More journalists abducted in eastern Ukraine and Crimea

first_img to go further RSF calls for a fully transparent investigation after mine kills two journalists in Azerbaijan News June 7, 2021 Find out more News Reporters Without Borders is alarmed by the continuing abduction of journalists in eastern Ukraine and Crimea and urges the Russian and Ukrainian authorities and all militias active in the region to respect and protect journalists regardless of the editorial policies of the media they work for.Two journalists kidnapped and beaten in CrimeaTwo journalists with the Centre for Investigative Reporting in the Crimean capital of Simferopol, reporter Sergei Mokrushin and producer Vladlen Melnikov, were arrested at around 8 p.m. on 2 June by members of a “self-defence militia,” who took them to their headquarters, beat them, and examined the contents of their mobile phones and social network accounts.Mokrushin received repeated blows to the abdomen and lower back while Melnikov’s head was smashed against a pane of glass. The journalists said two local politicians were present while they were being beaten. The mistreatment only stopped when policemen arrived and took them away to a police station.The editor of the Centre for Investigative Reporting said the militiamen accused Mokrushin and Melnikov of “hooliganism” without offering any details. The two journalists were released during the night after questioning by the police. According to preliminary diagnoses, Mokrushin has ribcage bruising and possibly broken ribs.The Centre for Investigative Reporting is one of the few remaining independent news outlets in the region, where several media were closed following the Russian intervention. A member of the Global Investigative Journalism Network, it posts its findings on its website as well as reporting them as part of a TV programme. It also provides training in investigative journalism.Two newspaper editors kidnapped in DonetskThe editors of two regional newspapers – Aleksandr Brizh of Donbas and Leonid Lapa of Vecherny Donetsk – were kidnapped in Donetsk, in eastern Ukraine, on 2 June by anti-Kiev militiamen, who stormed into their offices and took them away.After being released later the same day, they said their separatist abductors had demanded a change in editorial policies. They refused on the grounds that, if they complied, their newspapers would be “breaking Ukrainian law,” which penalizes inciting separatism, and said that, instead, they would stop working into further notice.Vecherny Donetsk belongs to Rinat Akhmetov, an oligarch who is very influential in the region and who recently announced his support for the government in Kiev against the separatists of the “People’s Republic of Donetsk.”Myroslav Rudenko, one of the separatist leaders, said the two editors were abducted in reaction to the publication in recent weeks of special dossiers paid for by Akhmetov, “each page of which denigrated the People’s Republic of Donetsk and the people’s choice.”Dmytro Litvinenko, a journalist with the Ukrainian TV station STB, reported on 2 June that he was detained at a “People’s Republic of Donetsk” checkpoint for 12 hours on 29 May. The rebels examined his equipment and did not like the tone of his SMS messages and his recent reporting on the Donbas Battalion (a pro-Kiev militia).Litvinenko, his cameraman and their driver were tied up and beaten, and then taken with bags over their heads to the main SBU building in Donetsk, where the head of the separatist unit ordered their release as soon as he learned of their detention.Citizen-journalist still missing There is still no word of Artem Laryonov, an anti-Kiev citizen-journalist who was reported missing on 10 May. Ever since the start of the unrest in eastern Ukraine in March, he had been filming the activities of the rebels and the effects of the fighting, and posting his videos on Ustream and YouTube.According to two friends, he was seen for the last time at a Ukrainian army checkpoint between the eastern cities of Sloviansk and Kramatorsk. The Ukrainian authorities say they known nothing of his whereabouts. Reporters Without Borders is very concerned about Laryonov and urges anyone holding him to provide information about his current situation and state of health.Follow the Reporters Without Borders news feed on the main media freedom violations in Ukraine.(Photos: Viktor Drachev / AFP, AFP Photo / Artem Larionov family archive) News Help by sharing this information Receive email alerts UkraineEurope – Central AsiaRussia June 4, 2014 – Updated on February 27, 2017 More journalists abducted in eastern Ukraine and Crimea center_img RSF_en UkraineEurope – Central AsiaRussia News Follow the news on Europe – Central Asia Organisation Respect judicial independence in cases of two leading journalists in Serbia and Montenegro, RSF says June 4, 2021 Find out more June 8, 2021 Find out more “We’ll hold Ilham Aliyev personally responsible if anything happens to this blogger in France” RSF sayslast_img read more

