Originally created 11/17/00

Overtime



Greenbrier High School standout Chad Thornhill signed his national letter of intent with the University of Georgia Thursday.

The 6-2, 205 pound first baseman joins older brother Mark, who is a senior infielder and a three-year started for the Bulldogs baseball team.

As a member of the region champions Wolfpack team last season, Thornhill batted .352 with 13 home runs and 41 RBI with only three strikeouts in 104 at-bats. Two years ago, he batted .372 as he helped lead Greenbrier to region and state championships and a 29-5 record.

BASEBALL:

The Toronto Blue Jays and Texas Rangers will open the 2001 baseball season in Puerto Rico, the third straight year baseball has started outside the United States or Canada.

Colorado and San Diego opened the 1999 season in Monterey, Mexico, and the New York Mets and the Chicago Cubs opened last season with a two-game series in Japan. The Blue Jays said the game on April 1 would be played at Hiram Bithorn Stadium in San Juan.

Blue Jays All-Star first baseman Carlos Delgado and center fielder Jose Cruz Jr. along with the Rangers All-Star catcher Ivan Rodriguez and outfielder Ricky Ledee are natives of Puerto Rico.

Former Philadelphia Phillies first baseman John Kruk has been added to the team's player development staff.

Kruk, a lifetime .300 hitter, made his major league debut with San Diego in 1986. On June 3, 1989, he was traded to the Phillies.

A three-time Phillies All-Star (1991-93), Kruk was a key player in the team's 1993 National League championship season when he hit .316 with 14 home runs, 85 RBI, 100 runs scored and 111 walks.

Former major league infielder Carlos Baerga became the owner of a baseball team in his native Puerto Rico, taking over the debt-ridden Bayamon Cowboys.

Baerga told radio stations he sealed the deal during a meeting at Ramon Loubriel stadium in Bayamon, a suburb of San Juan. He would not reveal the price.

The sale must be approved by the Puerto Rico Professional Baseball League, but league president Reinaldo Paniagua said he expected no opposition.

Paul O'Neill believes the Yankees can win at least one more World Series and he wants to stay in New York for it.

After contemplating retirement late this season, O'Neill instead will play one final year, signing a $6.5 million contract with the Yankees.

O'Neill was one of the first pieces of that core, coming over in a trade from Cincinnati after the 1992 season. He has hit .309 for the Yankees and manager Joe Torre calls him the "heart and soul" of the team that has won four World Series titles in the last five years.

TENNIS:

Surviving a mid-match lapse, top-seeded Martina Hingis moved easily into the semifinals of the Chase Championships on Thursday night with a 6-1, 6-7 (2), 6-2 victory over Nathalie Tauziat.

Ranked No. 1 in the world, Hingis is seeking her first major title since the 1999 Australian Open and her first victory here since winning this season-ending tournament in 1998.

On Saturday, Hingis will face the winner of Thursday night's second match between fourth-seeded Conchita Martinez and Hingis' doubles partner, No. 7 Anna Kournikova.

The second semifinal pairing will be determined Friday night when No. 3 Monica Seles plays Amanda Coetzer, followed by surprising Elena Dementieva against Kim Clijsters.

Dementieva upset defending champion Lindsay Davenport in a first-round match Wednesday night.

BOXING:

Augusta resident Denise Moraetes is currently ranked in the top 10 in two rankings polls released Thursday.

Moraetes, competing in the Super Lightweight/Junior Welterweight division (up to 140 pounds), is ranked fifth in the International Women's Boxing Federation and sixth in the International Female Boxing Association.