Originally created 05/08/00

Overtime: USC loses two straight at Arkansas



Top-ranked South Carolina went to Arkansas on the verge of breaking the Southeastern Conference record for consecutive victories. But after a 9-3 loss Sunday, the Gamecocks left Fayetteville, Ark., with a two-game losing streak hanging over them.

Arkansas (22-29, 6-19 SEC) starter Matt Riethmaier (2-4) scattered three hits over 7 2/3 innings to earn his second win of the week.

South Carolina won Friday's game to tie the SEC consecutive victory record at 17, but Arkansas came back for an 11-10 victory on Saturday.

Despite the two losses, the Gamecocks (45-6, 22-5 SEC) have wrapped up the conference title, thanks to Florida's win over Ole Miss on Saturday. South Carolina, which has a game with Duke on Wednesday and a weekend series with Tennessee left, will be the top seed at the SEC Tournament at Hoover, Ala., May 17-21.

Justin Huisman's double drove in the tie-breaking run in the seventh inning and Lance Jones hit a two-run homer in the ninth for insurance as Mississippi avoided a weekend three-game sweep with a 6-3 victory over Georgia.

The Rebels (29-23, 11-15 Southeastern Conference) broke the 3-3 tie in the seventh when Clint Farrar walked and Huisman followed with his run-scoring double to left, chasing Georgia (30-21, 14-12) starter Bill Sharpton (3-3).

An RBI single by Sam Bozanich in the bottom of the sixth turned out to be the game-winner as Alabama beat Auburn 13-4. The Crimson Tide (34-18, 15-12 SEC) pulled away from the Tigers (38-15, 15-12) by scoring four runs in both the seventh and eighth innings.

BOXING:

Five Augusta Boxing Club members earned gold medals and trips to the Junior Olympics regional competition in Kingsland, Ga., May 18-20, with victories in the Georgia State Junior Olympics in Columbus, Ga., over the weekend.

Fred Hall (119) and Alex Abrams (147), fighting in the 13-14 year age group won gold, while Mat Bargeron (119), Jason Pinckney (132) and John Drye (156) were victorious in 15-16 age group bouts.

TENNIS:

Qualifier Fernando Gonzalez won his first ATP Tour title Sunday, beating fellow Chilean Nicolas Massu 6-2, 6-3 in the championship match of the U.S. Men's Clay Court Championships in Lake Buena Vista, Fla.

Gonzalez, 19, needed just 78 minutes to beat the sixth-seeded Massu in a matchup of players who live in the same apartment building in Santiago.

Gonzalez, who came into the tournament ranked 357th, barely made his way into the tournament, entering as the very last player allowed into the pre-tournament qualifying event.

John McEnroe made it look easy. Again.

After falling behind 2-4 in the second set, McEnroe won the last four games to beat Mats Wilander 6-1, 6-4 Sunday to win the BTI Champions in Raleigh, N.C.

McEnroe lost just eight games before Sunday and then needed just one hour, 18 minutes to roll over Wilander, continuing his domination of the Worldwide Seniors Tennis Circuit. It was his 10th win in 23 tournaments this season and sixth in the senior tour's last eight events.

The top eight finishers in the points race -- McEnroe, Wilander, Henri Leconte, Jimmy Connors, Mikael Pernfors, Mansour Bahrami, Andres Gomez and Bjorn Borg -- qualify for the season wrapup tournament in June in New York's Central Park.