COLLEGES

Janek Luksza drove in four runs in each game, and Cam Seymour homered twice in Game 2 as Southern Maine (23-8) pounded its way to a pair of baseball wins Thursday against Plymouth State (8-13), beating the Panthers 19-8 and 21-9 in Plymouth, New Hampshire.

Andrew Olszak and Arlo Pike joined Luksza with four RBI apiece in Game 1. Andrew Hillier went 4 for 6 with four runs and two RBI, and Seymour and Olszak also scored four times.

Seymour blasted a pair of two-run homers in the second game, Luksza hit a three-run homer, and Jason Komulainen also went deep. Hillier added four more hits.

USM ends its regular season with two more doubleheaders Friday and Saturday against Castleton, in Vermont on Friday and at home on Saturday.

GOLF

PGA: Phil Mickelson blistered Quail Hollow for a 7-under 64 to build a two-shot lead after the opening round of the Wells Fargo Championship in Charlotte, North Carolina.

Mickelson ran off five birdies in a six-hole stretch around the turn, then closed with two birdies and a superb par save on the par-4 ninth for his best score since a 63 in the second round of the Travelers Championship last June.

K.H. Lee shot a 66 in the morning, and Keegan Bradley had a 66 in the afternoon.

CHAMPIONS TOUR: Darren Clarke took the lead in the Regions Tradition at Birmingham, Alabama, opening with a 6-under 66 in the first of five PGA Tour Champions majors.

The 2011 British Open champion from Northern Ireland had a one-stroke lead over Stephen Ames and Jerry Kelly at Greystone Golf & Country Club.

Steve Stricker, the 2019 winner, was among three players two shots back at 68. The tournament was canceled last year because of the coronavirus pandemic.

LPGA: Local stars Patty Tavatanakit and Atthaya Thitikul carded 8-under 64s to share a one-stroke lead after the first round of the LPGA Thailand.

Despite no spectators because of the pandemic, Tavatanakit was playing under high home expectations. A Thai has never won this LPGA Tour event. She kept her cool and led alongside teenage prodigy Thitikul at Siam Country Club. Coming off a tie for third in Singapore last weekend, Tavatanakit has replaced former world No. 1 Ariya Jutanugarn as Thailand’s highest-ranked woman at 12th.

Thitikul, 18, highlighted her round with eagles on the 10th and 18th holes, five birdies, and a bogey on the 14th.

Jutanugarn and Nanna Koerstz Madsen of Denmark were one stroke back. Defending champion Amy Yang of South Korea, who has won this tournament three times, opened with a 69.

EUROPEAN TOUR: Francesco Laporta shot a 9-under 62 for the lowest round of his career and a one-shot lead after the opening round of the Canary Islands Championship in Tenerife, Spain.

Spaniard Scott Fernandez was in second place, and three golfers were another shot back – Frenchman Joel Stalter and Spaniards Alfredo Garcia-Heredia and Adri Arnaus.

TENNIS

MADRID OPEN: Rafael Nadal got through another young opponent and showed signs he was getting closer to his best form on clay as he defeated Alexei Popyrin 6-3, 6-3 to reach the quarterfinals.

Nadal overcame eight aces and saved five break points against the Australian. The five-time Madrid champion cruised past Spanish teenager Carlos Alcaraz in the second round on Wednesday. Nadal struggled at times against the aggressive style of the 76th-ranked Popyrin but was able to stay in control for most of the match on the Magic Box center court.

Third-ranked Daniil Medvedev lost to Cristian Garin, 6-4, 6-7 (2), 6-1. The Chilean broke serve twice in the third set to reach his second Masters 1000 quarterfinal. Earlier, U.S. Open champion Dominic Thiem reached the last eight by defeating Alex de Minaur, 7-6 (7), 6-4.

The women’s top-ranked player, Ash Barty, cruised into the final with a 6-4, 6-3 win over wild card Paula Badosa, the first Spanish woman to reach the semifinals in Madrid. Badosa had been the only opponent to defeat Barty since February. Barty has won 16 straight matches on clay and will be playing in her fourth final this year, having won the previous three.

HORSE RACING

PREAKNESS: Kentucky Derby favorite Essential Quality and runner-up Mandaloun will not run against Medina Spirit in the Preakness, trainer Brad Cox said.

Cox said he’ll skip the second jewel of the Triple Crown with those two horses and Caddo River, who was scratched from the Derby after spiking a fever. Mandaloun finished a half length back of Medina Spirit as a 27-1 long shot, while Essential Quality was fourth after going off as the 3-1 Derby favorite.

SOCCER

EUROPA LEAGUE: An inspired goalkeeping performance by David de Gea ensured that Manchester United was only beaten 3-2 by Roma in a wild second leg of the semifinals, allowing the English team to complete an 8-5 victory on aggregate.

• Villareal held Arsenal to a 0-0 draw in the second leg of their semifinal, securing a 2-1 aggregate win to set up a final against Manchester United on May 26 in Poland.

WORLD CUP QUALIFYING: African qualifying groups for next year’s World Cup have been postponed and will start in September instead of June, FIFA said. FIFA cited “current disruption caused by the COVID-19 pandemic” for the decision, which was taken along with the Confederation of African Football.

Ten groups of four teams each were scheduled to play two rounds of games from June 5-14, and two more in each of September and October. The groups will now run through November. The 10 group winners will advance to a playoff round that has now been postponed from November to March. The five winners of two-leg playoffs will represent Africa at the 2022 World Cup in Qatar.

The qualifying matches in June were already due to be disrupted by a CAF decision this week that suspended many stadiums from staging national team games. A total of 20 of CAF’s 54 member federations are now said to lack a stadium meeting minimum requirements, including eight still involved in World Cup qualifying.

U.S. WOMEN: The U.S. women’s national team will play Portugal, Jamaica and Nigeria during a Summer Series next month in Texas.

Coach Vlatko Andonovski will use the matches in Houston and Austin as a final evaluation before he names an 18-player Olympic roster. The United States also plans to play two as-yet unannounced Tokyo sendoff matches in July.

BASEBALL

CANADIAN TEAM MOVES: The Winnipeg Goldeyes of the American Association will relocate to Jackson, Tennessee, for this season because of Canadian government COVID-19 restrictions on border crossings. American Association Commissioner Joshua Schaub said in a statement Thursday that the indefinite closure of the U.S.-Canada border required the team to always have a backup plan.

The Goldeyes will play home games at The Ballpark at Jackson, which was home to the Arizona Diamondbacks’ farm team in the Double-A Southern League through 2019. Jackson was among the teams that lost affiliations when Major League Baseball took over operation of the minor leagues this season. Winnipeg’s first home game in Jackson is May 21 against the Chicago Dogs.

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