Gon­za­lez to play for U.S.

The Na­tion­als’ Gio Gon­za­lez will pitch for the U.S. in the World Base­ball Clas­sic.

The Washington Post Sunday - - SPORTS -

Gio Gon­za­lez, the Washington Na­tion­als’ all-star left-han­der, will pitch for Team USA in the World Base­ball Clas­sic, a U.S. team spokesman said in an email on Satur­day. Gon­za­lez, the Na­tion­als’ lone rep­re­sen­ta­tive on the U.S. team, was in­vited by Team USA Man­ager Joe Torre.

Gon­za­lez, 27, one of the base­ball’s best left-han­ders, joins a Team USA ro­ta­tion of Blue Jays knuck­le­baller R.A. Dickey, Giants right-han­der Ryan Vo­gel­song, and Rangers left-han­der Derek Hol­land. Braves righthander Kris Medlen with­drew two weeks ago be­cause of the im­pend­ing birth of his first child. Yan­kees left-han­der Andy Pet­titte re­cently passed on an op­por­tu­nity to join the team. Tigers right-han­der Justin Ver­lan­der is re­port­edly still mulling whether to play.

Gon­za­lez and out­fielder Roger Ber­nad­ina (the Nether­lands) are the only two Na­tion­als ma­jor lea­guers to be con­firmed par­tic­i­pants in the World Base­ball Clas­sic. Both will have to miss a few weeks of spring train­ing with Team USA’s first game sched­uled for March 8 in Phoenix. The semi­fi­nals and fi­nal are from March 17 to 19 in San Fran­cisco.

— James Wag­ner

COL­LEGE LACROSSE

The Navy lacrosse team’s 106th sea­son opener hardly re­sem­bled any of its open­ers in re­cent me­mory. New NCAA rules en­acted to speed up the game were im­me­di­ately ap­par­ent in Navy’s 20-7 vic­tory over Vir­ginia Mil­i­tary In­sti­tute at Navy-Marine Corps Me­mo­rial Sta­dium.

The Mid­ship­men’s goals and their 58 shots were the most since they took 60 shots in de­feat­ing Holy Cross, 23-5, in April 2004. Ju­niors led the way of­fen­sively. Austin Hen­eveld had two goals and four as­sists and class­mates Erik Hoff­s­tadt and Sam Jones each added three goals. Among the NCAA’s new rules are no more side­line horns — mean­ing sub­sti­tu­tions are done on the fly — and there are quick restarts off dead-ball sit­u­a­tions.

“It’s really nice to see a lot of things we’ve been do­ing in prac­tice trans­late into games,” Hen­eveld said. “Guys got into the game quickly and once we got go­ing we were hard to stop.”

Mean­time, Jules Godino be­came the first fresh­man de­fense­man to start a sea­son opener for Navy since Chris Steb­bings in 2000; he fin­ished tied for a teamhigh two caused turnovers.

Se­nior Rus­sell East (Her­itage High) and sopho­more Tim Di­Bla­sio each scored two goals for the Key­dets.

— Chris­tian Swezey

MISC.

Saints Coach Sean Pay­ton has cho­sen Rob Ryan as his new de­fen­sive co­or­di­na­tor as he over­hauls a unit that was his­tor­i­cally bad last sea­son. Ryan, the brother of New York Jets Coach Rex Ryan, spent the past two sea­sons as Dal­las’s de­fen­sive co­or­di­na­tor. He was fired af­ter last sea­son. . . .

Rafael Nadal beat Jeremy Chardy, 6-2, 6-2, to land in both fi­nals of the VTR Open in Vina Del Mar, Chile, af­ter a sev­en­month lay­off due to a left knee in­jury and a stom­ach virus. Nadal and Juan Monaco won their dou­bles semi­fi­nal on Fri­day, mean­ing Nadal is sched­uled to play twice on Sun­day. The former No. 1 has played six matches in five days and has yet to drop a set. — From news ser­vices

and staff re­ports

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