Sports briefs: May 3

May 3, 2014 

UK Sports

Vols roll past Cats in baseball

Tennessee took advantage of four walks, a hit batter and an error in the first two innings to plate four runs, and got a 128-pitch gem from senior starter Nick Williams, posting an 8-2 win over visiting Kentucky to even the baseball series.

Kentucky (28-18, 10-13 Southeastern Conference) fell behind early after a four-run Tennessee rally in the bottom of the second inning. UK rallied with a homer from Matt Reida and a two-out RBI knock from Ka'ai Tom, but the Vols erased that production with a two-run fourth inning.

The Wildcats collected eight hits in the game but couldn't get the clutch one as UK left a runner on base in each inning and stranded 11 runners.

• UK softball's Emily Gaines launched her sixth home run of the season in the seventh inning, but Georgia hit three homers to grab a 5-1 series-opening win. Kentucky's only run of the game came in the seventh inning when Gaines hammered a ball into the trees in right-center field. The senior's homer was her sixth of the season. Sophomore shortstop Christian Stokes went 2-for-3 in the game with two singles, while senior pitcher/infielder Lauren Cumbess was 1-for-3.

• Kentucky women's tennis sophomore Nadia Ravita and seniors Cece Witten and Caitlin McGraw received at-large bids to the 2014 NCAA Championships. Ravita will compete in the singles competition while the senior duo will take on the field in doubles.

Golf

Cabrera, Flores share lead at Quail Hollow

Angel Cabrera never knows when he's going to play his best golf. This could be shaping up as one of those weeks at the Wells Fargo Championship.

On a Quail Hollow course that lets the Argentine hit driver on just about every hole, two exquisite short-game shots late in the second round carried Cabrera to a 3-under 69 on Friday and a share of the lead with Martin Flores going into the weekend.

It was the first time Cabrera had at least a share of the 36-hole lead on the PGA Tour since the 2007 U.S. Open at Oakmont. The last time he was part of the lead after any round was in the 2013 Masters.

With one of the most powerful and reliable swings in golf, the mystery about the 44-year-old Argentine is that his only two wins on the PGA Tour are majors — Oakmont for the U.S. Open, and Augusta when he won the Masters in a playoff in 2009.

Flores began his second round birdie-eagle when he holed out with a wedge from 105 yards in the 11th fairway. He added a pair of birdies late in his round for a 68. They were at 9-under 135, one shot ahead of Justin Rose, who had a 67.

Bernhard Langer birdied the final six holes for a share of the lead with Bart Bryant on Friday in the Champions Tour's Insperity Invitational. Langer matched Bryant at 6-under 66 at The Woodlands Country Club. Langer won the 2007 event at Augusta Pines and successfully defended his title in 2008 at The Woodlands. The 56-year-old German player won the season-opening event in Hawaii for his 19th Champions Tour title and has 20 straight under-par rounds. The birdie streak tied Dan Forsman's 2009 tournament record.

Meena Lee shot a season-best 64 that included a nine-hole stretch without a par and Caroline Masson had her second straight 67 on Friday to share the lead in the North Texas LPGA Shootout. At 8-under 134, South Korea's Lee and Germany's Masson were a stroke ahead of Texan Stacy Lewis and fellow American Natalie Gulbis. The 65 on Friday for Gulbis was her first sub-70 round this season, putting her in contention for her first victory in seven years. She is playing with an achy left wrist, and has an appointment with a specialist next week to finally figure out what is causing the pain.

Panuphol Pittayarat of Thailand birdied two of his last three holes to maintain a one-stroke lead after the second round of The Championship at Laguna National on Friday. Panuphol, the overnight leader, shot a 4-under 68 for a two-round total of 13-under 131, a stroke ahead of Scott Hend of Australia, David Lipsky of the United States, and Felipe Aguilar of Chile in a tie for second place.

NHL

Crosby still scoreless as Rangers win

Derick Brassard scored 3:06 into overtime to give the New York Rangers a 3-2 victory over the Pittsburgh Penguins in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference semifinals Friday night.

Play continued after Brassard's goal, with Benoit Pouliot pumping a shot past Marc-Andre Fleury seconds after Brassard's shot. A review showed Brassard's flip from in front beat Fleury cleanly.

Game 2 is Sunday.

Pouliot and Brad Richards gave the Rangers an early 2-0 lead. Henrik Lundqvist stopped 34 shots and stuffed a late Pittsburgh breakaway in the final seconds of regulation.

Lee Stempniak and James Neal scored for the Penguins. Fleury made 24 saves but was helpless on the winner.

Pittsburgh star Sidney Crosby was held without a goal for the 12th straight playoff game.

College basketball

Kansas lands touted point guard

Kansas signed touted point guard Devonte' Graham on Friday, one day after starter Naadir Tharpe announced he would be transferring closer to his home in Massachusetts.

The 6-foot-2 Graham originally signed with Appalachian State but did not enroll, instead playing at Brewster Academy in New Hampshire. His stock skyrocketed during his season at the prep school, and Graham wound up with offers from major schools.

• Duke says big man Sean Obi is transferring in from Rice. The Blue Devils formally announced Obi's transfer on Friday. Obi is a 6-foot-9, 265-point post player who must sit out this season. He will have three years of eligibility beginning in 2015-16. He averaged 11.4 points and a Conference USA-leading 9.3 rebounds as a freshman at Rice, and reached double figures in 17 of 30 games.

• Connecticut forward Leon Tolksdorf says he will be transferring to American University in Washington, D.C., to take on a "new challenge." The 6-foot-8 sophomore from Berlin, Germany, appeared in 24 games for the national champion Huskies, averaging 1.5 points and nearly one rebound in about five minutes per game.

Minor league baseball Legends shut down Suns

Michael Antonio had three hits and three runs batted in as the Lexington Legends took an 12-4 victory over the Hagerstown Suns in the opener of a four-game series Friday. The Legends tied their season high with 18 hits, and every Legends hitter had at least one.

The Legends held a 2-1 lead after one inning, and broke the game open with six runs in the second inning. Frank Schwindel led off with a home run, and then three consecutive walks loaded the bases. Ramon Torres, who had three hits in the game, singled to left field, scoring two runs. Torres went to second on an error by left fielder Isaac Ballou, and scored on a single by Antonio.

Fred Ford followed with a single, sending Antonio to second. After Wander Suero relieved starter Jake Johansen, a wild pitched moved the runners to second and third, from where they scored on a pop fly double by Humberto Arteaga, and the Legends held an 8-1 lead.

Jake Junis (2-2), who worked the first six innings, got the win.

The last word

It's been 14 years since Mario Andretti last drove a race car competitively. But not a day goes by that the legendary driver isn't participating in something closely related to the sport. Said the 74-year-old:

"As long as I have breath in my body, I'm going to be involved. No question."

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