Football: Wideouts performance good, but could improve Chryst says

first_imgWhile there were concerns in the passing game heading into fall camp, Wisconsin head coach Paul Chryst never wavered from his commitment to a balanced offensive attack.He was rewarded Saturday, as No. 9 Wisconsin (2-0 overall) routed Akron (1-1 overall) 54-10 at Camp Randall.With a large void left by the graduation of Alex Ericsson — who led the team with 77 receptions last year — the Badgers saw a new pair of wideouts fill the gap against the Zips. A disappointing two-catch game against Louisiana State University left much to be desired from junior Jazz Peavy, but against Akron, the redshirt sophomore reeled in two touchdowns and 100 yards through the air. Senior Rob Wheelwright reeled in four catches for 99 yards.“We have a lot of work to do to be where we want to be and where we should be,” Chryst said Monday at his weekly press conference. “I thought Jazz did some really good things, as did Rob.”While Peavy and Wheelwright combined for more than half of the Badgers receptions, a pair of freshmen also found themselves in the mix. A.J. Taylor and Quintez Cephus have seen significant snaps in the first two weeks of the season and contributed a combined three catches for 49 yards Saturday.“Both [freshmen] played in week one and got more snaps in week two,” Chryst said. “I think they’re coming along. We have to keep helping them get better but I like what both A.J. and Quintez bring to our offense.”The non-conference finale against Georgia State (0-2) will provide one more test for the wideouts and the passing game before Big Ten play.“I feel good with how [the wideouts] are approaching it, but I really do think we have a lot of work to do to be better in the passing game,” Chryst said.last_img read more

LSU S Jamal Adams Blasts Tigers’ Fans For Leaving Basketball Game Early, Says They “Show No Loyalty”

first_imgJamal Adams rips LSU fans on Twitter.These LSU fans aren’t loyal. That’s what Tigers’ safety Jamal Adams thinks, anyway. Wednesday evening, LSU’s men’s basketball team lost to Tennessee, 78-63. Many Tigers’ fans were seen departing from the Pete Maravich Assembly Center with minutes to go in the contest. This did not please Adams, a 6-foot, 206-pound rising sophomore on the LSU football team. I can’t hold my tongue. LSU fans show no loyalty. You expect so much from us athletes,but won’t stay and support through the whole game.— JamalAdams™ (@TheAdams_era) March 5, 2015LSU has been known for having such prideful and loyal fans, and I hate to see people ruining that image. The game’s not over until it ends.— JamalAdams™ (@TheAdams_era) March 5, 2015While it’s probably not smart for Adams to call out his school’s fan base on Twitter, he’s not wrong in expressing some frustration. It’s the final home game of the season – you can stay in your seats until the final buzzer sounds, LSU fans.last_img read more

