Sports Today: Surprise stars help Reds salvage weekend

WASHINGTON, DC - JUNE 25: Scooter Gennett #4 of the Cincinnati Reds hits a RBI single scoring Billy Hamilton #6 (not pictured) in the first inning during a game against the Washington Nationals at Nationals Park on June 25, 2017 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Patrick McDermott/Getty Images)

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WASHINGTON, DC - JUNE 25: Scooter Gennett #4 of the Cincinnati Reds hits a RBI single scoring Billy Hamilton #6 (not pictured) in the first inning during a game against the Washington Nationals at Nationals Park on June 25, 2017 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Patrick McDermott/Getty Images)

Welcome back from another busy weekend in sports. Here are six things to know about it: 

1. The Cincinnati Reds avoided a third consecutive lost weekend with a 6-2 Sunday in Washington.

The heroes yesterday were exactly who we all would have expected before the season began: Scott Feldman and Scooter Gennett.

Feldman pitched seven strong innings, allowing two runs on seven hits to the best offense in baseball.

He improved to 6-5 overall and lowered his ERA to 4.07.

🔥— Cincinnati Reds (@Reds) June 25, 2017

Feldman has the only two wins for a Reds starter in the last 17 games if you want to know how things are going in that department.

PHOTOS: Not a pleasant Saturday for the Reds

Then there is Gennett, who had four hits and raised his batting average to .308. He hit his 11th homer run and drove in runs 39 and 40 on the year.

Is that insane, or what?

I think as surprises go, Gennett is much bigger. Feldman has put up probably the exact numbers the Reds hoped to get when they signed him — but I’m sure they did not want him to be their best starter by far at the same time.

Of course, we can’t write about the weekends without mentioning what an abject disaster the first two games in Washington were.

Louis Castillo offered a lot to be optimistic about in his major-league debut Friday night, but Homer Bailey was downright awful Saturday in his season debut.

ExploreHartsock: Better luck next time for Bailey

Castillo’s stuff is electric, and he showed a lot of heart in staying alive against a killer Nationals lineup. He got the league’s letting hitter, Ryan Zimmerman, to hit into a pair of inning-ending double plays with the bases loaded.

That start (five innings, five hits, five walks, five strikeouts, two runs) was probably exactly what to expect a lot of nights from a young pitcher with great stuff trying to survive his rookie season.

RELATED: Bryan Price talks about why they called up Castillo

What do you think the Reds record would be if they were getting even that on a nightly basis rather than the near-constant flameouts from their other young supposed-to-be studs?…

2. Two players from Sidney announced their college intentions. 

Many congratulations are in order for Isaiah Bowser and Devan Rogers.

Bowser, a super-productive running back, verbally committed to Northwestern.

Rogers, a high-potential defensive tackle, announced he is going to take his talents up I-75 to Toledo after he graduates.

With a highly regarded basketball prospect (Andre Gordon, who also plays quarterback) suiting up, too, it’s an exciting time to be a Yellow Jacket.

RECRUITING ROUNDUP: Gordon among trio of sophomores to pick up offers

3. Luke Kennard met the media in Detroit. 

The Franklin native was introduced to Pistons media (and fans) on Friday, and our David Jablonski was there.

Detroit GM Jeff Bower said they like to find “grit and grind” in prospects they draft.

“We feel Luke comes true in all those areas, from his accomplishments on the court, from his mentality at Duke. (His career) was filled with improvement. It was filled with reactions and coming back from setbacks. (Those) were all qualities that stood out to us.”

RELATED: How much money will Kennard make as a rookie? 

Franklin thanked his hometown for the support he has enjoyed growing up, during his time at Duke and while he was preparing for the draft.

RELATED: Kennard thrilled to be close to home

"I love Franklin," Kennard said. "I'm excited to get back there and see my friends. It's a special place. It kept me grounded through this entire journey."

>> Franklin's Luke Kennard drafted by Detroit Pistons in first round

>> Who are the 5 best NBA players from Dayton area?

Credit: DaytonDailyNews

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Luke Kennard reflects on his NBA Draft experience

Credit: DaytonDailyNews

4. Archie Miller coming back to Ohio… for recruiting. 

The former Dayton coach is probably going to be a familiar face for fans of both the Flyers and Ohio State.

Over the weekend, Miller offered an Indiana scholarship to Jeremiah Francis, a 2019 four-star point guard prospect from Pickerington Central.

According to Jablonski, Francis is among the 2019 prospects new Flyers coach Anthony Grant is recruiting.

As a highly regarded prospect and the son of a former Ohio State star (Jerry), he is sure to be a priority recruit for new Buckeyes coach Chris Holtmann, too.

5. The Columbus Blue Jackets drafted a player from Miami University. 

Carson Meyer, a central Ohio native, heard his name called by his hometown team in the sixth round Saturday during the NHL draft in Chicago.

Meyer tallied 26 points (10 goals, 16 assists) as a freshman last season in Oxford.

He is the 28th RedHawk to be drafted since 2001.

CBJ GM Jarmo Kekalainen called Meyer a late bloomer and said the team was happy to add a talent from near Columbus.

6. Wright State basketball dealing with unexpected changes to lineup and schedule. 

Last but certainly not least: Jay Morrison spoke with Wright State coach Scott Nagy about year two leading Raiders basketball.

His roster is missing a couple of players who were scheduled to be back this year, and the Horizon League lost a successful member as well.

Nagy also doesn’t sound thrilled about the direction things are going as far as player movement.

“I think with the transfer rules they’re just going to become more loose about it,” Nagy said. “I think they’re so concerned about lawsuits and everything else. My concern is we’re going to get to the point where kids can transfer mid-season and play right away. So it doesn’t matter what I think about that rule. It’s not going to change. I don’t think it’s good for basketball and just individuals in general.”

As I have written recently, it is amazing how much things have changed in such a short time.

Has it been too much, too quickly?

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