Briefs: Ball to compete in Costa Mesa

Carsten Ball, a former Corona del Mar High standout, returns close to his roots to compete in the Costa Mesa Pro Classic on March 17 at the Costa Mesa Tennis Center.

Ball, 24, is seeded second, behind Germany's Andre Begemann. Ball is ranked 322nd in the ATP World Rankings and Begemann, 27, is 263rd.

Downey's Daniel Kosakowski, a former standout at UCLA who is ranked 402nd, is seeded ninth in the main draw.

Seventh-seeded Gregory Ouellette (No. 383), eighth-seeded Brian Baker (No. 389) and 14th-seeded Rhyne Williams (No. 451) earned automatic exceptions into the main draw because of their world rankings.

The rest of the 18 players in the main draw are from Europe, China, New Zealand and South America.

Eight players will enter the main draw from singles qualifying, which begins March 17. The rest of the main draw will come from USTA exemptions and wild-card events. The main draw for singles and doubles begins March 20.

Ball's best ranking on the ATP World Tour was No. 108 in July 2010. Ball has excelled in doubles with Chris Guccione and advanced the quarterfinals of the 2009 U.S. Open and the round of 16 at the 2011 Australian Open.

Ball holds dual American and Australian citizenship. He has competed on Australia's David Cup team. Ball's father and coach is Syd, who claimed eight ATP doubles titles and reached the final round of the 1974 Australian doubles finals.

Singles qualifying starts on March 17. The singles main draw begins on March 20.

— From staff reports


UCI's Hooper honored

UC Irvine junior Kyle Hooper was named Big West Conference Pitcher of the Week after turning in a complete-game baseball victory over Lamar March 2.

Hooper, limited the Cardinals to four hits and struck out a career-high 10 in his first career complete game. The right-hander retired 16 straight at one point and allowed only one runner to reach third base.

Heading into a nonconference home series that began Thursday against BYU, Hooper had not allowed an earned run in 182/3 innings, dating back to 2011. He is 2-0 with 18 strikeouts in 17 innings, has walked two and has held oppponents to a .123 batting average.

— From staff reports


Two 'Eaters lauded

UC Irvine seniors Jacob Yowell and Amber Middleton have been named the Big West Conference Track Athletes of the Week following their season-opening performances Saturday.

Yowell was a double winner in the All-UC Meet at Anteater Stadium to open UCI's outdoor season. He won the 200 meters in a meet-record time of 21.54 seconds and set another meet record with a winning time of 14.16 in the 110 hurdles.

Middleton won the 100 hurdles in a meet-record time of 13.84, the second-fastest time in UCI history.

She also ran legs on the second-place 4x100 relay and the third-place 4x400 relay.

— From staff reports

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