The Elders Condemn US Refugee Ban

first_imgThe Elders have condemned the US president’s Executive Order banning Syrian refugees from entering the United States and restricting migration from seven predominantly Muslim countries.They are concerned that the policy is at odds with the United States’ distinguished record in resettling refugees and protecting victims of conflict.The Elders believe that the complex challenges posed by refugee movements amid unprecedented levels of global migration, including legitimate security concerns, can only be resolved through international cooperation and coordination, not unilateral actions.Kofi Annan, Chair of The Elders, said:“It is deeply regrettable that a nation of immigrants should turn its back so harshly on refugees escaping violence and war. Curtailing the US resettlement programme, the last lifeline to so many, undermines the great values of a nation that has always championed humanitarian principles and human rights.”Hina Jilani, Elder and international human rights defender, added:“The United States has been a sanctuary for refugees for centuries, and has played a key role in developing the current global framework including the 1951 Refugee Convention. These decisions by the new President are at odds with both universal human rights and fundamental American traditions. Any weakening of the international system to manage and protect refugees, including resettlement programmes, will hurt vulnerable people, stoke resentment and threaten greater insecurity.”In their September 2016 report “In Challenge Lies Opportunity: How the World Must Respond to Refugees and Mass Migration”, The Elders set out four key principles that they believe should inform global policy. They participated in the United Nations summit on refugees in September 2016 and support the ongoing negotiations to develop Global Compacts on Refugees and Migration.This is the best way of developing a workable framework based on shared responsibilities that delivers protection, human rights and security for refugees and host communities alike.The Elders believe all refugees should receive equal treatment for protection and assistance, regardless of religion, nationality or race. They are concerned that the measures announced by President Trump are already disrupting the lives of people who desperately need protection from war and tyranny, dividing families and threatening livelihoods.Developing an effective and humane global refugee policy requires concerted political will and The Elders hope that the United States will provide leadership in line with its honourable historical and humanitarian traditionslast_img read more

Saskatchewan mayor hopes his community follows him on path to reconciliation

first_imgLarissa BurnoufAPTN National NewsThe mayor of Elbow, Saskatchewan has agreed to help in the elimination of racism faced by First Nations people in his community by ensuring that all staff and elected officials be educated on the history of Treaties, residential schools and the treaty and inherent rights of first nations people.Rob Hundeby said it’s time to acknowledge that racism is alive and well in Saskatchewan.“I’ve actually had people approach me and say part of the reason they look at investing in Elbow or building a home in Elbow, is because there is no reserve that’s close by,” he said. That’s wrong. Racism is still a part of Saskatchewan.”Hundeby said at a recent Saskatchewan urban municipalities (SUMA) convention, FSIN Chief Bobby Cameron was welcomed for the first time to address the communities.He said he was touched by Cameron’s speech and it opened his eyes to the racist attitudes still being in Saskatchewan.“There’s SUMA, which you’re dealing with urban communities, and there’s SARM, which you’re dealing with rural communities,” he said. “And the Indigenous population doesn’t really have a fit anywhere in there and I think partially due to racism.”The mayor is now setting an example and apologizing for any racist attitudes he’s had towards aboriginal people, hoping it starts to build bridges towards reconciliation.“I apologize to you Chief Cameron and the FSIN for any racist thoughts, comments or actions that I’ve had during my life and I hope you accept my apology.”Cameron, who heads up the FSIN, shook the mayors hand and accepted the apology.Cameron said it’s a starting point that will hopefully welcome other urban and rural municipalities in the province to come to the table and begin to work together on addressing racism. And that ending racism and building a bond between the Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal communities in Saskatchewan is something we must do now, for future generations.“None of us are going anywhere but our children and grandchildren are going to live here,” said Cameron. “What kind of legacy and foundation do we want to leave behind for our children? {That} legacy is built on love, kindness, and respect. Acceptance of each and every one of us, for who we are, what we are, where we live, how we walk, how we talk. Acceptance and forgiveness.”Hundeby said while the resolution to sign the MOU was passed unanimously by village council, the community of Elbow has not be consulted.He said he hopes his constituents are on board.last_img read more

