Sports Digest: Mariners clinch playoff berth with overtime win in season finale

HOCKEY

Cameron Askew and Mathew Santos scored in regulation and then again in a shootout, and the Maine Mariners clinched an ECHL playoff berth on the final night of their regular season Saturday with a 4-3 victory over the Newfoundland Growlers at Cross Insurance Arena.

Maine needed at least one point to claim fourth place in the North Division after the Worcester Railers temporarily moved ahead of the Mariners by getting a point Saturday afternoon from a 3-2 overtime loss at Trois Rivieres. A playoff berth was assured for Maine when its game went to overtime.

Mariners goalie Stefanos Lekkas made 40 saves through regulation and overtime and stopped both Newfoundland attempts in the shootout.

The Mariners will face division champion Reading in the best-of-seven first-round series, which starts Wednesday in Reading, Pennsylvania.

BASEBALL

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EASTERN LEAGUE: Taylor Gushue led off the bottom of the seventh with a home run, and four Harrisburg pitchers combined on a three-hitter as the Senators beat the Portland Sea Dogs 1-0 in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania.

Sea Dogs starter Brandon Walter allowed just three hits in six scoreless innings, with five strikeouts and no walks.

CAR RACING

NASCAR: Cole Custer won the first Cup Series pole of his career through a formula designed for qualifying via heat races at dirt-covered Bristol Motor Speedway.

The starting lineup for Sunday’s race was set over four 15-lap heats that were determined by a random draw. Drivers accumulated points for both finishing and passing.

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A slew of dirt aces followed Custer in qualifying: Christopher Bell was second in a Toyota, followed by Tyler Reddick in a Chevrolet and Chase Briscoe, Custer’s teammate at Stewart-Haas Racing.

GOLF

PGA: Harold Varner III shot an 8-under 63 to take a one-shot lead in the RBC Heritage at Hilton Head Island, South Carolina, in pursuit of his first PGA Tour victory.

Varner had eight birdies in a bogey-free round and was at 11-under 202.

Patrick Cantlay (70), Shane Lowry (65) and Erik van Rooyen (67) were a shot back.

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SOCCER

ENGLAND: A blundered by American goalkeeper Zack Steffen helped Liverpool advance to the FA Cup final for the first time in 10 years with a 3-2 victory at home against Manchester City.

Steffen took a back pass from John Stones, then waited too long to clear it, allowing Sadio Mane to race into the penalty area and nudge the ball over the line.

Mane added a second goal just before halftime as Liverpool built a 3-0 lead before withstanding a City comeback bid.

Liverpool will play Chelsea or Crystal Palace in the final next month.

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• Cristiano Ronaldo capped a hat trick with a stunning free kick in the 76th minute, giving Manchester United a 3-2 win over Norwich that boosted the team’s hopes of securing a Champions League spot next season.

United moved into fifth place ahead of Arsenal, which lost 1-0 against Southampton. United is three points behind fourth-place Tottenham, with was beaten at home by Brighton, 1-0.

TENNIS

MONTE CARLO MASTERS: Defending champion Stefanos Tsitispas breezed into the final by dispatching second-seeded Alexander Zverev, 6-4, 6-2, in Monaco.

Tsitsipas will play for the first big clay-court title of the season against Alejandro Davidovich Fokina, the Spaniard who knocked out Novak Djokovic in the second round.

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Davidovich Fokina reached his first ATP final by beating Grigor Dimitrov, 6-4, 6-7 (2), 6-3.

BILLIE JEAN KING CUP: Jessica Pegula and Asia Muhammad won the deciding doubles match, 7-6 (5), 6-3, as the United States qualified for the finals in November with a 3-2 victory over Ukraine in Asheville, North Carolina.

no. 1-ranked Iga Swiatek powered Poland into the finals for the first time. The Czech Republic – six-time winners since 2011 – also advanced, along with Spain, Canada, Italy and Kazakhstan. Switzerland was an automatic qualifier.

FOOTBALL

NFL: Two men were arrested in a fatal shooting from a vehicle in which a Dallas Cowboys player was riding, police in Dallas said.

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Dallas cornerback Kelvin Joseph is not mentioned in a news release that said Aries Jones, 28, and Tivione English, 21, were identified as the shooters and arrested.

Police did not immediately return a phone call seeking comment.

A Dallas police spokesman on Friday declined to confirm Joseph’s involvement in the case, but The Dallas Morning News reported police detectives have interviewed the 22-year-old player.

Joseph’s attorney, Barry Sorrels, said that Joseph was a passenger in the SUV from which the shots were fired on March 18, but was unarmed and did not shoot the victim, Cameron Ray.

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