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National Sports Briefs

Associated Press
SOUTH WILLIAMSPORT, Pa.ó The Little League World Series title game matchup is set, with Huntington Beach, Calif., playing Hamamatsu City, Japan, on Sunday.
California secured its berth by routing Billings, Mont., 11-2 Saturday to take the U.S. championship. The run for the first team from Montana to ever qualify for the World Series came to an end.
Twelve-year-old pitcher Nick Pratto struck out 10 and had three RBIs at the plate. The boys did a group bear hug behind the mound after a force play at second secured the final out of the game.
Japan defeated Mexicali, Mexico, 5-2 earlier Saturday to take the international championship.
Yoshiki Suzuki struck out seven and Kaito Suzuki scored two runs and had an RBI single to lift the mashers from Hamamatsu City.
NASCAR
BRISTOL, Tenn. ó Tony Stewart wants to run three full Sprint Cup teams next season regardless of how many races Danica Patrick enters.
Patrick is set to drive eight to 10 races for Stewart-Haas Racing next season when she moves from IndyCar to NASCAR. Itís expected to be preparation for a full Cup schedule in 2013.
But Stewart said heíd like to get that team up and running immediately and is looking for another driver and sponsor to fill the 36-race schedule.
ěIf we can put together a package to run somebody in the rest of the races, we would love to do that,î Stewart said at Bristol Motor Speedway.
ěItís in everybodyís best interest to do that and I know it would be good for us as a team to run that car full time next year if that opportunity presents itself.î
Stewart would not say which races Patrick will run next year, although it would make sense for her debut to be in the season-opening Daytona 500.
ěWeíre working on her schedule,î Stewart said. ěWeíve got a lot of stuff to do. Thereís a lot of stuff not done yet.î
BRISTOL, Tenn. ó The car chief for T.J. Bell’s Nationwide Series team has been taken to a hospital for injuries suffered on pit road.
Cory Howe was making adjustments underneath the Chevrolet when Bell accidentally backed over him.
Howe was airlifted to Wellmont Health System in Kingsport and is listed in good condition.
Teams work on pit road and behind their haulers at Bristol because there are no garage stalls. The Nationwide teams are on one side of the tiny infield, and the Sprint Cup teams are on the other.
COLLEGE BASKETBALL
LUBBOCK, Texas ó Texas Tech officials say Hall of Fame coach Bob Knight will come off the university’s payroll next Wednesday.
University President Guy Bailey says that Knight, who stepped down as the Red Raiders coach in the middle of the 2008 season, has been in a fundraising role for Texas Tech, earning $24,000 a year.
“I think that the hiring of Bob Knight was the right person at the right time for Tech,” Bailey said Friday. “He brought a lot of positive attention to the university, and even more important, he helped the university understand that we could play on a national stage across the board.”
Knight’s position was eliminated along with four others in the athletic department a couple of months after Kirby Hocutt became athletic director in March.
STORRS, Conn. ó Andre Drummond, a 6-foot-11 center from Middletown, Conn., who was expected to attend prep school this year, has instead said he will play basketball for defending national-champion Connecticut.
ARTESTíS NEW NAME
LOS ANGELES ó Ron Artest’s bid to become Metta World Peace has been delayed.
A Los Angeles court commissioner delayed ruling on a name change petition by the Lakers forward until Sept. 16. The court cited Artest’s outstanding traffic warrants as the reason for the delay.
The 31-year-old Artest had been counting on the name change to go through, announcing on Twitter Thursday night that he was planning a celebratory barbecue.
BASEBALL
BALTIMORE ó New York Yankees third baseman Alex Rodriguez met with a group of Major League officials to discuss allegations that he participated in illegal poker games.
Rodriguez said the meeting, which was held in Baltimore and lasted around two hours, “went well.”
Star Magazine reported last month that several people saw A-Rod playing in games hosted at Hollywood hotels and residences.
Barry Bonds’ obstruction of justice conviction was upheld by a federal judge, who denied the former baseball star’s motion for a new trial or acquittal on the charge.
LOS ANGELES ó Vin Scully is coming back to the broadcast booth for his record 63rd season with the Dodgers in 2012. Scully told television viewers during Los Angeles’ game against Colorado that he will return to call all home games and select road games.
WASHINGTON ó Former major league pitching star Roger Clemens is asking a judge to punish prosecutors for their “egregious error” in his perjury trial by dismissing the case.
Clemens filed arguments in Washington federal court against prosecutors’ argument that they made a simple mistake in showing jurors inadmissible evidence and should be given another chance to convict him.
NHL
SAN JOSE, Calif. ó The San Jose Sharks signed forward Logan Couture to a two-year, $5.75 million contract extension through the 2013-14.

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