WISCONSIN SPORTS BRIEFS: Badgers still looking for starting QB
MADISON - The University of Wisconsin football season opener is only nine days away, and the Badgers have yet to name their starting quarterback.
Joel Stave was with the No. 1 unit yesterday when the Badgers closed out practice with a two-minute drill. Sixth-year senior Curt Phillips practiced with the No. 2 unit – although offensive coordinator Andy Ludwig said both signal-callers spent time with the starters earlier in the day. Ludwig says he still cannot see any difference in the direction of the Badger offense with either Stave or Phillips under center. The coach says it will all come down to who’s the best at getting the team out of tight situations – something he calls “competitive accuracy.”
The University of Wisconsin men’s basketball team opened a five-game trip to Canada last night with a 95-82 exhibition loss to Carleton University in Ottawa. The Badgers committed 13 turnovers, while Carleton shot almost 54-percent for the game. Sam Dekker led Wisconsin with 28 points. Philip Scrubb had 30 points and 12 assists for Carleton.
The Milwaukee Brewers almost came back from a 7-0 deficit yesterday – but they fell short and lost to the Saint Louis Cardinals 8-6 at Miller Park. The Brewers blew a chance to win their first series over the Redbirds in four tries this season, as Milwaukee fell to 3-and-10 against Saint Louis on the year. The Cards blew the game open with six runs in the second-inning, highlighted by a two-run double from starter Jake Westbrook and homers by Carlos Beltran and Allen Craig. Aramis Ramirez hit a three-run blast in the third to make it a 7-3 game. The Brewers cut the margin to two in the fifth on RBI singles from Juan Francisco and Sean Halton. Each team had a solo homer in the ninth – Matt Holliday for the Cards and Logan Schafer for the Crew. The Brewers lost despite out-hitting the Cardinals 14-12. Milwaukee’s Khris Davis and the Cardinals’ Shane Robinson each had three singles. Davis now has an eight-game hitting streak. Kevin Siegrist got the win in relief. He’s 2-and-1. Edward Mujica went an inning-and-a-third for his 33rd save. Tom Gorzelanny took the loss for Milwaukee, giving up seven runs on 10 hits in three-and-two-thirds innings. He’s now 3-and-5. The Brewers have been adept a losing series’ finales, falling to 8-32 in that department this year. They’re also 13-29 in day games. Milwaukee is off today, and will open a series at Cincinnati tomorrow night.
The Brewers’ sent utility player Sean Halton and pitcher Donovan Hand back down to Triple-“A” Nashville after yesterday’s loss to Saint Louis. Halton was up for five games after outfielder Caleb Gindl was sent down. The Brewers wanted to get Gindl back, but he was required to play 10 games in the minors first. Halton filled in during that period. Hand was up for an even shorter time. He was only up for the day yesterday, while reliever Rob Wooten went on paternity leave. Wooten did not get home in time to see the birth of his child, as his wife Diane went into labor early. Wooten is due back tomorrow night at Cincinnati. Hand pitched one-and-a-third innings of relief yesterday, in his second stint with Milwaukee this time. He went 0-and-4 in his first go-round.
The Green Bay Packers finished their second-to-last week of Training Camp yesterday, as they continued to shore up their no-huddle offense. Tight end Jermichael Finley figures that the Pack will run it 60-percent of the time this year, especially if it’s successful early. Offensive coordinator Tom Clements says the team appears to be running the no-huddle better than a year ago, although he admits it’s hard to say until the regular season gets going. Clements said his unit spent more time on the no-huddle at this year’s camp, and they have a better approach to it this time. Meanwhile, the Packer defense expects to start the season with zone coverage at the corners, instead of having a defender locked in on a specific receiver. Corners coach Joe Whitt says he’ll employ one-on-one matchups when he needs to. Sam Shields expects to cover more No. 1 receivers on opposing teams – especially later in the year. Starter Tramon Williams has been out since July 28th when he bruised a bone in one of his knees. He expects to return in time for the season opener September 8th at San Francisco. Tomorrow night, the Packers will host Seattle in their third exhibition game.
