Sports briefs (March 24): South Carolina spoils UK baseball's series sweep

March 24, 2014 

UK sports

Gamecocks spoil series sweep

Wil Crowe turned in a strong start on the mound to lead top-ranked South Carolina to a series-salvaging 8-3 win over the Kentucky baseball team on Sunday afternoon at Cliff Hagan Stadium.

After Kentucky won the series with a 13-5 win in the opener on Friday and a 2-1 clincher on Saturday, the Gamecocks jumped out to a lead with single runs in the second and fifth innings, getting three-run frames in the sixth and ninth. USC — the NCAA's leader in ERA — rode the strong pitching effort by Crowe, keeping UK from just its second series sweep over a No. 1 ranked team in program history and its first since 1991.

UK starter Andrew Nelson (1-1) suffered his first career loss, working 51⁄3 innings, allowing five hits and five runs — four earned — walking two and striking out five.

UK collected five hits in the game, getting a double from Micheal Thomas — who had homered in both games to open the series. UK got singles from Kyle Barrett, Ka'ai Tom, Storm Wilson and Marcus Carson, with JaVon Shelby scoring a run.

• Kentucky senior outfielder Emily Gaines posted two multi-hit games, including two doubles and two runs batted in, while sophomore infielder Nikki Sagermann had three hits on the day, including a two-run homer and RBI triple, pacing Kentucky to a doubleheader split with Kansas and Kent State on Sunday in the final day of the Kentucky Tournament at John Cropp Stadium.

Kentucky (27-5) started the day with a 7-5 loss to Kansas (24-10) before responding in the day's second day with a 4-2 victory over Kent State (14-12). The loss to Kansas broke Kentucky's best home start in program history as UK entered the game having won each of its first seven home games.

The Wildcats are now 8-1 on the year at John Cropp Stadium. The Wildcats went 6-1 on the week.

• Three Wildcats posted rounds of under par on Sunday to lead the men's golf team into a tie for fifth place after one round of play at the Hootie at Bulls Bay Intercollegiate. Stephen Powers and Ben Stow were tied for fourth with 3-under 69s; Will Bishop tied for 10th with 2-under 70.

• The men's tennis team rebounded from a loss on Friday night with a 4-1 win over host Tennessee to remain in in a tie for second in the Southeastern Conference. The Cats got wins in singles from Alejandro Gomez, Beck Pennington, Kevin Lai and Grant Roberts; and doubles wins from Jomby/Lai, Pennington/Gomez and Nils Elefsen/Ryuji Hirooka.

• Tennessee dealt the UK women's tennis team their second consecutive loss at home, 4-3. The Cats swept the doubles point and picked up singles wins from Aldila Sitjiadi and Kelsey Dieters.

Golf

Webb sets course record in Founders Cup

Karrie Webb flew up the leaderboard with a course-record 9-under 63, then waited about 90 minutes to see if anyone could catch her in the JTBC Founders Cup.

No one could, giving the 39-year-old Australian her second victory of the season and second in four years at Desert Ridge's Wildfire Golf Club.

For the second time in the event, Webb overcame a six-stroke deficit in the final round. In 2011 in the inaugural tournament, she shot a 66 for a one-stroke victory.

The Hall of Famer had 10 birdies and a bogey, playing the back nine in 6-under 30. She birdied five of the last six holes, finishing with a 20-footer on the par-4 18th.

Webb won the Women's Australian Open for the record fifth time last month and has 41 LPGA Tour victories.

Third-round leader Lydia Ko parred the final three holes to finish a stroke back along with 2013 winner Stacy Lewis, Azahara Munoz, Amy Yang and Mirim Lee.

Matt Every held on to the very end for a 2-under 70 to overcome a four-shot deficit and win his first PGA Tour event Sunday in the Arnold Palmer Invitational.

Every beat Masters champion Adam Scott to earn his first spot in the Masters next month.

But he needed help from Scott, who had a seven-shot lead going into the weekend and wound up two shots behind. Scott didn't make a birdie over the last 14 holes and closed with a 76.

Keegan Bradley had a 30-foot birdie putt on the 18th hole to force a playoff. It missed left of the hole, giving Bradley a 72.

Jeff Maggert became the 17th player in Champions Tour history to win in his debut, shooting a 4-under 68 on Sunday at the Mississippi Gulf Resort Classic at Fallen Oak.

Maggert fell into a tie for the lead with Billy Andrade after making bogey on No. 16, but responded with an astonishing, 50-foot putt for birdie on No. 17 that pushed him back ahead.

• The World Golf Hall of Fame is changing the criteria, voting process and timing of player inductions.

No one has been elected this year while the criteria went through an overhaul. The next induction will be May 2015.

Officials have eliminated the PGA Tour and International ballots for men. Instead, the four categories will be for men, women, veterans and lifetime achievement. Active players must have 15 wins on major tours or two majors.

The biggest change is the voting. Instead of a panel of media, golf dignitaries and Hall of Fame member, a 16-person panel will do the voting. The majority of that panel is golf administrators, along with three golf writers and four Hall of Fame members. A 20-person panel will nominate potential inductees.

Baseball

Dodgers 2-for-2 Down Under

Yasiel Puig had three hits and two RBIs to back a scoreless outing by Hyun-Jin Ryu as the Los Angeles Dodgers made it 2 for 2 Down Under with a 7-5 victory over the Arizona Diamondbacks on Sunday.

Dee Gordon and Juan Uribe also had three hits for the Dodgers, who finished with 13 in beating Arizona starter Trevor Cahill for the first time.

After a 3-1 win behind ace Clayton Kershaw in the Major League Baseball season opener Saturday night, Los Angeles remained perfect at Sydney Cricket Ground with its second consecutive victory over its NL West rival in Australia.

Cahill (0-1) came in 6-0 with a 2.01 ERA in 10 career starts against the Dodgers, but left in the fifth trailing 3-0. He gave up eight hits with just one strikeout and was charged with five runs and four walks in four-plus innings.

The Diamondbacks made three errors, two by catcher Miguel Montero.

Lyle Overbay got good news in the morning and celebrated with his bat. Overbay, who was told Sunday that he had made the Brewers' opening day roster, had two doubles and a single in Milwaukee's 9-1 victory over the Reds. Jonathan Lucroy drove in three runs with a double and a homer as the Brewers roughed up Mike Leake, scoring six runs in the second. Milwaukee had four doubles in the inning.

Horse racing

Favorite Chitu takes Sunland Derby

Chitu, with jockey Martin Garcia up out-dueled stablemate Midnight Hawk in the homestretch to win the Grade III Sunland Derby and capture 50 points toward qualifying for a spot in the Kentucky Derby. Trained Hall of Famer Bob Baffert, Chitu, the 19-10 favorite, returned $5.80, $3.20 and $2.20.

The last word

Phil Jackson is returning to New York to run the Knicks' basketball department. Said Sam Smith, a veteran NBA reporter whose relationship with the Hall of Fame coach dates to his Albany years:

"Phil can deal with people. That's his specialty. He wrote a book blasting Kobe Bryant. And then he came back and coached him for two more championships."

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