Kinder Morgan Canadas pipeline woes hurting investment in Canada observers

first_imgCALGARY – The suspension of work on Kinder Morgan Canada Ltd.’s Trans Mountain pipeline expansion project will have a “chilling” effect on overall investment in Canada, industry observers say.The company’s decision Sunday to impose a May 31 deadline for government reassurance that it can safely spend the bulk of the project’s $7.4-billion construction cost comes after two other projects were ended last year — TransCanada Corp.’s proposed Energy East pipeline and Enbridge Inc.’s previously approved Northern Gateway.“We have become a high-political-risk jurisdiction because of the apparent ambivalence of government resolve to develop our resources. And we are a resource economy,” said Bob Skinner, executive fellow at the School of Public Policy at the University of Calgary, on Monday.He said Kinder Morgan and other megaproject developers are being prudent and acting in the shareholders’ interest when they halt the investment of billions of dollars in projects when they “have no idea” if it will be allowed to proceed to completion.In a statement on Sunday, CEO Alex Pourbaix of Trans Mountain shipper Cenovus Energy Inc. warned there will be a “chilling effect on investment … across the entire country” if the project fails.The potential halt of such energy projects does affect the Canadian economy as a whole, agreed CIBC deputy chief economist Benjamin Tal.“Energy investment is a very important part of total investment in Canada especially when it comes to rate of growth. To the extent that we see some uncertainty there, it can have a macro impact,” he said.The Trans Mountain expansion to add 590,000 bpd to its current 300,000 bpd capacity is needed to show Canada is a good place to do business, said a spokeswoman for Calgary-based Canadian Natural Resources Ltd., which has a contract to ship 75,000 barrels per day on the new pipeline.“The government of Canada approved the Trans Mountain expansion project based on strong scientific evidence and deemed the project in the national interest following the completion of extensive and comprehensive environmental, stakeholder and regulatory reviews,” said Julie Woo in an email. “It is time to see this project through.”Business investment that should be coming to Canada is being diverted to the United States, Royal Bank CEO Dave McKay warned recently. He said the investment exodus is already underway, especially in the energy and clean-technology sectors, due to Ottawa’s lack of response to a U.S. tax overhaul.Tim McMillan, CEO of the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers, said he is seeing the same discount prices for Canadian oil and gas drilling rights, assets and companies compared with those in the United States.He suggested the federal government could follow Alberta Premier Rachel Notley’s suggestion of taking a financial stake in the Trans Mountain project, perhaps by offering to guarantee to repay Kinder Morgan’s investment if the project fails to proceed as promised, instead of offering only verbal support.“This is a profound issue for us and reflects not just on this one project. We’ve had a series, like Energy East and so on, that have painted Canada into a corner as a place to invest,” said Chris Bloomer, CEO of the Canadian Energy Pipeline Association.“What happens here is going to reverberate into the future as far as how we do things in this country. We need to keep that in mind for all projects.”In a report in February, Scotiabank said delayed construction of pipelines including the Trans Mountain expansion, Enbridge’s Line 3 replacement and TransCanada’s Keystone XL is causing discounts for Canadian crude prices that are costing the economy roughly $15.6 billion a year, with the impact expected to moderate as more rail shipping capacity comes on line this year.Follow @HealingSlowly on TwitterCompanies in this article: (TSX:KML, TSX:CVE, TSX:CNQ)last_img read more

