The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA


January 29, 2013

Local sports in brief 01/30/2013


Bucs sign minor league pitcher

PITTSBURGH – The Pittsburgh Pirates have signed right-handed reliever Kyle Waldrop to a minor league contract and invited him to spring training.

The 27-year-old Waldrop went 0-1 with a 2.53 ERA in 17 appearances for Minnesota last season.

Waldrop was initially selected with the 25th overall pick of the 2004 first-year player draft. He made his big league debut on Sept. 5, 2011 and has a career 1-1 record with a 3.62 ERA in 24 appearances.

Waldrop is Pittsburgh’s 18th non-roster invitee. He will try to find a role in a revamped bullpen that is looking to replace closer Joel Hanrahan and relievers Chris Resop, Evan Meek and Juan Cruz.


Steelers hire new line coach

PITTSBURGH – The Pittsburgh Steelers have hired Jack Bicknell Jr. as the team’s new offensive line coach.

Bicknell replaces Sean Kugler, who left the Steelers following the 2012 season to become head coach at UTEP. Bicknell spent last season as the offensive line coach for the Kansas City Chiefs and began his NFL coaching career as an assistant line coach with the New York Giants from 2009-11.

The 49-year-old Bicknell spent more than two decades coaching at the collegiate level, including eight seasons as the head coach at Louisiana Tech from 1999-2006. His 43 wins at Tech rank the third-most in the program’s history.

Bicknell played center at Boston College from 1981-85, where his father Jack Bicknell Sr. was head coach. Bicknell snapped the ball to Doug Flutie on the famous last-second touchdown pass that beat Miami in 1984.



UPJ moves to No. 1 in poll

Pitt-Johnstown, winner of 10 straight dual meets, including one over fourth-ranked Newberry (SC) College, climbed from third to bounce the Newberry from the top spot in the most recent NCAA Division II Super Region I coaches poll,  released on Tuesday.

Nine Mountain Cats are individually-ranked, including returning All-American Travis McKillop, who is the top-ranked wrestler at 184 lbs.

Pitt-Johnstown, 11-2 on the year, leads No. 2 Newberry. Mercyhurst is third followed by Kutztown and the University of North Carolina-Pembroke.

There are 14 teams  in the region.

McKillop, 21-1, held onto the top-spot at 184 while Dave Fogle (133), who slipped one spot, and Dave Cawley (141) are ranked second. 

Jack Bachman (149), Keith Ryan and Josh Duplin (285) are each ranked third, and Evan Link (125) is fourth.  Gary Lantz (174) and Nikos Garagola are each ranked fifth in their respective weight classes. 

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