Cats drop Missouri opener
Missouri jumped out to an early lead and held off the Kentucky baseball team to post a 4-2 series-opening win over the Wildcats on Thursday night in Columbia, Mo.
Kentucky (29-23, 10-18 Southeastern Conference) fell into an early hole after the Tigers got two runs in the third, adding single runs in the fourth and fifth to chase UK pre-season All-America southpaw A.J. Reed.
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Reed (2-8) worked 41⁄3 innings, allowing nine hits and four runs, walking two without recording a strikeout. Sophomore Chandler Shepherd turned in a dominating performance in relief of Reed, retiring all 11 hitters he faced, working 32⁄3 perfect innings, striking out two and hurling just four balls in 31 total pitches.
The series resumes on Saturday at 7 p.m.
Ex-Cat Newton signs with Giants
The New York Giants announced Thursday that former Kentucky quarterback Morgan Newton has signed a free-agent contract as a tight end.
Newton becomes the fifth player from the 2012 UK senior class to sign with an NFL team. He joins offensive guard Larry Warford, a third-round draft choice of the Detroit Lions, and additional free-agent signees — defensive back Martavius Neloms (Detroit), center Matt Smith (Atlanta) and defensive end Collins Ukwu (Minnesota). A total of 45 Wildcats have signed NFL contracts since 2008.
Newton played quarterback for almost all of his time as a Wildcat. During his career, he completed more than 50 percent of his passes for 1,837 yards and 15 touchdowns. He saw brief action at tight end during his senior season.
HIGH SCHOOL BASKETBALL
Oldham coach to replace Osborne
Jason Holland has stepped down as the boys' basketball coach at Oldham County High School to take the same position at Montgomery County, Oldham County athletic director Kevin Combs told the Courier-Journal Wednesday.
Holland will replace Happy Osborne, who went 33-5 and reached the Sweet 16 semifinals in his only season. Osborne was named the men's basketball coach at Kentucky Wesleyan College on April 21.
Holland went 92-38 in four seasons at Oldham County, winning a pair of Eighth Region titles. His best season was in 2011-12, when the Colonels finished 31-6 and reached the Sweet 16 semifinals. Oldham County finished 25-8 last season, falling to South Oldham in the Eighth Region final.
Bradley shoots course record
Keegan Bradley had no thoughts about a course record, or the possibility of a 59, after consecutive bogeys in the middle of his opening round at the Byron Nelson Championship.
Until his 136-yard wedge shot on his final hole Thursday.
"It was going right at it. (A 59) crossed my mind for a second, and it would be unbelievable if I buried this," Bradley said. "But I had 3 feet to shoot 60. I was actually very nervous, uncomfortable over it and thank God I made it."
Bradley shot 10-under 60, completed by that short birdie at the 428-yard ninth hole, to break the TPC Four Seasons course record and match the best round ever at the Nelson.
Lloyd Saltman of Scotland shot an 8-under 64 to match his best round Thursday, taking a two-shot lead after the first day of the Madeira Islands Open. Saltman was the first golfer off the morning tee and birdied four of his first five holes. He finished with nine birdies and one bogey on a windy day at the Clube de Golf do Santo da Serra course.
Lexi Thompson birdied the final three holes for a 7-under 65 and a share of the first-round lead Thursday with Eun-Hee Ji in the Mobile Bay LPGA Classic.
The 18-year-old Thompson, second last year behind Stacy Lewis, had eight birdies and a bogey on The Crossings course at the Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail's Magnolia Grove complex. Ji had five birdies in a six-hole stretch on the front nine in her bogey-free round.
Ian Poulter and Nicolas Colsaerts were unexpected losers Thursday on the first day of the World Match Play Championship. Poulter was handed a 3 and 2 defeat by Thongchai Jaidee on the Gary Player-designed Thracian Cliffs course in the first major tournament held in Bulgaria.
Colsaerts, the defending champion, was never in front against Branden Grace, with the South African winning 4 and 3.
Boston Marathon runners offered do-over
Boston Marathon runners who were stopped on the course when bombs went off at the finish line will have a chance to come back and run again next year, race organizers said on Thursday.
One month and one day after the April 15 explosions that killed three people and wounded hundreds more, the Boston Athletic Association said that 5,633 people who were stopped on the second half of the course when the race was shut down at 2:50 p.m. will be allowed to register early for next year's race.
The B.A.A. said runners who passed the halfway checkpoint at 13.1 miles but hadn't reached the finish line will get a code to register in August; regular registration is scheduled to begin in September. Runners will be required to pay the entry fee — the amount hasn't been determined yet — but they will not have to re-qualify by running another marathon in a given time.
Minor League baseball
Legends rained out
Thursday's game between the Lexington Legends and the West Virginia Power in Charleston was rained out. The game will be made up as part of a doubleheader Saturday. First pitch of game one is set for 5:05 p.m.
V Foundation nears $10 million milestone
Dick Vitale's fight against cancer is nearing a major milestone. Vitale expects to top the $10 million mark with his eighth annual celebrity gala in Sarasota, Fla., on Friday night.
The event will honor former Florida State football coach Bobby Bowden, former Connecticut basketball coachm cancer survivor Jim Calhoun, and Kansas basketball coach Bill Self. The gala raises money for the V Foundation in honor of the late Jim Valvano. Net proceeds go to pediatric cancer research.
"It should be really, really special," Vitale said in a phone interview Thursday. "It has gone way beyond my dreams."
More than 70 sports celebrities are scheduled to attend, including Kentucky Coach John Calipari.
U.S. Open moves to ESPN
The U.S. Open tennis tournament will leave CBS after nearly a half-century and move all TV coverage to cable starting in 2015 under an 11-year contract with ESPN.
The new deal between the U.S. Tennis Association and ESPN, announced Thursday, also includes the series of North American summer hard-court tournaments leading up to the Open.
CBS has broadcast the U.S. Open every year since 1968; its current deal expires after the 2014 tournament. ESPN will then take over the entire event until 2025, with the ability to sell off rights to other channels with USTA approval.
The last word
Syracuse Coach Jim Boeheim was asked why rival Louisville's Rick Pitino wasn't at the Atlantic Coast Conference meetings, since both schools are to join the conference. Said Boeheim:
"He's still waiting for his horse to finish in the Derby."