Don't be deceived by the Nevada Wonders' 1-9-1 record. They could still be playing for a postseason berth. Well, only if the PDL follows in the same path Montserrat and Bhutan did during last summer's World Cup and some other PDL teams get hot.
When Brazil and Germany kicked off in the World Cup final, so did Bhutan and Montserrat, the two teams ranked at the bottom of the FIFA World Rankings at Nos. 203 and 204, respectively. The PDL should try and set up a similar game for the last place teams when the PDL championship is played later this summer.
The only problem is Nevada, which is in its first year in the PDL, is probably too good for this cellar dweller game. There are five other teams in the 51-team PDL that have less points than the Wonders, who have four. So here's a list of four teams who are ranked below Nevada, which is basically in 47th place.
No. 48--Abbotsford Rangers: From the Northwest Division of the Western Conference, Abbotsford has an overall record of 1-8. It has a total of three points in the standings and might not get another one because it plays in such a tough conference. Their goal differential of -11 gives them the nod over the next two teams.
No. 49--Worcester Kings: This team from Massachusetts also has three points with a 1-9 overall record. They have allowed 30 goals this season, the third most in the PDL. Only Nevada and the Wisconsin Rebels (I'll get to them shortly) have allowed more goals.
No. 50--BYU Cougars: Oh, how the Nevada Wonders love this team. They should've probably beaten BYU the first time the two teams played but had to settle for a convincing 3-0 win on May 30 in Carson City. With a 1-8 record, the Cougars have three points in the Southwest Division standings. Worcester also has thee points but gets ranked ahead of BYU because its goal differential of -17 is better than the Cougars' -18.
No. 51--Wisconsin Rebels: Even with a win, which seems unlikely, Wisconsin could still qualify for the inaugural game. The Rebels are 0-11-1, which makes them the only PDL team not to have won a game. Their goal differential of -35 is nine goals worse than the Wonders' -26. Wisconsin has allowed 38 goals this season, meaning if it were to somehow amass four points and tie Nevada, its goal differential would be so poor it would remain in last place.
But I have a feeling the Wonders are going to move up the rankings in the next few weeks. They've been painfully close to picking up a few wins the last two weeks. After all, Nevada needs only one win to move in front of the Toledo Slayers (1-7-2), who are ranked No. 46 with five points.
So stay tuned as I contact Wisconsin Rebels' officials and see what they think of my proposed game. Hey, Montserrat and Bhutan had fun with it, why can't the two worst teams in the PDL?
There has still been no official word on whether Galena's Steve Lerud, a third round draft pick of the Pittsburgh Pirates, will turn pro or honor his commitment to Santa Clara University. If he does sign with Pittsburgh, however, there is more information on how much his signing bonus could be. The 82nd and 83rd overall picks both signed recently and received signing bonuses of $440,000. The 69th overall pick signed for $500,000. So Lerud, who was picked 75th overall, can expect to get somewhere in between those two numbers.
But he could get on the high end of that difference. The 79th overall pick signed for $475,000 by the Atlanta Braves, who selected high school pitcher Jacob Stevens.
Former Carson Capitol Dustin Pedroia was named a second team All-American by Baseball America on Thursday. Pedroia, who just completed his sophomore season at Arizona State, hit .404 with 34 doubles and 52 RBI for the Sun Devils. He shared Pac-10 Player of the Year honors and his 34 doubles broke a conference record.
Nevada freshman catcher Brett Hayes was named a first team freshman All- American team by Baseball America. Hayes, who mostly played catcher with the Wolf Pack, made the team as a designated hitter after batting .365 with 16 doubles and 63 RBI.
Rice's sophomore pitching tandem of Jeff Nieman (16-0, 1.63 ERA) and Wade Townsend (10-1, 1.90 ERA) were both first team All-American selections. Now that his three starters signed with professional teams, I'm sure Nevada coach Gary Powers can't wait to face the Owls next season.
Texas sophomore J.P. Howell, another former Carson Capitol, was oddly left off Baseball America's All-American teams. They were three of them but Howell, who led the Longhorns in strikeouts this season and emerged as the team's ace in the College World Series, was somehow left off all of them.
Bruce Kochsmeier, 49, the senior pastor and Carson City resident at First Presbyterian Church ran the Suzuki Rock 'N Roll Marathon in San Diego on June 1, finishing in three hours, 54 minutes and 57 seconds. In addition, 67-year-old Charles Wolle of Genoa finished in 4:52.19. I forgot to mention Kochsmeier and Wolle in my column on the marathon several weeks ago. If I still forgot to mention somebody, run another marathon and let me know how you did.
Jeremy Evans is a Nevada Appeal sports writer.