Wednesday’s Sports In Brief

COLLEGE WORLD SERIES

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) — Mason Hickman and Jake Eder combined for 14 strikeouts, Vanderbilt knocked out Michigan ace Karl Kauffmann in the fourth inning, and the Commodores won the College World Series with an 8-2 victory in Game 3 of the finals.

Vanderbilt (59-12) won its second title in its four CWS appearances, all since 2011. The other one came in 2014.

Hickman struck out 10 in six innings and limited the Wolverines (50-22) to one hit after he gave up three in a row to start the game.

Kauffmann, making his third start in the CWS, struggled with his control, and Vandy broke open the game with three runs in the third inning and two in the fourth.

The Commodores were a model of consistency from start to finish this season. They swept the Southeastern Conference regular-season and tournament titles, set the league record for wins, tied the record with 13 draft picks and lost back-to-back games just twice.

MLB

NEW YORK (AP) — Gleyber Torres lined a game-winning single in the ninth inning and the New York Yankees hit two more big flies before jetting off to see Big Ben and the London sights, beating the Toronto Blue Jays 8-7.

Didi Gregorius and DJ LeMahieu connected as the Yankees extended their major league record to 29 straight games with a home run. The AL East leaders overcame two homers and a double by Lourdes Gurriel Jr., plus an early 5-0 deficit, to finish a power-packed 9-1 homestand.

Now, they’ll head straight from Yankee Stadium to England, where they’ll enjoy two days off before playing the Boston Red Sox on Saturday and Sunday at London Stadium in the first major league games in Europe.

MONTREAL (AP) — The son of former Montreal Expos owner Charles Bronfman believes the predominantly French-speaking city is ready and willing to support — and share — the Tampa Bay Rays.

Private equity investor Stephen Bronfman leads a group working on bringing baseball back to Montreal and said the city can embrace the sport again. He called the idea of one team in two cities groundbreaking.

Commissioner Rob Manfred said last week the Rays have “broad permission to explore what’s available.” Tampa Bay is averaging 14,546 fans a game, lowest in the American League and well below the MLB average of 27,360. Only the Miami Marlins draw smaller crowds, averaging 9,378.

Montreal has been without a big-league team since the Expos left after the 2004 season for Washington and became the Nationals.

HOUSTON (AP) — An attorney for the family of a 2-year-old girl struck by a foul ball during a game last month between the Chicago Cubs and Houston Astros said the girl suffered a skull fracture.

Attorney Richard Mithoff provided the first update by the girl’s family on her condition since she was hit during the May 29 game in Houston.

Mithoff said the girl had bleeding and swelling in her brain as well as a brain contusion after she was hit. He said she had a seizure after she was hospitalized and is taking medication to prevent more seizures. The girl was injured when Cubs outfielder Albert Almora Jr. hit a fourth-inning line drive into the stands down the third base line.

Like all major league stadiums, Minute Maid Park has netting to protect fans near the field from foul balls. On the third base side in Houston, it extends to the end of the visiting team’s dugout. In a statement released Wednesday, a spokeswoman for the family said they were sitting one section away from where the netting ends.

COLLEGE SPORTS

NEW YORK (AP) — Following fresh concerns about the handling of athletes switching schools, the NCAA approved several adjustments to the guidelines used to determine when waivers can be granted to transfers seeking immediate eligibility to play.

The adjustments approved by the Division I council will require schools requesting a waiver for an incoming transfer to provide more documentation to support the argument — and more detailed verification of athletes’ claims about why they are leaving the original school.

The move comes 14 months after a directive helped clear the way for immediate eligibility for all approved requests. Previously, the legislative relief available to athletes requesting a transfer waiver was a sixth year of eligibility. Only in cases where the student was a victim of egregious behavior by a school could immediate eligibility be granted.

STORRS, Conn. (AP) — UConn is heading back to the Big East.

The University of Connecticut Board of Trustees accepted an invitation to move its basketball and most other athletic teams from the American Athletic Conference.

University President Susan Herbst signed a contract with the Big East that includes a $3.5 million entry fee, and the teams are expected to begin play in the conference in the 2020-21 academic year.

The move is designed energize the school’s fan base by renewing some old rivalries. It also means an end to costly road trips to states such as Texas, Oklahoma and Florida for conference games. UConn is currently dealing with a deficit in its athletic division of more than $40 million.

The school hasn’t indicated what it plans to do with its football program, a sport not offered by the Big East. But as part of the contract with the Big East, UConn has agreed not to seek football membership at this time in any Power Five conference and to pay a $30 million exit fee if it leaves the Big East during its first six years of membership. The fee would eventually drop to $15 and later $10 million.

MILITARY ACADEMY ATHLETES

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump has signed a presidential memorandum ordering the Pentagon to develop a new policy to allow athletes attending the nation’s military academies to play professional sports immediately after graduating.

The memo says student athletes graduating from the academies and Reserve Officers’ Training Corps should be able to defer their military service obligations due to the “short window of time” they have to “take advantage of their athletic talents during which playing professional sports is realistically possible.” It gives the defense secretary 120 days to develop a plan.

Trump had said in May that he was considering the change while presenting the Commander-in-Chief’s Trophy to the U.S. Military Academy football team.

SOCCER

KANSAS CITY, Kan. (AP) — Jozy Altidore scored on an overhead kick in his first start for the national team in 20 months, lifting the United States over Panama 1-0 as the Americans finished first in their CONCACAF Gold Cup group.

Altidore got the goal from 2 yards following a corner kick in the 66th minute that was redirected by Matt Miazga. Coming back from a hamstring injury that slowed him at the start of training camp, the 29-year-old Altidore scored his 42nd goal in 113 international appearances.

The United States went 3-0 in group play and outscored opponents 11-0. The 30th-ranked Americans play No. 79 Curacao in the quarterfinals at Philadelphia on Sunday, and the winner faces Jamaica or Haiti in the semifinals.

HORSE RACING

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — The agency overseeing horse racing in California can now immediately suspend licenses to protect the health and safety of horses and riders, Gov. Gavin Newsom said in response to 30 horse deaths this year at famed Santa Anita Park.

Santa Anita Park finished its season on Sunday, and races are scheduled to resume in September. The track is scheduled to host the Breeders’ Cup in November, one of the sport’s most prestigious and lucrative events.

The new law expands the board’s authority by allowing it to suspend licenses for safety reasons and to act quickly by calling emergency meetings that do not comply with the state’s open meetings act.

However, the law requires the board to notify the media by telephone at least one hour before an emergency meeting is called.