THURSDAY SPORTS: Cards advance to NLCS; Jones out for season; Clowney practices

*cardsThe St. Louis Cardinals beat the Pittsburgh Pirates 6-1 Wednesday night to win their best-of-five National League Division Series 3 games to 2. Starter Adam Wainwright pitched a complete game for the Cardinals, and David Freese and Matt Adams got the big blows on offense, each of them hitting a two-run homer. The Cardinals now advance to the National League Championship Series, where they’ll play the Los Angeles Dodgers, with Game 1 set for Friday in St. Louis.

*It’s official. The Atlanta Falcons have lost star wide receiver Julio Jones for the season. Jones injured his foot during Monday night’s loss to the New York Jets. Coach Mike Smith said Jones will have surgery on Monday.

*South Carolina’s All-American defensive end Jadeveon Clowney returned to practice with the team on Wednesday, though he’s still listed as questionable for this Saturday’s game at Arkansas. Clowney has a strained muscle near his ribcage.

*Clemson has lost a lineman due to injury. Sports Information Director Tim Bourret tweeted that offensive lineman Patrick DeStefano’s career has come to an early end due to shoulder problems. DeStafano is a product of Dorman High School in Spartanburg County.

*Furman kicks off the second half of its 2013 campaign this Saturday when it travels to Chattanooga to take on the Mocs in a Southern Conference matchup at Finley Stadium. Kickoff, which will highlight UTC’s Homecoming Weekend, is set for 6:00 p.m. Coverage on WGOG begins at 5:00 PM, Saturday with the pre-game show.