Sports in brief: Florida Gators defeat Florida State Seminoles in baseball

colleges

tucker homer helps gators topple fsu 9-2

GAINESVILLE — In front of a record crowd of 6,005 at McKethan Stadium on Tuesday, No. 1 Florida beat No. 6 Florida State 9-2 to extend its winning streak to 14 games to match the school record.

The first of three regular-season meetings between the rivals snapped the Seminoles' streak of 10 straight victories and improved coach Kevin O'Sullivan to 5-0 at home in his tenure against FSU.

After FSU (14-2) scored two in the third, former Plant standout Preston Tucker (2-for-4) hit a three-run home run in the bottom of the inning to move the Gators (16-1) in front. Greg Larson got the win as the bullpen, led by a perfect three-inning stint by Steven Rodriguez, pitched 61/3 scoreless innings.

tennis

Nadal cruises into BNP quarterfinals

Rafael Nadal eased into the quarterfinals of the BNP Paribas Open, beating countryman Marcel Granollers 6-1, 6-4 in Indian Wells, Calif.

On the women's side, top-ranked Victoria Azarenka and No. 2 seed Maria Sharapova won in just more than an hour.

Granollers cracked a 132 mph serve during the match, but couldn't cover Nadal's quickness and touch.

Azarenka defeated Julia Goerges 6-3, 6-1 and second-seeded Sharapova routed Roberta Vinci 6-2, 6-1.

Azarenka moved on to play fifth-seeded Agnieszka Radwanska, who advanced when wild card Jamie Hampton retired with cramping trailing 3-6, 6-4, 3-0.

autos

Johnson crew chief loses appeal

The crew chief for five-time champion Jimmie Johnson lost his appeal challenging penalties for failing the opening day inspection at the Daytona 500.

The three-member committee heard testimony from Hendrick Motorsports and NASCAR then ruled unanimously in favor of the sanctions against Chad Knaus.

NASCAR said Knaus presented a car that had illegally modified sheet metal between the roof and the side windows. Knaus said NASCAR made that determination with a visual inspection, the No. 48 Chevrolet never even made it to the templates at Daytona, and the car was used at all four restrictor-plate races in 2011.

Team owner Rick Hendrick said the team will appeal to the National Stock Car Racing chief appellate officer, and Knaus will work this weekend at Bristol Motor Speedway.

"I don't accept it," Hendrick said. "Period."

Knaus was suspended six races and fined $100,000; Johnson was docked 25 points; and car chief Ron Malec was suspended six races.

ET CETERA

Iditarod: Dallas Seavey became the youngest winner of the trail sled dog Race. Seavey, who turned 25 during the race, was the first to reach Nome on Tuesday night. The nearly 1,000-mile race across Alaska began March 4 north of Anchorage for 66 teams. Ten have scratched. The previous youngest winner was the race's only five-time champion, Rick Swenson, who won his first Iditarod at the age of 26 in 1977.

Winter sports: Anja Paerson, an Olympic gold medalist in 2006 and seven-time world champion skier, plans to retire after this week's World Cup finals in Schladming, Austria, because of a string of injuries. Paerson, 30, won 19 medals at major championships — six at the Olympics and 13 at the worlds.

Times wires

Sports in brief: Florida Gators defeat Florida State Seminoles in baseball 03/14/12 [Last modified: Wednesday, March 14, 2012 1:32am]

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