Sports Digest: Vanderbilt stays alive at CWS with win over short-handed N.C. State


BASEBALL

Kumar Rocker struck out 11 in six innings and Vanderbilt won 3-1 at the College World Series in Omaha, Nebraska, on Friday against a North Carolina State team without half its roster because of COVID-19 issues.

The Commodores (48-16) forced a second Bracket 1 final Saturday, with the winner going to the best-of-three finals starting Monday.

Friday’s game was delayed an hour after the NCAA said it needed time to complete “health and safety protocols.” N.C. State (37-19) said in a statement that “several players” had entered the COVID-19 protocol.

Only 13 of the 27 players on the travel roster, including four pitchers, were cleared to play.

Coach Elliott Avent said he found out there was a problem 45 minutes to an hour before the game. He told ESPN during an in-game interview that players not with the team were getting tested Friday afternoon and, if the results were negative, some or all would have a chance to play Saturday.

GOLF

PGA: Bubba Watson recovered after snapping his driver on the second hole, shooting his second straight 66 that left him one stroke behind 36-hole leader Jason Day at the Travelers Championship in Cromwell, Connecticut.

Day shot 62 for the day’s low score. The former world No. 1 has gone more than three years without a top-three finish and missed three straight cuts before he tied for 44th at the PGA Championship, then withdrew from the Memorial because of a back injury and did not qualify for the U.S. Open.

First-round co-leader Kramer Hickok was at 10 under before flying the green on the par-3 16th hole and then three-putting from 18 feet for a double bogey. He finished with a 69 to tie Watson for second at 8 under.

LPGA: Nelly Korda closed her round with six straight birdies for a 9-under 63 as she took the lead at the KPMG Women’s PGA Championship in Johns Creek, Georgia.

Korda was at 11-under 133, one shot ahead of Lizette Salas, who hit all 18 greens in regulation, shot another 67 and has yet to make a bogey through 36 holes.

CHAMPIONS TOUR: Steve Stricker increased his lead to five strokes in the Senior Players Championship at Akron, Ohio, following an opening 7-under 63 with a 68 at breezy Firestone.

The 54-year-old U.S. Ryder Cup captain had a 9-under 131 total on the difficult South Course, playing bogey-free for the first two rounds.

Paul Broadhurst was second at 4 under after a 69. The 55-year-old Englishman has five Champions wins – two of them majors – after winning six times on the European Tour.

EUROPEAN TOUR: Irish golfer Niall Kearney had a two-shot lead after the second round of the BMW International Open in Munich.

Kearney shot a 4-under-par 68 and was 11 under overall as he chases his first European Tour title.

Viktor Hovland, Bernd Wiesberger, Masahiro Kawamura, Adrien Saddier and Jorge Campill shared second place at 9 under. U.S. Open runner-up Louis Oosthuizen and two-time major winner Martin Kaymer were in a group at 7 under.

OLYMPICS

TOKYO GAMES: A “no-spectator games” remains an option for the Tokyo Olympics, which open officially in just four weeks, the president of the Tokyo Olympic organizing committee said.

The admission by Seiko Hashimoto comes only four days after she announced on Monday that up to 10,000 local fans would be allowed into venues – with numbers not to exceed 50% of venue capacity regardless of indoor or outdoor events.

Organizers put off the decision on local fans for several months, and fans from abroad were banned months ago. The move to allow fans went against many medical experts who have said the safest Olympics would be with no fans because of the coronavirus.

• Mo Farah failed to qualify for the Tokyo Olympics on Friday and will not defend his 10,000-meter title.

The four-time Olympic champion missed the qualifying time in an invitational 10,000 at the British athletics championships in Manchester, England.

Farah needed to go under 27 minutes, 28 seconds before Sunday’s deadline for team selection, but he clocked 27:47.04 and will not defend the 10,000 title he won in 2012 and 2016.

FOOTBALL

NFL: The Pittsburgh Steelers signed five-time Pro Bowl guard Trai Turner to a one-year deal, a day after cutting six-time Pro Bowler David DeCastro in a somewhat surprising move.

Financial terms were not disclosed, but Pittsburgh did find itself with a little money to spend after releasing DeCastro, who served as the linchpin of a line that was among the league’s best for the second half of the 2010s.

Turner, 28, played last season for the Los Angeles Chargers, appearing in a career-low nine games. Pittsburgh is hoping Turner can return to the form he showcased during a six-year stint with the Carolina Panthers.

• The New York Jets signed former Washington offensive tackle Morgan Moses to a one-year deal, according to a person with direct knowledge of the signing.

Moses was released by Washington on May 20 after starting every game at right tackle the past six seasons.

TENNIS

BAD HOMBURG OPEN: Angelique Kerber upset top-seeded Petra Kvitova as she won two three-set matches to reach the final in Bad Homburg, Germany.

Seeded fourth, Kerber will play for her first title since Wimbledon in 2018 after she beat Kvitova, 3-6, 6-4, 7-6 (3). Earlier, Kerber defeated Amanda Anisimova, 2-6, 6-3, 6-3, in one of three quarterfinals rescheduled for Friday after rain washed out the entire Thursday schedule.

Kerber will face another Czech player, Katerina Siniakova, in the final after Siniakova beat Sara Sorribes Tormo, 6-2, 6-4.

EASTBOURNE INTERNATIONAL: Alex de Minaur and Lorenzo Sonego will meet for the title in Eastbourne, England, after ending the runs of lucky losers Kwon Soon-woo and Max Purcell in the semifinals.

The No. 2-seeded de Minaur beat Kwon, 6-3, 7-6 (2). Sonego, the No. 3 seed at the grass-court tuneup for Wimbledon, defeated Purcell, 6-1, 3-6, 6-1.

AUTO RACING

INGRAM DIES: Jack Ingram, a hard-hosed, hot-tempered racer who won five NASCAR championships and more than 300 races, has died, the NASCAR Hall of Fame said. He was 84.

No details were released by the Hall of Fame. A 2014 inductee, Ingram lived near Asheville, North Carolina, and had been hospitalized in May.

Ingram dominated NASCAR Sportsman competition during the 1970s. He won three consecutive championships from 1972 to 1974 and continued to compete when the series underwent a transformation and became what is now known as the Xfinity Series.

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