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Goss: Providence's Boykin selects Notre Dame

Of this and that:

• Providence receiver Miles Boykin made it official Wednesday evening when he announced his commitment to Notre Dame on Twitter.

The big and fast receiver, who also is a basketball standout, was said to be favoring the Irish as the process wound down. Michigan State reportedly was the other finalist, with Michigan, Missouri, Florida and Illinois among the schools in the hunt for his services.

Boykin has been clocked at 4.41 seconds in the 40-yard dash and weighs 220 pounds. Some have indicated he can be a tight end or receiver in college. He is that versatile and athletic.

I’m anxious to see Boykin play the first game of his senior season at Providence. The Celtics tangle with Joliet Catholic on Aug. 29 at Memorial Stadium.

• Received a note the other day from Chet Lines, a Plainfield South assistant baseball coach. He let us know that “former Cougars Jake Roberts and Victor Garcia are tearing it up this summer in the West Coast Baseball League out in the Pacific Northwest.”

Roberts is playing for the Yakima Valley Pippins in Washington and Garcia is playing for the Medford Rogues in Oregon. Each team is leading its division, with the ex-Cougars in leading roles.

The West Coast is considered a premiere summer collegiate league. Roberts is No. 2 in the league in hitting with a .400 batting average (26 for 65). He has five doubles, one home run and eight RBIs.

Garcia is the No. 3-ranked hitter at .372 (16 for 43). Half of his hits are for extra bases as he has three doubles and five homers. He shares the league lead in homers and is second in RBIs with 19.

The reunion for the former Cougars is forthcoming. Garcia has been playing his college ball at Texas Pan-American. Roberts was at Cisco College, a junior college in Texas, and is moving on to Texas Pan-American in the fall.

• Minooka senior Tanner Laczynski, a Shorewood resident, was among 22 players who participated in the USA Hockey Boys’ Select 17 Player Development Camp and have been chosen for the U.S. Under-18 Select Team that will compete at the Ivan Hlinka Memorial Cup on Aug. 11 through 16 in Breclav, Czech Republic, and Piestany, Slovakia. Laczynski is a forward and has committed to play at Ohio State.

• Tim Howard is the darling of USA soccer. Rightfully so. His record-setting performance in the 2-1 World Cup elimination loss to Belgium was off the charts.

But as well as Howard played throughout the World Cup, I just wonder how the USA would have fared – as well, perhaps? – with backup keeper Brad Guzan, a Providence graduate, in goal.

• Speaking of Providence grads, Sam Travis’ initial slump in pro baseball apparently is history.

The second-round draft pick of the Boston Red Sox out of Indiana a month ago, Travis struggled to a 5-for-30 start at Lowell in the New York-Penn League. He had no homers or RBIs at that point.

In his past four games through Tuesday, however, he went 9 for 18, a .500 clip, with two homers and six RBIs. That boosted his average to .292. In other words, more Travis-like.

• Also in the New York-Penn League, right-handed pitcher Matt Borens from Peotone and Eastern Illinois, an 11th-round pick of the New York Yankees, had a positively forgettable first outing. However, in his second appearance, which was Tuesday, he threw three hitless, scoreless innings, walking nobody and striking out three.

• University of Illinois left-hander Tyler Jay from Lemont has been selected to the 24-man roster of USA Baseball’s Collegiate National Team. The team is hosting Chinese Taipei at various sites in North Carolina in a five-game series this week. That will be followed by three games against Japan.

Team USA then will travel to the Netherlands for Honkbal-Haarlem Baseball Week on July 11 through 20. After that tournament, the U.S. will go to Cuba for a five-game friendship series July 23 through 27.

• Dick Goss is the sports editor for The Herald-News can be reached at

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