Federal oil tanker ban bill defeated in Senate but legislation not dead

first_imgOTTAWA, O.N. – A federal ban on tanker traffic off British Columbia’s north coast has been defeated in a Senate committee.On a 6-6 vote, the Senate’s transportation and communications committee rejected Bill C-48 Wednesday night.The committee’s five Conservative senators voted against it, joined by Alberta independent Paula Simons. Five other independents and one self-identified Liberal voted in favour.When the result was clear _ a tie vote means whatever is being proposed fails _ the bill’s opponents applauded briefly in the Senate committee room.“The bill is defeated,” declared the committee’s chairman, Saskatchewan Conservative Sen. David Tkachuk.The House of Commons passed the bill a week ago and its failure in a Senate committee doesn’t mean it’s dead, but the vote is a blow for Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and the Liberals.Bill C-48 would put into a law a longstanding voluntary moratorium on coastal tanker traffic between the northern tip of Vancouver Island and the Alaska border, which is meant to protect delicate marine environments from potential spills.More precisely, the bill would forbid tankers carrying more than 12,500 tonnes of oil from loading or unloading in the exclusion zone, either directly at ports or by using other ships as intermediaries. Simons said late in the debate that she wasn’t confident that enough homework had been done to justify a permanent ban _ that the bill would lock in a temporary measure based on limited research more than 40 years ago.“I felt it was important as an Albertan, as a member on this committee, to come here with goodwill, to work towards amendments that would somehow strike a compromise where we could both protect one of Canada’s most extraordinary ecosystems while simultaneously not slamming the door in the face of the people of Alberta,” Simons said.She might have backed a temporary legal restriction on tankers to allow further research, she said, but couldn’t support the bill as it stood.Along with Bill C-69, which is meant to reform the federal assessment process for national-scale construction projects and is also in the Senate, Bill C-48 has enraged many backers of the Canadian oil industry, including Alberta Premier Jason Kenney.center_img “This is a victory for common sense & economic growth,” Kenney tweeted after the vote. “Thank-you to Senators for listening to Albertans & respecting fairness in our federation!”Conservatives in the Senate said voting down the bill is a win for Canada’s energy industry, leaving open the possibility of exporting Canadian oil from northern B.C. ports.The now-aborted Northern Gateway pipeline project, for instance, would have carried Alberta oil to Kitimat, B.C., in the no-tanker zone.“This bill would only make the issue of landlocked Canadian oil worse,” said a statement from Sen. Larry Smith, the Conservative leader in the Senate.The statement pointed out that Bill C-48 would forbid the transfer of oil onto or off ships in northern B.C. but wouldn’t stop tankers from passing through the area, impeding Canadian oil but not outlawing tanker traffic from Alaska.The bill has divided First Nations. Some, such as the Nisga’a, see economic opportunity in pipelines. Others, including a nine-nation alliance of coastal First Nations, worry about irreversible damage to fisheries and nascent industries based on products such as essential oils from old-growth trees.last_img read more

