Casey Gaynor gave up one hit for his fifth straight shutout and Toms River, N.J., began defense of its Little League World Series title with a 6-0 victory over Phenix City, Ala., yesterday in Williamsport, Pa.
Gaynor, whose streak includes a playoff no-hitter, struck out eight and has now thrown 30 consecutive innings without yielding a run.
"I'm really not doing anything different," said Gaynor, a right-hander. "Maybe my curveball has gotten better."
Only one other team--Long Beach, Calif., in 1992-93--has won consecutive series in the event's 52 years, and Long Beach's first title came on a forfeit by the Philippines. Toms River beat Kashima, Japan, in last year's final.
"How is this team different? Ask me on Saturday," said Toms River Manager Mike Gaynor, the only person to take three teams to the series.
Casey Gaynor and outfielder Eric Campesi, both 12, are the only players returning from last year's Toms River team and have played together on various all-star teams the last three years. Campesi saved his buddy's shutout with a running catch at the right field warning track in the bottom of the sixth, and last, inning.
In the early game, Kazuki Sumiyama and Kazutoshi Adachi combined on a two-hitter as Osaka, Japan, beat Victoria, B.C., 7-3.
The two teams from the four-team international division with the best records advance to Thursday night's international championship. The winner of that game plays the U.S. champion on Saturday in the title game in the series for 11- and 12-year-olds. . . .
The Prince George's 13-and-under team lost its first game in the double-elimination Babe Ruth World Series, 4-1, to host Tallahassee. Jeff Casey had two hits to lead Prince George's, which advances to a second-round loser's bracket game.
Hingis Wins du Maurier
Martina Hingis ended Monica Seles's four-year reign at the du Maurier Open with a 6-4, 6-4 victory in the final in Toronto. Hingis, the world's top-ranked player, didn't lose a set in the tournament and beat Seles in 1 hour 2 minutes. . . .
Nicolas Lapentti of Ecuador shook off four service breaks and a first-set loss to beat unseeded Vincent Spadea, 4-6, 6-4, 6-4, in the final of the RCA Championship in Indianapolis.
Twist to Miss Season
Former St. Louis Blues forward Tony Twist says injuries from a motorcycle accident will sideline him for this season and possibly longer. Twist could return to hockey in nine months, but he might be out 14 months or more.
Records Are Broken
Australian teenager Ian Thorpe smashed the world 400-meter freestyle record by almost two seconds at the Pan Pacific championships in Sydney.
Thorpe, 16, added the record to the world title he won 18 months ago when he broke the mark of Australia's Kieren Perkins.
Thorpe's time of 3:41.83 crushed Perkins's record of 3:43.80, set at the 1994 world championships in Rome. Thorpe added a second gold medal when he anchored Australia's 400 relay team to a win over the United States in 3:16.08.
The time was the third fastest in history and the first time the United States had lost the event at a major meet.
Penny Heyns of South Africa set a world record in the women's 100-meter breaststroke, winning in 1:06.52. Her time lowered the previous record of 1:06.95, which she set in Los Angeles last month.
Seattle businessman John McCaw's Orca Bay Sports and Entertainment, which owns the NBA's Vancouver Grizzlies, the NHL's Canucks and GM Place arena, is for sale.
Kevin Gass, Orca Bay's vice president of communications, confirmed that McCaw has put the three enterprises, estimated to be worth more than $330 million, on the market.
Gass wouldn't speculate on what prompted McCaw to make the decision to sell, although Orca Bay has been losing millions of dollars.
Americans Brian Viloria and Ricardo Williams Jr. advanced to the quarterfinals of the world amateur championships in Houston. Viloria, of Waipahu, Hawaii, defeated Rudolf Dydi of the Slovak Republic, 9-4, in a 106-pound fight. Williams, of Cincinnati, outpointed Victor Castro of Argentina, 9-2, in the 139-pound division. . . .
Kostya Tszyu stopped Miguel Angel Gonzalez in the 10th round Saturday night in Miami to capture the World Boxing Council super lightweight title.
Tszyu dominated the fight until referee Frank Santore stopped the contest 48 seconds into the 10th round at the request of Gonzalez's trainer, Abel Sanchez. Tszyu took his pro record to 23-1-1 with 19 knockouts.