have a national television audience. The team's opener March 31 against the defending World Series champion Boston Red Sox will be broadcast on ESPN2 as part of the network's Opening Day coverage. The game is scheduled for a 3 p.m. start at Camden Yards. The national broadcast won't interfere with MASN, which will also broadcast the game regionally.
Minor leagues: The Orioles announced their minor league staff for 2014, and most of the managers in the organization will remain the same. Triple-A Norfolk manager Ron Johnson and Double-A Bowie skipper Gary Kendall, as well as their entire staffs, will remain in their positions. Aberdeen manager Matt Merullo and Gulf Coast League manager Orlando Gomez will also stay in their roles. Longtime major league coach Luis Pujols, who managed low Class-A Delmarva last season, will be high Class-A Frederick's manager, while former Orioles third baseman Ryan Minor will return to Delmarva, where he managed for three seasons from 2010-2012. New hires include former Orioles infielder Jeff Manto, who will serve as the organization's minor league hitting coordinator, and Dave Anderson, who will be the new roving infield instructor. Scott Beerer, who was in major league camp with the Orioles in 2012 and played at Norfolk that year, will be the outfield and baserunning roving instructor. Former Orioles pitcher Alan Mills, who was Aberdeen's pitching coach last season, will serve in the same capacity for Delmarva. Former Orioles minor leaguer Paco Figueroa will be the Shorebirds' hitting coach. Former Orioles pitcher Scott McGregor will return as pitching rehabilitation coordinator, based in Sarasota, Fla., and Dave Schmidt will be the Florida and Latin America pitching administrator. Mike Bordick will remain a special assistant instructor, and Rick Peterson will also return for his third season as director of pitching development.
—Eduardo A. Encina
Exhibition: The Orioles will complete their spring exhibition schedule this year with a game against their Triple-A affiliate, the Norfolk Tides, on March 29, according to the spring training schedule released by Major League Baseball on Thursday. The game is scheduled for 3:05 p.m. at Norfolk's Harbor Park, which underwent a playing field renovation this offseason.
Connolly, Ginsburg, Viviano honored
The Baltimore Sun's Dan Connolly and the Associated Press' David Ginsburg tied for the National Sportscasters and Sportswriters Association's honor of Maryland Sportswriter of the Year in 2013, the organization announced Thursday. Connolly, who has covered baseball and the Orioles for The Sun since 2005, received the honor for the first time, while Ginsburg has been recognized twice. WJZ-TV sports director Mark Viviano was named Maryland Sportscaster of the Year by the organization for the fourth time, including the past two years. The trio will be recognized at the 55th annual NSSA awards event June 7-9 in Salisbury, N.C.
Women's college lacrosse: After winning its second national championship in four seasons with a 12-5 victory over Trinity (Conn.) College in the 2013 NCAA national championship, Salisbury has been ranked No. 1 in Lacrosse Magazine's NCAA Division III Women's Preseason Top 20 poll. Stevenson is ranked No. 20.
College basketball: About 20 members of the Navy football team will sign autographs between games of Saturday's Army-Navy doubleheader at Alumni Hall. The women will play at 1:30 p.m., followed by the men at 4 p.m. Players committed to signing on the North Concourse include senior linebacker and co-captain Cody Peterson, sophomore quarterback Keenan Reynolds and junior safety Parrish Gaines.
National Women's Soccer League: The Washington Spirit will have the top draft pick in the college draft next Friday, the league said. The expansion Houston Dash will select second. The Spirit also will have picks 26 and 31.
Minor league basketball: The Bay Area Shuckers signed Teon Knox (Douglass), who has played professionally in 10 countries. Knox also played briefly for the Shuckers in the 2013-14 season.