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5 sports storylines to watch this week

1. Pitch perfect: Baseball fans who love a classic pitchers’ duel will enjoy today’s matchup between the Cincinnati Reds and the St. Louis Cardinals. Mat Latos (1-0, 2.16 ERA) leads the Reds into Busch Stadium in the first game of a three-game series. The Cardinals throw Adam Wainwright (4-1, 1.93 ERA) at the Reds. Latos is up to the challenge. In his last outing, the right-hander tossed seven shutout innings and gave up just four hits in a 1-0 win against the Cubs.

2. Ready for take-off: The Dayton Air Strikers tip off their home opener on Friday, the first of three straight home games for the Central Basketball League member. Dayton, which lost to Bowling Green 118-98 in its season opener last Friday, hosts the River City Panthers at 6 p.m. at the Payne Rec Center in Moraine. The Strikers then look for some payback against the BG Green Hornets Sunday at 5 p.m., also at the Rec Center. For more info visit

3. Sharks look to regain bite: Dayton ended the Continental Indoor Football League regular season with a 66-20 loss to Kentucky on Saturday night. Up next is the playoffs for the 8-2 Sharks, who are scheduled to host a TBA playoff game and look to snap a two-game losing streak.

4. Dragons wrap up homestand: Dayton hosts Burlington for two more games today and Tuesday, then hit the road to play Clinton and Kane County. Drew Cisco takes the mound for tonight’s 7 o’clock start. The right-hander (1-1, 2.42 ERA) is tied for second in the Midwest League with 27 strikeouts (in 19 innings pitched) and trails only teammate Robert Stephenson (31 strikeouts in 23 innings).

5. Prepping for the postseason: The high school regular seasons are starting to wind down, which means league titles will be decided in the next couple weeks. Bragging rights will also be up for grabs at the Don Mitchell Roosevelt Memorial track and field meet at Welcome Stadium. The meet, which draws top talent from the Miami Valley and from outside the state, features a variety of relay events and even the steeplechase. Friday’s action starts at 4 p.m. and resumes 9:30 a.m. Saturday.

— Greg Billing

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