New Zealand The Little Nation That Could Win Two World Cups

1979CricketWest Indies4.8England46.7 YEARSPORTWINNERPOP.RUNNER-UPPOP. 2011CricketIndia1,210.2Sri Lanka20.9 2011RugbyNew Zealand4.4France63.1 1983CricketIndia748.0West Indies5.0 2007RugbySouth Africa49.6England51.4 1991RugbyAustralia17.3England47.3 1987RugbyNew Zealand3.3France56.0 1987CricketAustralia16.3England47.3 1995RugbySouth Africa41.4New Zealand3.7 1996CricketSri Lanka18.4Australia18.3 1999RugbyAustralia19.0France58.9 1992CricketPakistan117.3England48.0 1975CricketWest Indies4.6mAustralia13.9m Usually the countries that dominate international sports competitions are the ones more populated than New Zealand, which has just 4.6 million people. Yet the island nation is competing, and winning, in a whole range of sports. Its next task: winning the Cricket World Cup.On Tuesday, New Zealand’s men’s cricket team beat its counterpart from South Africa, a nation of more than 54 million, to advance to its first cricket World Cup final. (And they did it in a thrilling match.) New Zealand has won all eight of its games in this year’s competition, and is the country with the smallest population to ever reach the title match in the competition’s four-decade history. The last World Cup champion, India, had just a slightly larger population: 1.28 billion.Winning any World Cup is a big deal for such a small country. After all, my friend Stephen Wells, a London-based photographer, told me, “Any international/global achievement no matter how trivial is a big deal in NZ.” He added, “Some of us have an inferiority complex that we’re an afterthought of a country, because sometimes we really are an afterthought of a country. But not now.”If the Kiwis beat their neighbors, Australia, on Sunday in Melbourne, New Zealand will become only the second country ever to hold the World Cup titles for both men’s rugby and men’s cricket at the same time.1Australia won the 1987 cricket World Cup and still held that title four years later, when it won the rugby World Cup. Australia also won both World Cups in 1999 and repeated as cricket champs in 2003.As good as New Zealand is in cricket, it’s better in rugby. The men’s team won the last World Cup, in 2011, its second. It has a winning record against every team it has ever played, has been ranked No. 1 for longer than all other teams combined and is the betting favorite to defend its title at this fall’s World Cup. New Zealand’s two rugby World Cup triumphs are the only wins in either World Cup in the last 35 years by a nation with fewer than 5 million people.2West Indies, a cricket conglomerate of 15 small nations and territories, won the first two cricket World Cups in 1975 and 1979, each time representing places with a combined population slightly bigger than New Zealand’s this year. 2007CricketAustralia21.2Sri Lanka20.3 2003CricketAustralia20.0India1,093.8 1999CricketAustralia19.0Pakistan140.6 2003RugbyEngland49.9Australia20.0 New Zealand also has won one World Cup in women’s cricket and finished second at another. And it won four of seven World Cups that have been held in women’s rugby.Again, all that with fewer than 5 million inhabitants.These achievements might be easy to dismiss if you’re not into cricket or rugby. The sports have widespread but not worldwide appeal. Mostly they’re limited to former British territories and Commonwealth countries, and neither is yet an Olympic sport.3Rugby sevens, a faster form of the game played at the World Cup, will debut at the Olympics in Rio de Janeiro next summer. But New Zealand has done well in the men’s soccer World Cup lately, too. It qualified in 2010 — as the third least populous country, bigger only than Slovenia and Uruguay — and was the only team not to lose a match. (It drew all three of its group-stage matches and was eliminated.) It fell one game short of qualifying for last summer’s World Cup. The women’s team qualified for the 2007 and 2011 women’s World Cups.In the Summer Olympics, New Zealand has been gaining on its more populous rivals. It won 13 medals in London in 2012, the fourth straight Summer Games in which New Zealand increased its medal total. It ranked seventh in per-capita medals in 2008, and fourth in 2012, behind only nations that won all their medals in athletics. New Zealand athletes medaled in six different disciplines in London.“That shows there’s a system in place, not just chance or concentration on one sport,” said Alex Baumann, chief executive of High Performance Sport New Zealand, the government body that sponsors recreation in the country, in a telephone interview earlier this month.Baumann attributed the country’s sporting success to a number of factors. As with many things, it starts with money. Over the last five years, the government has increased its investment in his department by nearly 50 percent.4New Zealand’s per capita GDP is higher than India’s and some other cricket rivals but below that of Australia and the U.K., two of its rivals in both cricket and rugby.“In the end, we don’t have all the resources like other countries do, like the U.K. or Australia or even Canada,” Baumann said. “You can’t spend the resources so thinly that you don’t make the difference.”Prioritizing funding has spurred individual sports federations to excel, not just for glory but to keep getting money from the government. “There’s that kind of tension between sports to do well,” Baumann said.That philosophy, and a deep emphasis on sports, is shared by Australia, New Zealand’s close neighbor and ally and sporting rival. While New Zealand lately has topped the standings for sporting performance by countries with fewer than 5 million people, Australia has been the dominant global sports force for countries with fewer than 20 million people. Baumann pointed out that each country’s prime minister attended the cricket teams’ World Cup match last month in Auckland, even though it was in the group stage and unlikely to eliminate either team. “It highlights the importance of sport,” Baumann said.CORRECTION (March 27, 3:03 p.m.): An earlier version of this article said India won the cricket World Cup last year. It won the last cricket World Cup, in 2011.CLARIFICATION (March 27, 3:32 p.m.): A previous version of this article said the cricket World Cup final will be played on Saturday. Its scheduled starting time is 2:30 p.m. on Sunday in Melbourne, which is 11:30 p.m. EDT Saturday. read more

