Gattis grand slam leads Braves past Twins 8-3
ATLANTA (AP) - Evan Gattis kept up an amazing rookie season with his first grand slam, B.J. Upton and Ramiro Pena also homered, and the Atlanta Braves finished off a sweep of the woeful Minnesota Twins 8-3 Wednesday.
The Braves stretched their winning streak to six games and made things easy for Paul Maholm (6-4), who allowed an unearned run in 7 1-3 innings.
Gattis struck less than 24 hours after his two-out, pinch-homer in the ninth allowed the Braves to pull out a 5-4 win over the Twins in extra innings. Swinging on a 3-0 pitch with the bases loaded in the fourth, he launched an opposite-field drive just inside the right-field pole.
Vance Worley (1-5) gave up eight runs in 3 2-3 innings in the Twins' eighth straight loss.
SEC-MISSISSIPPI ST-SOUTH CAROLINA
Mississippi State tops South Carolina, 5-3
HOOVER, Ala. (AP) - Demarcus Henderson and Wes Rea both had RBI singles in the ninth inning to lift Mississippi State to a 5-3 win over South Carolina Wednesday night in the second round of the Southeastern Conference tournament.
The Bulldogs (42-16) loaded the bases with one out before Henderson and Rea drove in runs on consecutive at-bats for the second time in the game. Mississippi State had beaten Missouri 2-1 in 17 innings Tuesday night, matching the longest game in SEC tournament history.
Reliever Myles Gentry (4-0) limited the Gamecocks (39-17) to a one-out single in the bottom of the ninth. Gentry pitched 5-2/3 scoreless innings, allowing three hits while striking out eight.
Rea was 3 for 4 while Henderson drove in three runs.
Mississippi State led 3-0 before South Carolina tied it up in the fourth. Max Schrock drew a bases loaded walk and Brison Celek followed with a two-run single.
Parker leads Texas A&M past Vanderbilt, 5-0
HOOVER, Ala. (AP) - Ray Parker pitched eight-plus innings to lead Texas A&M to a 5-0 victory over top-seeded Vanderbilt on Wednesday in the second round of the Southeastern Conference baseball tournament.
The Aggies (32-25) produced three solo homers and Parker made sure it was plenty in the double-elimination tournament.
Making his fifth start of the season, Parker (1-1) allowed three hits and walked three while throwing 110 pitches. He left after walking the leadoff batter in the ninth.
Vandy (48-8), which had lost only three SEC games, didn't manage an extra base hit and was shut out for the first time this season. The Commodores came in leading the league in hitting.
Cole Langford, Hunter Melton and Troy Stein homered for Texas A&M while Daniel Mengden had three hits and Krey Bratsen added two. Melton also homered in the opening win over Florida.
NC State tops Clemson 6-3 in ACC tournament
DURHAM, N.C. (AP) - Brett Austin drove in two runs during a four-run seventh inning to help North Carolina State beat Clemson 6-3 on Wednesday night in pool play at the Atlantic Coast Conference tournament.
Jake Fincher had an RBI single before Austin's two-run double in the seventh snapped a 2-2 tie for the fourth-seeded Wolfpack (43-13).
Grant Clyde also had a solo homer in the second for N.C. State, while reliever Josh Easley (5-2) earned the win by allowing a run and two hits in four innings.
Garrett Boulware had three hits and a solo homer in the ninth for the fifth-seeded Tigers (39-18), while starter Daniel Gossett (9-4) took the loss by allowing six runs - five earned - and six hits in 6 1-3 innings.
N.C. State and Clemson are off until Friday, with the Wolfpack facing No. 8 seed Miami and the Tigers facing top-seeded North Carolina in Pool A.
Virginia Tech beats Virginia 10-1 in ACC tourney
DURHAM, N.C. (AP) - Chad Pinder hit two home runs - including a sixth-inning grand slam - and drove in six runs to help Virginia Tech beat Virginia 10-1 on Wednesday in pool play of the Atlantic Coast Conference tournament.
Pinder and Tyler Horan each had three hits for the sixth-seeded Hokies (36-19), who had a six-run second inning against the third-seeded Cavaliers (45-10). Pinder hit a two-run shot in the second, then blew the game open with a blast over the left-field wall in the sixth.
Chad Morgan and Brendon Hayden added consecutive RBI doubles in the second for Virginia Tech, while Joe Mantiply (6-0) earned the win by allowing one run in seven innings.
Virginia starter Brandon Waddell (5-2) allowed six runs and 10 hits in four innings.
Virginia will face seventh-seeded Georgia Tech on Thursday in Pool B, while Virginia Tech will face No. 2 seed Florida State.
ACC-GEORGIA TECH-FLORIDA STATE
Georgia Tech tops Florida State 4-3 in ACC tourney
DURHAM, N.C. (AP) - A.J. Murray and Mott Hyde hit back-to-back homers in the top of the ninth inning to help reigning champion Georgia Tech beat Florida State 4-3 on Wednesday in pool play at the Atlantic Coast Conference tournament.
The seventh-seeded Yellow Jackets (34-23) led off the ninth with a pair of groundouts before Murray hit a solo shot to left against reliever Robby Coles to tie the game. Then Hyde followed with another shot to left to stun the second-seeded Seminoles (44-13).
Giovanny Alfonzo flied out to left in the bottom of the ninth to end the game for Florida State, with Coles (4-2) taking the loss.
Hyde had three hits and two RBIs for Georgia Tech, while reliever Daniel Palka (2-1) took the win with two scoreless innings of work.
Florida State will face sixth-seeded Virginia Tech on Thursday in Pool B, while Georgia Tech will face No. 3 seed Virginia.
Southern Cal takes 12-shot lead in NCAA golf
ATHENS, Ga. (AP) - Annie Park shot a 5-under 67 and Southern California had a record-setting 12-under total Wednesday to open a 12-stroke lead during the second round of the NCAA Women's Golf Championships.
Southern California had a 16-under 560 total on the University of Georgia Golf Course. Defending champion Alabama was second after a 4-under round.
Alabama's Stephanie Meadow topped the individual leaderboard at 8 under after a 67. Park was a stroke back.
A handful of threesomes were on the course when play was suspended at 8 p.m. The tournament was held up late in the afternoon by a weather delay of 2 hour, 5 minutes.
McCoughtry, Dream looking for return to finals
ATLANTA (AP) - A season of controversy left the Atlanta Dream eager to embrace stability and a return to the WNBA finals.
After advancing to the 2010 and 2011 finals, the Dream endured a tumultuous 2012 season. Coach and general manager Marynell Meadors was dismissed with 10 games remaining in the season. This came about the same time All-Star Angel McCoughtry was suspended for undisclosed rules violations.
Assistant Fred Williams was promoted to take over leadership of the team, and he returns for his first full season as coach and GM.
Williams says "a lot of players still have a bad taste in their mouth that they want to get back there and compete to get to the finals again."
Atlanta lost to Seattle and Minnesota in the 2010 and 2011 finals, respectively.
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