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WISCONSIN SPORTS BRIEFS: Braun pulled from Brewers line-up against Reds

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MILWAUKEE - Ryan Braun is not starting for the Milwaukee Brewers this afternoon, as they close out their three-game series with Cincinnati.

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Brewers’ manager Ron Roenicke said on Monday that Braun would not play today. The five-time All-Star was pulled after six innings last night in his first game since June 9th. That was after he bruised and injured a nerve near his right thumb. The manager’s decision to rest Braun was made a day before ESPN reported that Braun can expect to be suspended for 100 games, as part of the investigation into the performance-enhancing drugs allegedly sold by Miami’s Bio-Genesis clinic. ESPN said up to 20 players could be suspended after next week’s All-Star break. Last night, Braun again affirmed his previous stance that he only used Bio-Genesis founder Tony Bosch as a consultant for the successful appeal of his 2011 drug suspension. Braun said most news stories about the matter have been inaccurate – and he dealt with it for so long quote, “I think I’m numb to the emotions of the whole thing.” The Braun saga is underplaying the fact that the Brewers would sweep their first series since mid-April with a win this afternoon. Right-hander Johnny Hellweg is facing Reds’ right-hander Mike Leake. Norichika Aoki is also missing his second straight game for Milwaukee with a tight left elbow.

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In the Northwoods League, the Lakeshore Chinooks will host Eau Claire tonight in Mequon. The Chinooks are the only unbeaten team in the South Division for the second half at 6-and-0. They edged La Crosse in a 10-9 slugfest in 12 innings last night, while Eau Claire fell to Madison 6-2. Madison travels to Wausau to take on the Wisconsin Woodchucks. The ‘Chucks are coming off a 12-8 win over the Green Bay Bullfrogs. The ‘Frogs are at home against Wisconsin Rapids, which lost to Battle Creek last night 9-4. Battle Creek hosts La Crosse this evening. Also, Duluth hosts Rochester. North Division-leading Waterloo is at Willmar. Saint Cloud hosts Thunder Bay. And Mankato plays at Alexandria.

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UW-Milwaukee catcher Mitch Ghelfi has been named to the Perfect Game College All-American freshman team. He was selected to the first team, after batting .322 this past season with three homers and 19 RBI’s in 38 games. Ghelfi was also honored as the Horizon League Newcomer of the Year, and was picked to the Louisville Slugger All-American freshman squad.

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After having yesterday off, teams in the Class-“A” Midwest League will play their first inter-divisional games of the second half tonight. The Wisconsin Timber Rattlers are at home against Fort Wayne. The Beloit Snappers will host Lake County, which is near Cleveland. Beloit is third in the Western Division, a game behind front-running Cedar Rapids. Wisconsin is six games off the pace in the West. In other games tonight, East leader Great Lakes is at home against Burlington. Clinton plays at West Michigan. South Bend hosts Kane County. Peoria plays at Lansing. Dayton travels to Cedar Rapids. And Bowling Green is at Quad Cities.

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The WIAA high school summer baseball tournament is underway. Fifty-five teams are competing. Defending champion Oak Creek is one of the four No. 1 seeds along with Plymouth, Germantown, and Kettle Moraine. All four had first-round byes yesterday, along with five other schools. Fourteen other teams were rained, and they’ll open their regionals today. The final four teams will advance to a one-day state tournament a week from Friday at Kapco Park in Mequon. 

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A federal judge in Texas has refused to grant class-action status in a lawsuit filed by those who had to be moved from temporary seats at the Super Bowl two-and-a-half years ago. You might remember that the Green Bay Packers won the NFL championship that day, beating Pittsburgh 31-25. You may also remember that 1,250 fans – including many Packer-Backers – were told that their temporary seats were unsafe after they paid hundreds-or-thousands of dollars to get inside. They either had to be moved to different seats, or were sent to a bar area where they had to watch the game on television. The NFL offered a settlement, but many fans still joined the lawsuit when it was first filed. Yesterday, Judge Barbara Lynn ruled not all the affected fans could be in on the lawsuit. She said the plaintiffs failed to prove that enough fans had common concerns. She also said there was not a uniform way to pay damages, because expenses varied among the fans. The plaintiffs’ attorney said he would pursue individual lawsuits from those still interested. The NFL said it was pleased with Judge Lynn’s ruling.

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Two exhibition games have been announced for the Milwaukee Bucks for October. The Cleveland Cavaliers will host the Bucks on October eighth. Milwaukee will face the Minnesota Timberwolves on October 10th at the new Pentagon arena in Sioux Falls South Dakota. The Bucks normally play an eight-game pre-season before the regular season begins around the start of November. The entire scheduled is expected to be announced soon. 

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Marian University of Fond du Lac is adding men’s-and-women’s track and field to its sports offerings. They’ll compete in the Northern Athletics Collegiate Conference as early as next spring. Athletic director Jason Murphy said there’s a growing interest for track-and-field among Marian students – and the school is attracting a larger number of track athletes. The school says it’s now searching for a coach to run both the men’s-and-women’s squads. 

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