June 17, 2012 in Sports

Gamecocks begin repeat bid with win

From Staff And Wire Reports
 
Associated Press photo

South Carolina catcher Dante Rosenberg lies on the ground after Florida’s Nolan Fontana, left, and Justin Shafer score.
(Full-size photo)

Baseball: Michael Roth turned in another strong College World Series start, Erik Payne’s bases-loaded triple scored the go-ahead runs and South Carolina began the last leg of its pursuit of a third straight national title with a 7-3 win over Florida on Saturday night at Omaha, Neb.

South Carolina (46-17) extended its record NCAA-tournament win streak to 22 games by beating its SEC rival and 2011 national runner-up for only the second time in five tries this season.

Roth (8-1), making his eighth appearance in three years in Omaha, left with one out in the seventh after Florida’s first two batters reached in a two-run game.

Tyler Webb got the Gamecocks out of trouble, and Matt Price pitched the last two innings for his 12th save.

Payne’s triple off Brian Johnson (8-5) highlighted a fifth inning in which the Gamecocks turned a 2-0 deficit into a 5-2 lead over the Gators (47-19).

• Arkansas downs Kent State: In the earlier game at the CWS, Arkansas’ DJ Baxendale bounced back from one of his worst starts of the year to turn in his best.

The junior right-hander held Kent State hitless into the fifth inning and combined with Brandon Moore on a four-hitter in the Razorbacks’ 8-1 victory that spoiled the Golden Flashes’ first appearance at the tournament.

Baxendale’s performance was a lot different than his previous outing, when he was hit for five runs in four innings in an 8-1 loss to Baylor in the super regionals.

Baxendale and Moore got some unexpected help from the bottom of the lineup.

No. 9 batter Jake Wise homered for the first time since February and also hit a two-run single.

No. 8 batter Matt Vinson hit a two-run double that gave Arkansas (45-20) a 5-1 lead in the sixth.

Kent State (46-19), the first team from the Mid-American Conference to make it to the CWS since Eastern Michigan in 1976, couldn’t get much going against Baxendale.

Baxendale didn’t allow a hit until Sawyer Polen’s infield single with two out in the fifth.

He held the Flashes scoreless until Jimmy Rider homered in the sixth.

The Flashes will try to stave off elimination playing in a bracket that includes two-time defending national champion South Carolina, No. 1 national seed Florida and the Arkansas team that just beat them.

Federer will bid for 6th Gerry Weber win

Tennis: Roger Federer will face wild card Tommy Haas of Germany in a bid to win the Gerry Weber Open for a record sixth time today in Halle, Germany.

The 87th-ranked Haas defeated defending champion Philipp Kohlschreiber 7-6 (5), 7-5. Federer eased past Mikhail Youzhny of Russia by 6-1, 6-4 to reach his seventh final.

Federer is aiming to win his 75th tour title, only two behind all-time leader John McEnroe.

• Cilic vs. Nalbandian in Queen’s final: Sixth-seeded Marin Cilic of Croatia beat American Sam Querrey in the Queen’s Club semifinals 6-3, 3-6, 6-3 and will play 10th-seeded David Nalbandian of Argentina in today’s championship match in London.

Nalbandian defeated Bulgarian Grigor Dimitrov 6-4, 6-4 in the other semifinal.

Velazquez injured; horse euthanized

Horse racing: Jockey John Velazquez was taken to a hospital after injuring a shoulder in a spill in the ninth race at Churchill Downs in Lexington, Ky.

A week after riding Union Rags to victory in the Belmont Stakes, the 40-year-old Velazquez was taken from the track on a stretcher.

Velazquez’s mount, Mr. Producer, broke down near the sixteenth pole, falling to the inside and taking out Smart Farda and jockey Manoel Cruz. Mr. Producer was euthanized on the track.

• Upset in Vanity Handicap: Love Theway Youare snapped an 11-race skid with a 2 1/2-length upset victory in the $250,000 Vanity Handicap at Betfair Hollywood Park in Inglewood, Calif.

Ridden for the first time by Garrett Gomez, Love Theway Youare ran 1 1/8 miles on the synthetic Cushion Track in 1:51.10, the slowest time in the race’s 59-year history, and paid $38, $6.20 and $4.20 at 18-1 odds in her first Grade 1 victory. Gomez won the race for the second straight year.

Greece shocks Russia in European soccer

Soccer: Greece surged into the European Championship quarterfinals, defeating Russia 1-0 in Warsaw, Poland, on a goal by Giorgos Karagounis just before halftime.

Karagounis, making his team record-tying 120th international appearance, sent a low shot under goalkeeper Vyacheslav Malafeev with the final touch of the first half.

Russia, a semifinalist four years ago, was the overwhelming choice going into the match at the National Stadium, but it was again guilty of squandering chances.

The Russians finished the match with 25 shots on goal, while Greece managed five.

At Wroclaw, Poland, Petr Jiracek scored a second-half goal to give the Czech Republic a 1-0 victory over Poland and a place in the quarters.

Poland, the tournament co-host, was knocked out with its defeat in the team’s final Group A game. The Czechs won the group.


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