Baseball Ohio State looking to put rough 2017 behind it heading into

Ohio State freshman right fielder Dominic Canzone bats in the bottom of the seventh inning against North Carolina Greensboro. Credit: Edward Sutelan | Lantern reporterTo say the Ohio State baseball team had an up-and-down 2017 season might be too generous. It limped to a 22-34 overall finish, including an 8-16 conference record, and did not qualify for the Big Ten tournament.In particular, the pitching staff performed uncharacteristically poor, with an ERA climbing above the 5.00 mark for the first time since head coach Greg Beals took over in 2011.“We know it’s not acceptable to have the record we did last year here at Ohio State,” redshirt senior pitcher Adam Niemeyer said. Despite last season’s struggles, sophomore outfielder Dominic Canzone and senior pitcher Seth Kinker both said this team expects to compete for and win a Big Ten title.Being fresh off an 11th-place Big Ten finish does not provide much reason to believe that goal is attainable. But the return of several starters and a renewed chemistry provides hope for the Buckeyes.Niemeyer said a main issue with last year’s team was the growing pains involved in having “17 or 18 new players in key roles.” This year’s team will not have that problem. Beals used the word “feeling” to describe the attitude last season’s group had as opposed to “attacking” like he expects this squad to do.“I see a lot better baserunning, being able to go first to third, being able to score from first base,” Beals said. “Dirt-ball reads, having some action in counts where in a 3-1, 3-2 count where we think there’s gonna be action with the bat we’ll get runners started. Just little things like that.”The Buckeyes will return all of their starting pitchers from a season ago except Jake Post. Junior Ryan Feltner, who was recently listed as the top-ranked Big Ten prospect by both and Perfect Game scouting services, has struggled in the past, but could prove to be the ace of the staff. He already has been named as the regular-season Friday night starter.To fill out the starting rotation, Beals also will look to Niemeyer and fellow redshirt senior Yianni Pavlopoulos, along with junior Connor Curlis and sophomore Jake Vance. All five of those players have started at least five games for Ohio State, and only Vance has fewer than 24 game appearances.Curlis will take the mound first for the Buckeyes this weekend during the Snowbird Classic, Beals said.“[Curlis] is working very hard,” Kinker said. “He works with Feltner who, honestly, I don’t think I’ve ever seen anyone work as hard as Feltner.”Kinker, who had 54 strikeouts and a 2.95 ERA last season, headlines a bullpen that features four additional seniors. Experience won’t necessarily translate to performance on the mound though, especially on the back of a poor performance from the pitching staff last year. Niemeyer expects his fellow hurlers to improve their control.“[We want to] fill up the zone early in counts, ‘cause that gives us an advantage,” Niemeyer said. “You just have to have the mindset if someone hits a first-pitch ground or fly ball that’s a good thing. You don’t have to try to strike everyone out.”The Buckeyes maintained all but two starters from last season’s starting lineup. Among the returnees is sophomore Conner Pohl at third base, who was second on the team with a .325 batting average last season. Last year’s primary third baseman Brady Cherry is back playing second base. Canzone will be in right field once again; he led the team with a .346 batting average and was second with 36 RBI. He also stole 13 bases.“I’m very confident with the guys that we’re gonna put on the field this year,” Canzone said. “All around it’s just a lot of great chemistry across the board, this team. I’m just excited and it’s the most fun I’ve had, honestly, in a preseason.”Junior catcher Jacob Barnwell is back behind the plate after 51 starts last season, and junior college transfer Kobie Foppe rounds out the infield at shortstop with a defensive style Beals called “smooth.” Malik Jones, another junior college transfer, will be in center field.An intriguing development within the batting order is the group of athletes vying for playing time at first base, left field and designated hitter.“We’ve got several capable bodies. Bo Coolen and Noah McGowan are both gonna get playing time at first base, McGowan can play some left field and DH, Nate Romans can DH, [Tyler] Cowles can play left field and DH,” Beals said. “We’re gonna be able to wiggle and play some guys that are hot.”Ohio State opens its season Friday against UW-Milwaukee as part of the Snowbird Classic. read more