Towson, UMBC to meet in baseball semifinalsFreshman...

THE BALTIMORE SUN

Towson, UMBC to meet in baseball semifinals

Freshman center fielder Steve Farling had five hits, including three home runs, and drove in a tournament-record-tying eight runs to lead third-seeded Towson State (25-21-1) to a 25-5 victory over second-seeded Delaware (32-7) in the first round of the East Coast Conference baseball tournament in West Windsor, N.J.

The Tigers broke the game open in the fifth inning when they scored 12 runs, sending 15 batters to the plate. Freshman designated hitter Alex Yost hit his first two college homers in the inning, tying a National Collegiate Athletic Association record. Yost also had five RBI in the inning.

In the game, Towson State equaled the ECC mark of eight homers, set by Rider in 1985.

Meanwhile, designated hitter Greg Kirby's three RBI led the University of Maryland Baltimore County (28-19) over Rider (29-9-1), 16-4, in the second game of the tournament.

Andy Coleman went 3-for-5 with two RBI for UMBC, and Trevor Buckley (7-2) got the win.

UMBC will meet Towson today at 3:30. The winner of that game will play for the championship tomorrow.

College softball

Shortstop Kelli Griffith had three hits and drove in three runs, as top-seeded Drexel edged Towson State, 6-5, in the winners' bracket of the ECC tournament, also in West Windsor, N.J. The Tigers will face Delaware in the losers' bracket today at 9 a.m.

The Tigers came from behind for a 5-4, nine-inning victory over Central Connecticut in their first game of the tournament. Senior center fielder Toni Wiggins helped the Tigers send the game to extra innings with a two-run, inside-the-park homer to cap a comeback from a 4-0 deficit. The Tigers won the game in the ninth on Beth Gray's sacrifice fly.

UMBC lost two games in the ECC tournament and was eliminated on the first day. UMBC fell to defending champion Rider, 14-1, and Central Connecticut, 2-1.

College track and field

Western Maryland's Kendra Weible and Johns Hopkins' John Robinson earned second places in the first day of the Middle Atlantic Conference championship at Gettysburg College.

Weible, a sophomore, was the runner-up in the women's 3,000-meter run in a school-record 10 minutes, 34.12 seconds. Robinson, a junior, finished second in the 3,000-meter steeplechase in 9:12.54, three seconds off the MAC record of 9:09.13 by Haverford's Matt Leighninger. The meet continues today.

College basketball

Todd Day, Arkansas' leading scorer and projected as a first-round pick in the National Basketball Association draft, announced he will return for his senior season with the Razorbacks. Day and three teammates won't be able to play until December because of punishment stemming from their involvement in a sexual incident with a woman in the athletic dormitory.

Hockey

Despite a disappointing season and playoff showing, the Buffalo Sabres will retain general manager Gerry Meehan and coach Rick Dudley but will hire a high-level administrator from outside the organization, owner Seymour H. Knox III announced.

* Minnesota owner Norman Green said an agreement has been reached with the expansion San Jose Sharks that will allow the North Stars to keep the young stars who are performing so well in the National Hockey League playoffs, while the Sharks will receive draft choices and other considerations. The North Stars lead the Edmonton Oilers, 1-0, in the best-of-seven Campbell Conference finals.

Steeplechase

A sellout crowd of more than 50,000 is expected today for the 66th running of the Virginia Gold Cup near Middleburg, Va., which includes the richest timber race in the world, with a purse of $35,000.

A record $150,000 in purses will be offered in seven timber and brush races on the new Great Meadow race course between Middleburg and Warrenton, Va. Gates open at 10 a.m., and the first race is at 1:30 p.m.

Tennis

Top-seeded Monica Seles swept past Helena Sukova, 6-0, 6-1, and joined Steffi Graf in the semifinals of the Hamburg (Germany) Open. Seles faces third-seeded Arantxa Sanchez Vicario today; eighth-seeded Judith Wiesner of Austria will play Graf.

Sailing

Yachting's version of the exhibition season begins today in San Diego when nine boats representing six countries line up for the inaugural International America's Cup Class World Championships -- five days of fleet racing and two days of match racing.

Defending America's Cup skipper Dennis Conner has been sailing his new, $3 million Stars & Stripes for less than a month. He has played down the importance of the championships but is expected to compete, if only out of feelings of civic duty in his hometown.

Auto racing

Scott Pruett and the rest of the Indy-car entries have to make peace with their "worst enemy" to have a chance of success in the second round of the 1991 International Race of Champions today at Talladega (Ala.) Superspeedway.

The "enemy" is drafting, the art of using the airflow from speeding cars ahead or behind to keep in the competition on NASCAR's high-banked ovals.

"We're slowly starting to get an understanding of the draft," said Pruett, one of three Indy-car stars in the 12-car IROC field. "In Indy cars, you want to stay away from the draft. It's one of our worst enemies because of the different aerodynamics in those cars. You have to get used to it for the stock cars."

* Mark Martin was the fastest among 14 drivers in second-round Winston 500 time trials, but his speed of 191.329 mph was good enough only for 28th starting position in tomorrow's race at Talladega Superspeedway.

The 1990 NASCAR Winston Cup Series points standings runner-up had to abort a first-round run Thursday because of a burned piston in his Ford.

Seven drivers stood on their speeds from 24 hours earlier to take positions 21 through 27 in the 41-car field that will get the green flag at 2 p.m.

* Polish-born Walter Surma led second-day qualifying for today's ARCA Poulan Pro 500-kilometer stock car race at Talladega Superspeedway.

Obituary

Vitas Gerulaitis Sr., 76, who nurtured his son, Vitas Jr., into becoming one of the world's top professional tennis players and later became the first head pro at the National Tennis Center in Queens, died in Woodhaven, N.Y., of a heart attack.

Bowling

George Branham III defeated Doug Kent in a three-game bowl-off, 674-621, and became the top qualifier for the championship round of the American Bowling Congress Masters Tournament in Toledo, Ohio.

Kent will take the second spot in today's stepladder finals. He had been undefeated in match-play until losing to Branham.

Harold Sullins was third after beating David Ozio, 812-739. Ozio finished fourth and will face Scott Alexander in the opening game of the finals.

Broadcasting

Pittsburgh Pirates broadcaster Jim Rooker was granted an indefinite leave of absence to enter an alcohol evaluation and rehabilitation program. Rooker, who won 103 games with Pittsburgh, has been charged with drunken driving three times since 1983 and faces a mandatory 90-day jail term if he is convicted of his latest drunken driving charge.

Soccer

The Baltimore Hummers outdoor club will meet the Virginia state champion Spartans tomorrow at Banneker Field in Catonsville at 2 p.m. in a final round-of-16 game in the men's unlimited National Amateur Cup.

The Hummers (28-2 and coached by Kevin Healy) advanced to the final 16 in the 500-team field by defeating the Pennsylvania state champions. The Spartans ousted the Delaware state champion in the round of 32.

Trooper to trouper

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