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Sports briefs for July 2, 2013

By BDN Staff and Wire Reports, Special to the BDN

Two St. Joseph’s players gain all-region honors

STANDISH, Maine — First baseman Mike Pratt and starting pitcher Tyler Laverriere of Saint Joseph’s College have both earned 2013 American Baseball Coaches Association/Rawlings NCAA Division III New England All-Region Third Team accolades.

Pratt collects his third regional award after hitting .353 (53-150) with 30 runs, 12 doubles, six doubles and 49 RBI during his senior season.

Laverriere, the 2013 Great Northeast Athletic Conference Pitcher of the Year, also takes home his third New England honor after posting a 5-2 record with 63 strikeouts and just 16 walks in 62 innings along with the lowest single-season ERA (1.16) in program history.

Market heats up for jerseys of ex-NFL star Hernandez

BOSTON — The market for Aaron Hernandez football jerseys has surged since the former New England Patriot tight end was arrested last week on charges he gunned down his friend execution-style in an industrial park near his house.

A pre-owned ‘On Field’ NFL jersey bearing Hernandez’s old number 81 was on offer on Tuesday for $2,000 on eBay, while an autographed Hernandez number 81 jersey sold for $1,525 earlier this week, according to eBay’s auction history.

A similar autographed shirt went for $159 in April.

Hernandez, 23, was arrested at his house in North Attleborough, Massachusetts on June 26 and charged in the shooting death of semi-pro football player Odin Lloyd, who prosecutors say had angered Hernandez in a bar a few days before the alleged murder.

Prosecutors said Hernandez shot Lloyd five times, including twice while he was lying on the ground.

Hernandez has pleaded not guilty.

The Patriots cut Hernandez from the team within hours of his arrest and the team later offered to allow fans seeking to distance themselves from him to exchange their official Hernandez jerseys for new Patriots jerseys of similar value.

Players face blood tests as UEFA gets tough on doping

Players will undergo blood tests next season as part of the Union of European Football Associations’ new anti-doping detection regime in all competitions run by European soccer’s governing body.

Until now UEFA has only conducted blood tests at international soccer tournaments — Euro 2008 and 2012. From this month the detection regime is to be extended to the Champions League and Europa League.

Checks will be made in and out of competition and players may be asked at doping controls to give urine samples, blood samples or both.

However, UEFA said on its website (www.uefa.com) that out-of-competition checks would only be carried out if players or teams had not informed testers where they would be when required to be tested.

The new rules follow a UEFA anti-doping panel meeting held late last year.

At the meeting, chairman Dr Jacques Lienard said: “We cannot say that football is free of doping. It is important UEFA remains vigilant in its fight against doping and all products that are associated with doping”.

Bears’ Mulkey handed one-game suspension

Baylor women’s basketball coach Kim Mulkey received a one-game suspension Tuesday for criticizing officials after the Bears’ loss to the Louisville Cardinals earlier this year in the national championship tournament.

Mulkey will serve her punishment during her next NCAA tournament appearance.

Following the loss to Louisville, Mulkey said the game was too physical and that additional tournament time for the three officials would be “be sad for the game.”

Mulkey was also reprimanded in 2011 for criticizing the NCAA tournament bracket, which the NCAA cited as a reason for a more severe punishment this time around.

Spurs re-sign Splitter to four-year deal

The San Antonio Spurs are finalizing a four-year, $36 million extension for center Tiago Splitter, according to a Yahoo! Sports report.

Splitter, 28, averaged 10.3 points and 6.4 rebounds for the Spurs this past season, and became a key part of the team’s push to the NBA Finals. He generated interest around the league as a restricted free agent.

The contract can’t officially be signed until July 10, when the league’s annual ban on signings and trades will end.

Splitter’s representatives ironed out most of the details with San Antonio on Monday night and into Tuesday, sources told Yahoo! The Brazilian was drafted with the 28th pick in 2007.

Wizards sign Webster to four-year deal

Forward-guard Martell Webster agreed to a four-year, $21.99 million deal with the Washington Wizards on Tuesday, according to multiple reports.

The Wizards targeted Webster as their main free-agent priority in the offseason. Webster had a strong 2012-13 season for Washington, and was part of the team’s second-half resurgence.

The Wizards have $61.7 million guaranteed to 10 players next season, but were able to sign players with the mid-level exception of $5.15 million, according to the Washington Post.

Orioles get Feldman from Cubs

The Baltimore Orioles kicked off the July trading season by acquiring right-hander Scott Feldman and catcher Steve Clevenger from the Chicago Cubs pitchers Jake Arrieta and Pedro Strop.

Chicago also received international bonus pool money from Baltimore, the Cubs told ESPN.

Feldman, 30, signed a one-year, $6 million deal in November, and posted a 3.46 ERA in 91 innings this season.

“Feldman is a proven starter with postseason experience who should help stabilize our rotation for the second half,” Orioles executive vice president of baseball operations Dan Duquette said in a statement.

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