MONDAY SPORTS: Clemson completes sweep of Maine

Garrett Boulware went 3-for-4 with three RBIs to lead #13 Clemson to a 10-2 win over Maine at Doug Kingsmore Stadium on Sunday afternoon to complete the three-game sweep. The Tigers (5-1) scored four runs in the first inning and added four runs in the third inning to build a 9-1 lead and never looked back against Maine, Tiger Head Coach Jack Leggett’s alma mater.


Fifth-ranked South Carolina pounded out 12 hits and six pitchers combined for a seven hit shutout as the Gamecocks defeated Eastern Kentucky 6-0, sweeping the series on Sunday afternoon at Carolina Stadium. The Gamecocks have now held opponents scoreless for 51 consecutive innings and recorded their fifth consecutive shutout, which is a program record. South Carolina improves to 7-0 on the year.


Vimael Machin’s sacrifice fly RBI in the 10th inning scored Cody Acker to break a tie and lift Virginia Commonwealth to a 3-2 victory over Furman in the final game of a three-game baseball series Sunday afternoon at Latham Stadium. The win gave VCU (6-1) the series sweep.


Dale Earnhardt Jr. won a rain-delayed Daytona 500 Sunday night, the second time he’s crossed the finish line first in the marquee race after also doing it a decade ago. NASCAR’s most popular driver got the win on the same track where his father was killed in an accident on the last lap in 2001. The race had to be stopped Sunday 45 minutes after it began due to rain, and then didn’t get underway again for more than six hours. During the rain delay, Fox Sports aired a replay of the 2013 race, but many people thought it was being broadcast live and social media exploded with congratulatory tweets for Jimmie Johnson, who won last year.


When he came out as the NBA’s first openly gay player last year, Jason Collins wasn’t signed with a team. But now he is, becoming the first openly gay active player in the four major U.S. professional sports leagues, after signing a 10-day contract with the Brooklyn Nets Sunday. Hours later, the 35-year-old center played 10 scoreless minutes for the Nets with two rebounds in their victory over the L.A. Lakers. Collins was welcomed with a nice ovation when announced into the game in L.A.’s Staples Center. Nets general manager Billy King said in a statement, “The decision to sign Jason was a basketball decision. We needed to increase our depth inside, and with his experience and size, we felt he was the right choice for a 10-day contract.”


The Sochi Olympics came to an end Sunday night with a closing ceremony in Fisht Stadium that celebrated the success of Russia’s record $51 billion Games and looked forward to the next Winter Olympics in four years in Pyeongchang, South Korea. The ceremony celebrated Russia’s rich history of music, ballet and literature, with performers in white wigs swirling grand pianos around a soloist playing Rachmaninoff, ballet dancers from the famous Bolshoi and Mariinsky companies performing, and the faces of famous Russian authors projected onto huge screens. Sochi organizers poked fun at the much-discussed failure of one of the five Olympics rings to open from a snowflake in the opening ceremony by having one of the five groups of dancers who formed the Olympic rings Sunday night first form a clump, and then burst open into a ring. Large-scale versions of the three Sochi mascots took part, and it was the bear that blew out a cauldron of flames to extinguish the Olympic torch, which was followed by a tear rolling down his cheek. As is traditional, Pyeongchang offered a short preview of its Games, with a performance including Korean music and dancers in glowing bird suits. A few final notes from the Sochi games:

Canada repeated as Olympic champions in men’s hockey, defeating Sweden 3-0 in the gold medal game Sunday. They also went undefeated throughout the tournament, the first team to do so in the Olympics since the Soviet Union in 1984. The U.S. was shut out of the medals, losing to Finland 5-0 in the game for the bronze medal a day earlier.

The U.S. men won bronze in the four-man bobsled Sunday, led by driver Steven Holcomb, who also won the two-man bobsled bronze earlier in the Games, becoming the first American pilot to win medals in both Olympic races in 62 years. His teammates were Curt Tomasevicz, Steve Langton and Chris Fogt. Russia won gold in the event and Latvia took silver.

American Mikaela Shiffrin Sets Record with Slalom Gold: Mikaela Shiffrin won gold in the slalom on Friday, becoming, at 18, the youngest Olympic slalom champion and the first American to win the event in 42 years. Shiffrin’s gold was also the last of the Sochi Games for the U.S.

American native Vic Wild, who married his Russian sweetheart and fellow snowboarder in 2011 and now competes for Russia, won his second gold of the Sochi Games on Saturday. Wild came in first in the parallel slalom, after also winning the parallel giant slalom last week.

The Netherlands won an amazing 23 speedskating medals in Sochi, nearly twice as many as every other nation combined and 10 more than the previous record of 13 set by the East Germans at the 1988 Calgary Olympics. The U.S. was shut out of the medals for the first time since 1984, managing only a silver medal in a short track event, the men’s 5,000 meter relay.

Host country Russia ended in first place in the overall Sochi medal count with 33, followed by the U.S. in second place with 28 and Norway in third with 26. Russia was also first in the gold medal count with 13, followed by Norway in second with 11 and Canada third with 10. The U.S., with nine, was fourth.