Winthrop deals MU first loss of season

Friday, February 18, 2005 | 12:00 a.m. CST; updated 6:56 p.m. CDT, Monday, July 21, 2008

The Missouri baseball team lost to Winthrop 7-4 in its opening game of the Griffin Pontiac Challenge on Thursday in Rock Hill, S.C.

Missouri starter Max Scherzer had six straight strikeouts in the first and second innings to help the Tigers (1-1) build a 4-2 fourth-inning lead. Winthrop (6-0) took controlwith a 3-run fifth and Eagles right fielder Daniel Carte added a two-run home run in the sixth.

Scherzer allowed five runs, four earned, in 4 1/3 innings.

COLUMBIA COLLEGE MEN’S BASKETBALL: The Cougars lost 82-72 at Williams Baptist (Ark.) on Thursday.

The loss moves Columbia College (18-11, 7-2) into a tie for second place with McKendree College in the American Midwest Conference.

Cougars forward Nahowan Saxon led Columbia College with 15 points and seven rebounds. Forward Tim Melz had 14 points.

Williams Baptist guard Braden Watson went 5-for-6 from behind the arc and led the Eagles with 23 points. The Eagles led 41-33 at halftime and converted on 10-of-12 shots from 3-point range.

The Cougars’ next game is at home against Illinois-Springfield on Saturday at 4 p.m.

NISSAN OPEN: The shifting wind and gloomy rain gave the Nissan Open a distinctively British feel Thursday.

So did the leaderboard.

Two months after finally earning his PGA Tour card by winning Q-school, Brian Davis of England opened with an eagle and finished with eight straight pars on his way to a 6-under 65 for the first-round lead at dreary Riviera Country Club.

Luke Donald of England and Darren Clarke of Northern Ireland were among those one shot behind. Clarke had one of many highlights at Riviera with his 7-iron that skirted the edge of the bunker in the middle of the par-3 sixth green, then rolled down the slope and into the cup for an ace.

Brett Quigley made a birdie on the 18th and also shot a 66.

Two-time defending champion Mike Weir was at 5-under until finding a bunker on his final hole and making bogey, dropping him into a large group at 67.

Tiger Woods should have no complaints, either.

Despite three-putting for bogey three times, Woods managed a 67 for his best start ever in his hometown tournament, which has given him fits like no other. The Nissan Open is the only PGA Tour event he has played at least four times without winning.

CUBS: Dusty Baker reached out to Sammy Sosa after he was traded, seeking to understand why his relationship with the former Chicago Cubs star fell apart at the end of last season.

“I got hold of him and we had a short conversation. I wished him well. I did ask him, I said, ‘Hey, man, I’m still bewildered about what happened and why,’ and he didn’t really have an answer,” Baker said Thursday before Chicago’s first workout of the spring.

“He said, ‘It’s in the past, good luck and God bless you.’ And that was the extent of the conversation.”

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