Oregon State's Scott Sakaguchi (Clovis High) opened his pursuit of an individual title at 149 pounds with two wins Thursday during the NCAA Division I Wrestling Championships in Des Moines, Iowa.
The seventh-seeded Sakaguchi, who placed third at 149 last year, opened with a 13-5 major decision over Buffalo's Blake Roulo and followed that with a 4-1 decision over Purdue's 10th-seeded Ivan Lopouchanski.
Sakaguchi, the 145-pound CIF State champion for the Cougars in 2009, advances to face Boise State's No. 2-seeded Jason Chamberlain in today's quarterfinals. Chamberlain edged Sakaguchi 3-1 in overtime at the Pac-12 finals.
Columbia's Stephen West (Buchanan) also remained alive at 174 pounds. He dropped his opener 3-0 to Virginia's Jonathan Fausey but bounced back to beat Oregon State's Cody Weishoff 4-2 in the consolation bracket. West next meets Pittsburgh's Nick Bonaccorsi, with a third-place finish still a possibility.
Campbell's James Cook (Madera/Clovis West) was knocked out of the 184-pound bracket on the opening day following losses of 11-0 against Boise State's No. 10-seeded Jacob Swartz and 5-2 against Virginia's Stephen Doty.
Defending champion Penn State has a 1.5-point lead on Oklahoma State in the team race when wrestling resumes at 4:30 p.m. today.
Baxter highlights locals at NCAA Swimming finals
Arizona State's Tristin Baxter (Clovis West High) placed 26th in the 500 free at the NCAA Division I Women's Swimming and Diving Championships in Indianapolis.
Baxter's time was 4:43.59 in a 61-women field.
Fresno State's Dani Yoho and Hannah Prigge also competed during the opener of the three-day meet, with Yoho placing 39th out of 56 competitors in the 50 free (22.77 seconds) and Prigge placing 38th out of 40 in the 1-meter dive (225.10).
Georgia rolled up 163 points on the opening day, building a 12.5-point lead on Tennessee (150.5). Arizona is third with 127 points and Cal is fourth with 102.
Bottom of tennis ladder provides boost for 'Dogs
The bottom of the singles ladder stood tall as Fresno State women's tennis team defeated Pacific 6-1 at the Wathen Tennis Center.
Sophie Watts, Bianca Modoc, Anne Susdorf and Anneka Watts, the Bulldogs' Nos. 3-6 players, all quickly won their matches in straight sets. Watts extended her singles win streak to five by defeating Susan Te 6-2, 6-0.
Melissa McQueen's 3-6, 7-5, 1-0 (10-5) win at No. 2 singles was the 66th of her career, putting her in a four-way tie for 15th place in program history.
-- With new No. 1 singles player Petra Jurova winning in singles and doubles, Fresno Pacific (14-5) cruised past former Golden State Athletic Conference rival Concordia 9-0 in a nonconference women's tennis win.
The Sunbirds men (11-5) also cruised past the Eagles 9-0 behind Kirill Sinitsyn, who won at No. 1 singles and doubles.
Fresno City rides three HRs to softball victory
Adriana Bencomo, Kyla Cisneros and Courtney Rodgers all hit a home run to power Fresno City College's 5-3 Central Valley Conference softball win over visiting Reedley.
Rodgers knocked in the winning run in the bottom of the seventh for the Rams (20-6, 7-1).
Sam Mendoza homered for Reedley.
-- Michael Flores' pinch-hit, two-run single triggered a six-run seventh that carried the College of the Sequoias (11-12, 7-7) to an 11-6 victory over Porterville (8-13, 4-10).
Fresno State lacrosse falls
Kara Concheck had two goals in Fresno State's 21-3 lacrosse loss to host Albany.
Marcy Levatino scored the other goal for the Bulldogs (1-5), while Nichole Eamer scored five times for Albany (5-3).
Two Sunbirds tabbed All-Americans
After leading the National Christian College Athletic Association in scoring at 27.5 points per game, Fresno Pacific guard John Taylor was named a first-team All-American on Thursday.
Sunbirds forward Malcolm Griffin -- who averaged 17.7 points, 7.1 rebounds and 5.2 assists per game -- was named a second-team NCCAA All-American.
Fresno Pacific soccer signs three
Caruthers High forward Jerrica Babb and Central midfielders Bianka Garcia and Julie Garcia have signed with the Fresno Pacific women's soccer team.
They join a nine-woman recruiting class of local standouts for the Sunbirds that also includes Clovis East forward Brooke Bingham, Buchanan forward Hannah Coyle, Clovis North defender Alyssa Nakaguchi, Clovis East forward/midfielder Vanessa Penuna, Sanger forward/midfielder Amber Rodriguez and Madera South defender Ana Walker.