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Sportshorts for Tuesday, Dec. 4, 2012

COLLEGE VOLLEYBALL

Sauk’s Scheppers named all-american

Sauk Valley Community College freshman Kalli Scheppers was named to the NJCAA Division II All-American volleyball second team.

Scheppers, an outside hitter from Mendota High School, amassed 465 kills on the season for a .299 hitting efficiency and had 290 digs.

MEN’S BASKETBALL

Illinois leaps nine spots to No. 13

A 75-62 victory over Georgia Tech last Wednesday during the ACC-Big Ten Challenge catapulted Illinois to No. 13 in the most recent Associated Press poll.

The Illini were 22nd in last week’s poll and host Western Carolina at 7 tonight. Indiana and Duke held steady as the top and second-ranked teams, respectively. See the poll in its entirety on B4.

MLB

Deshaies to replace Brenly in Cubs booth

The Chicago Cubs hired former Houston Astros pitcher and broadcaster Jim Deshaies as their new TV analyst, replacing Bob Brenly.

Deshaies received a 4-year deal. Dan Plesac, Eric Karros, Mark DeRosa and Todd Hollandsworth were among the candidates considered.

Trio elected to Hall of Fame

Former New York Yankees owner Jacob Ruppert, longtime umpire Hank O’Day and barehanded catcher Deacon White were elected to the Hall of Fame on Monday for their excellence through the first half of the 20th century.

The trio was picked by the Hall’s pre-integration panel – part of what once was known as the Veterans Committee.

Red Sox sign Napoli; Pagan gets big deal

The Boston Red Sox signed All-Star catcher Mike Napoli, Tampa Bay took a chance on first baseman James Loney, and the San Francisco Giants re-upped with outfielder Angel Pagan on Monday at the winter meetings.

Napoli got a $39 million, 3-year deal. The World Series champs gave Pagan, a former Cub, a 4-year, $40 million contract. Meanwhile, the Texas Rangers brought back another former Cub, catcher Geovany Soto.

NFL

Crennel tried to talk Belcher out of suicide

Kansas City Chiefs head coach Romeo Crennel said on Monday he tried to talk linebacker Jovan Belcher out of shooting himself outside the team’s practice facility before the player committed suicide on Saturday.

Belcher shot himself in the head in a parking lot in the presence of team personnel that included Crennel and General Manager Scott Pioli. A few minutes earlier, he shot his girlfriend, Kasandra Perkins, to death in the couple’s home.

Breaking their silence for the first time, Perkins’ family said Monday their “hearts are truly broken” and asked for privacy while they grieve the loss of two loved ones.

The couple had a 3-month-old daughter, Zoey.

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