Even though it’s only a pre-season game, Seattle receiver Golden Tate expects to get a hostile reception from Packer fans on Friday night at Lambeau Field. Tate made the disputed touchdown catch last September on a call by replacement officials which gave the Seahawks a 14-12 home victory over the Pack in Week-Three. It was the play that spurred the NFL to settle a contract dispute in which the league’s regular refs came back the following week. Tate says it’s funny that people are still talking about the play almost a year later – and he still hears lots of critical things from Packer fans which he claims does not affect him. This week, Tate’s Twitter account is being filled up again by messages from fans. Instead of fighting back, he’s trying to soften the conversation by making light of the situation. Tate says he wants to have fun with it, not take it too seriously, and not let it hurt is feelings. If he scores in Friday night’s exhibition, Tate promises not to make a Lambeau Leap – but he might plan some other celebration.
Wisconsin will have two golfers in the PGA playoffs that open today. The four-week Fed-Ex series begins with the Barclays’ tournament in Jersey City, New Jersey. Jerry Kelly of Madison has an 11 a-m tee time, and Pewaukee native Mark Wilson is scheduled to begin his first round just after 12:15. The Top-125 players in the season-long Fed-Ex point standings qualified for the playoffs. Kelly is 79th, and Wilson 102nd. Steve Stricker of Madison is 20th in the point totals, but he announced several months ago that he would not compete. He also missed the British Open this year, while cutting back on schedule to spend more time at home. This is the seventh annual Fed-Ex playoff series, and Kelly has been in every one of them. After this weekend, the Top-100 in the standings will advance to the next Fed-Ex tournament, the Deutsche Bank Championship at Boston over the Labor Day Weekend.
Jim Lemon of Madison is the winner of the 93rd State Open golf tournament in Franklin. He came back from two strokes down with three holes to play in his final round yesterday. Lemon shot a pair of 70’s in his 36-hole finale, and completed his four rounds at eight-under-par 280. Ryan Helminen of Menasha bogeyed his final two holes and finished second at one stroke back. Helminen won the State Open in 2008. The 35-year-old Lemon, who played for 10 years on the Canadian Tour, won the Open for the first time.
UW-Whitewater is projected to win the WIAC women’s soccer championship this fall. The Warhawks have won the last three titles, and they’re the favorites in a pre-season poll from conference coaches and sports information directors. Whitewater has eight starters and 24 letter-winners returning from a team that won a school-record 16 matches a year ago, and made the second round of the NCAA Division III tournament. Christina Tooren, last year’s WIAC Player-of-the-Year, is not back. Sophomore Jenna Woodson was the second-leading scorer in 2012 with 10 goals and six assists. Eau Claire is projected to take second followed by Oshkosh, Stevens Point, and La Crosse.
Dominican is the pre-season favorite to win its eighth straight men’s soccer title this fall in the Northern Athletics Collegiate Conference. Dominican has won every regular season and league tournament championship since the NACC was formed in 2006. The Stars have a 72-0-2 conference record over seven seasons. Aurora is picked to finish second in the new poll from the league’s coaches and sports information directors. The Milwaukee School of Engineering is the highest Wisconsin team in the poll at No. 3. Concordia-Mequon is picked to take fourth, followed by Edgewood and Wisconsin Lutheran.
Edgewood College's volleyball team was a co-champion last year in the Northern Athletics Collegiate Conference. This year, Edgewood is projected to take third – the highest finish by a Wisconsin team in a pre-season poll of the league’s coaches and sports information directors. Benedictine, which shared the season title with Edgewood a year ago, has the top spot in this year’s first poll. Benedictine won last year’s NACC tournament. Dominican is picked to take second, followed by Edgewood, Lakeland, Wisconsin Lutheran, Marian, and Concordia-Mequon.
Wisconsin will have two swimmers competing in the World Junior Championships in Dubai starting on Monday. 17-year-old Alex Meyers of the Milwaukee University School and 15-year-old Katie Drabot of Cedarburg are among 36 swimmers on the U.S. squad. Meyers will be in the 400-meter freestyle relay. Drabot will be in the 800-freestyle relay. The team’s selections were based on the results of three national competitions earlier in the year.