America East baseball coaches rank Maine second in preseason poll

BOSTON — Winners of three of the last four regular-season crowns, the Stony Brook Seawolves are the 2015 America East baseball preseason favorites as the full preseason coaches’ poll was unveiled Tuesday, according to a news release.

The Seawolves received five first-place votes and 35 points in a vote of the league’s seven head coaches who were not allowed to vote for their own team.

The University of Maine was picked second with 28 points, followed by reigning back-to-back America East tournament champions the Binghamton Bearcats, who took third with 25 points and one first-place vote. The University of Hartford, coming off its best season in Division I, was picked fourth with 22 points and a first-place vote. UMass Lowell, coming off a third-place finish in 2014, was selected fifth with 19 points. UMBC (10 points) and the University at Albany (eight points) rounded out the poll.

Lance Armstrong charged with hit-and-run in Colorado

DENVER — Disgraced professional cyclist Lance Armstrong has been charged with crashing into two parked cars in the Colorado ski resort town of Aspen, with his girlfriend initially telling authorities that she was driving, police reports showed on Tuesday.

Armstrong was cited for leaving the scene of an accident and driving too fast for the snowy conditions in the late December incident, authorities said. No one was injured in the accident.

Armstrong was stripped of his seven Tour de France victories and banned for life from racing in 2012 by the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency after he admitted using performance-enhancing drugs.

Aspen police said the 43-year-old Armstrong and his girlfriend, Anna Hansen, were driving home from a fundraising event to benefit a local art museum when a GMC Yukon registered to Armstrong crashed into two parked cars.

Police said an Aspen resident called 911 to report a hit and run after hearing the crash and seeing two vehicles rented by his relatives were damaged.

UM plans football NLI event

The University of Maine football program will celebrate its 2015 National Letter of Intent signing class with a special event Wednesday from 5:30 p.m. to 7 p.m. at Seasons Grille and Sports Lounge in Bangor.

Black Bear fans are invited to attend as coach Jack Cosgrove and host Brian Sullivan of WVII-TV (ABC 7) break down the recruits and discuss the 2015 schedule and season.

Guests will be treated with hors d’oeuvres and select appetizers and may chat with UMaine coaches in a casual environment focused on Black Bear football.

Colby names Penoyer interim softball coach

WATERVILLE —- Robin Penoyer, with head coaching experience on the college and high school levels, was named Tuesday as the interim head coach of softball at Colby College.

Colby head coach Kristina Katori is on medical leave and cannot coach the upcoming 2015 season.

Penoyer was the head softball coach and head women’s soccer coach at Morrisville State College from 2002 to 2010. While at Morrisville, she formed and started the school’s Student Athlete Advisory Committee.

After her time at Morrisville, Penoyer was named head softball coach at the Clinton (N.Y.) School District in 2011 and held the job until coming to Colby.

Penoyer started her collegiate coaching career as a pitching coach for Colgate University in 1995-96 and helped the Red Raiders win a Patriot League title. She went to Hamilton College for two years (1998 and 1999) and helped the Continentals go from 0-26 in 1997 to 13-17 just two years later.

Falcons believe they can win with Quinn

FLOWERY BRANCH, Ga. — The Atlanta Falcons officially introduced Dan Quinn as their new head football coach on Tuesday, convinced they found the right man to reinvigorate the team’s sagging defense and put them back on the road to a championship.

Quinn, the defensive coordinator for NFC champion Seattle, and the Falcons had to wait until after the Super Bowl to make the final announcement. The club interviewed seven candidates, including former New York Jets head coach Rex Ryan, but Quinn was their go-to guy from the beginning.

“We felt so strongly that we stayed patient, rather than make a quick decision in a different direction,” said Falcons owner Arthur Blank, who was able to meet with Quinn when the Seahawks had a bye week during the playoffs.

Blank said Quinn was smart, decisive and “has the desire to look for ways to get better.”

Quinn met with several other suitors during the off-week but told his wife Stacey that Atlanta was his location of choice.

Castro son named as federation’s global ambassador

BERLIN — A son of former Cuban leader Fidel Castro was named a global ambassador by the World Baseball Softball Confederation on Tuesday, with the governing body hopeful that both sports can be included at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics.

Antonio Castro, a fervent baseball supporter, has been involved in the sport’s administration for years and has served as an executive committee member of the International Baseball Federation since 2009.

He is one of Fidel Castro’s better-known sons due to his role as team doctor for the national baseball squad on the communist-run island, where the game is a sporting obsession.

Falcons owner acknowledges fake crowd noise

Atlanta Falcons owner Arthur Blank is not pleased that the team is under investigation by the NFL for creating fake crowd noise during games at the Georgia Dome.

Blank said Tuesday that he was embarrassed about the probe and expects the league to find the Falcons were at fault for the faux noise. Punitive action could include a fine, lost draft pick or both.

“Of course it bothers me. Absolutely it bothers me,” Blank said, according to ESPN.com. “We have great respect for the shield and the integrity of the game; the integrity of competition. So that bothers me a great deal. We will deal with it.”

The organization was accused in 2013 and 2014 of using fake crowd noise in an apparent attempt to make it more difficult for opponents’ offenses to call signals.