Latest Georgia sports

April 01, 2017 - 3:31 am

ATLANTA UNITED-SOUNDERS

Sounders play high-scoring Atlanta to 0-0 tie

SEATTLE (AP) — Tony Alfaro didn't have time to get nervous. He only had time to get ready for a starting role.

Playing with two defenders who hadn't seen a minute of MLS action this season — Alfaro being one — the Seattle Sounders dealt high-scoring Atlanta United its first shutout of the year on Friday night, battling to a 0-0 tie.

The Sounders (1-1-2, 5 points) already had Jordy Delem on the lineup card for his first MLS game when they scratched central defensive stalwart Chad Marshall just a few minutes before kickoff because of an illness. He was replaced by Alfaro.

Seattle got the shutout against an Atlanta team (2-1-1, 7 points) that had scored 11 goals through its first three games, just one behind league-leading Portland.

In the 58th minute, Clint Dempsey had a header from 6 yards in front that bounced off the crossbar. Coming off a four-goal performance in two World Cup qualifying games for the United States last week, Dempsey entered as a substitute in the 57th minute.

Despite being kept off the board, Atlanta coach Gerardo Martino was happy to grind out a draw. "To tie on the road with the reigning champion is definitely a positive," he said.

YANKEES-BRAVES

Freeman goes deep, Braves beat Yankees 8-5 in SunTrust debut

ATLANTA (AP) — Freddie Freeman hit a three-run homer, Bartolo Colon got in a final tuneup before his 20th big league season and the Atlanta Braves opened their new stadium with an 8-5 exhibition victory over the New York Yankees on Friday night.

New York's Greg Bird picked up his eighth homer — tied with Washington's Bryce Harper for the most in the majors this spring — with a two-run shot off the 43-year-old Colon in the third inning. Freeman put the Braves ahead in the bottom half with a drive over the high brick wall in right-center field at SunTrust Park.

The exhibition, before a crowd of 21,392, wrapped up the spring for both teams and served as a soft opening for the new stadium, which still has some kinks to work out.

The lights flickered a couple of times, the center field scoreboard went out briefly and the press elevator malfunctioned.

TENNESSEE-DOBBS HONOR

Former Vols QB Dobbs earns Torchbearer honor from school

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Former Tennessee quarterback Joshua Dobbs has been selected as a Torchbearer, which is billed as the highest student honor given out by the university.

Dobbs learned Thursday that he'd received the honor. He's only the 26th student-athlete to earn the award, which has been given out since 1931. More than 650 students overall have been named Torchbearers during that time.

Students are given the Torchbearer honor based on overall academic excellence as well as service to others in the university and community.

Dobbs, an aerospace engineering major from Alpharetta, Georgia, started 35 games over the last four seasons. He earned second-team all-Southeastern Conference honors as a senior last season. He served internships at aircraft engine manufacturer Pratt and Whitney each of the last two summers.

MASTERS-WOODS OUT

Tiger Woods decides to sit out another Masters

AUGUSTA, Ga. (AP) —Tiger Woods won't play in the Masters for the third time in the last four years because he says he is not tournament ready.

Woods announced Friday night on his website that he did everything possible to try to play. He says his back rehabilitation simply didn't allow him enough time.

He said there was no timetable for his return.

Woods withdrew from the Dubai Desert Classic in early February after shooting a 77, claiming back spasms. Since then, he has sat out his own tournament at Riviera, the Honda Classic and the Arnold Palmer Invitational. He even withdrew from a press conference in Los Angeles.

This is the 20-year anniversary of Woods winning his first Masters by a record 12 shots. He last won the Masters in 2005.

NASCAR-MARTINSVILLE

Winless Johnson, Hamlin look for turnaround at Martinsville

MARTINSVILLE, Va. (AP) — NASCAR's top series has had five different winners in five races this season, and as the Monster Energy Cup Series arrives at Martinsville Speedway and its first experience with stage racing rewarding drivers at three points during the race, the focus shifts to drivers who have yet to break through this year.

Neither Jimmie Johnson, who has taken home nine of the iconic grandfather clocks that go to the race winner on NASCAR's oldest, shortest and many say trickiest track, nor Denny Hamlin, the Virginia native with five victories on the .526-mile paper clip, has registered a top-five finish this season, but this is their place.

The only other driver in the field of 38 drivers with more than one victory here is Kurt Busch with two.

Johnson won here last October, and said his team's performance has been better than its results.

Hamlin's last victory here came in this race two years ago, and while he answered "one" when asked Friday how many drivers are on par with him at this track, he said it's too early to panic about a slow start to 2017. Hamlin also expects the new stage racing system to make things more intense during Sunday's race.

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