Home runs keep USC Aiken alive
In Columbus, Ga., USC Aiken used the long ball to stay alive in the Peach Belt Conference Tournament at Golden Park, beating North Georgia 11-2, in the double elimination event.
Will Tankersley, Adam Anderson and Bryce Baur homered for the Pacers (35-17), who had lost their opener, 6-5 to Montevallo, on Wednesday.
Those two teams meet again today at 9 a.m.
• In Columbia, Evan Marzilli had a three-run homer and four RBI as South Carolina blanked Furman 7-0 in a late game Wednesday night that had a 58-minute rain delay.
The Gamecocks improve to 37-12.
Lady Jaguars are off to slow start
In State College, Pa., the Augusta State women got off to a rough start in the NCAA East Regional on Thursday.
The Lady Jaguars had to count an 83 among their four scores and shot 23-over-par 311. They are tied for 18th place among 23 teams in the 54-hole event.
The top eight finishers advance to the NCAA Championships.
Casey Kennedy led Augusta State with 2-over-par 74. Natalie Wille had 75, Kirsty Rands 79 and Marit Bjerke 83. Christine Duschek-Hansen had 84, the non-counting score.
South Carolina is the team leader at 288.
Texas A&M’s Katerina Ruzickova is the individual leader at 67.
Camp named to regional squad
Augusta State senior shortstop Kacee Camp has been named to the National Fastpitch Coaches Association’s All-Southeast Region squad.
Camp batted .390 with 35 runs scored, 20 extra-base hits, and a .451 on-base percentage this season as the Jags’ top offensive threat.
Camp was earlier named to the All-Peach Belt Conference team and the Daktronics All-Southeast team.
She is on the ballot for Daktronics All-America team, which will be announced later this month.
Atlanta to have NCAA’s covered
All three divisions of NCAA men’s basketball will see their 2013 national champions crowned during Final Four weekend in Atlanta.
The NCAA has announced that for the first time, the Division II and Division III titles will be awarded in the same city and over the same weekend as the culmination to the Division I tournament.
Both the Division II and Division III champions will be crowned on Sunday, April 7, with the tentative site being Philips Arena.
Next season’s men’s Division I national semifinals are April 6 at the Georgia Dome, as is the national championship game on April 8.
Nadal is unhappy loser in Madrid
In Madrid, Rafael Nadal lost to Fernando Verdasco 6-3, 3-6, 7-5 at the Madrid Open, then threatened not to return if the new blue clay-court wasn’t discarded.
Defending champion Novak Djokovic and Roger Federer, meanwhile, eased into the quarterfinals.
Nadal blamed his first loss on clay in almost a year on the blue clay, calling it soft and slippery earlier in the week.
“If things don’t change, this will be one less tournament on the calendar for me,” he said.