WISCONSIN SPORTS ROUND-UP: Brewers look to snap three-game losing streak
ATLANTA - The Milwaukee Brewers will try to avoid falling into a season-high four-game losing streak tonight, when they play the Braves in Atlanta.
The Brewers are just 2-7 on the road since April 29th, batting .191 in those games while being out-scored 46-to-22. The Crew dropped a 9-3 verdict to the Braves last night, in which seldom-used Wei-Chung Wang gave up five runs in the eighth. Tonight, right-hander Yovani Gallardo will try to turn things around for the Crew. He's 2-2 with a 3.07 ERA, but he's 0-2 in his last three starts while giving up five-and-a-half earned runs every nine innings of those contests. However, Gallardo is 5-1 in his last seven starts against Atlanta. The Braves are sending right-hander Julio Teheran to the mound. He's 2-3 with an ERA of 2.02. He's coming off his worst outing of the season, in which he gave up five runs in three-and-a-third innings of a loss to San Francisco last Wednesday. The Braves have won ten of their last 12 home match-ups against Milwaukee.
Every time Wei-Chung Wang takes the mound, the Milwaukee Brewers seem to defend their decision to keep him on the roster. The 22-year-old left-hander has a bloated ERA of 17.61, after he gave up five runs in the eighth inning last night in a 9-3 Milwaukee loss at Atlanta. As a Rule-Five draft pick, the Brewers are required to keep Wang on their 25-man roster for the entire season -- or else give him back to Pittsburgh, which exposed Wang to the special draft last December. The Brewers' brain trust agrees that the 22-year-old Wang has the makings to be something special -- but not right now. Skipper Ron Roenicke only uses Wang in blow-out games. Someday, Roenicke hopes the Brewers' offense will produce a blowout, so Wang can pitch in an winning situation instead of a losing one. Until last night, he was not in a game since May sixth against Arizona. With rookie ball as his only pro experience, Roenicke says it's difficult to expect Wang to get people out in tight ball-games. As recently as last weekend, Brewers' GM Doug Melvin said the team planned to keep Wang all season -- even though he admits it's hard for a contending team to use a roster spot that way. The Brewers will play at Atlanta again tonight. Right-hander Yovani Gallardo starts for the Crew against Braves' right-hander Julio Teheran.
In the Midwest League, the Wisconsin Timber Rattlers will host a double-header against Kane County this afternoon. The two teams were rained out last night near Appleton. The Beloit Snappers also have a matinee at Cedar Rapids, where the Snappers lost 6-3 last night.
Only three of the Green Bay Packers' nine draft picks remain unsigned. Third-round defensive lineman Khyri Thornton became the latest to get into the fold. Terms of his deal were not immediately disclosed. Under the NFL's rookie slotting system, Thornton is expected to get two-point-eight million dollars over four years -- including a signing bonus of $563,000 dollars. First-round safety Ha Ha Clinton Dix is still unsigned, along with second-round receiver Davante Adams and third-round tight end Richard Rodgers.
For the first time in 13 years, UW-Green Bay is looking for a new softball coach. Jean Rivett announced her retirement, soon after the Phoenix were eliminated from the NCAA Division I tournament this past weekend. Rivett is the winningest coach in the program's history, with a record of 255-207-1. This season, she led Green Bay to its first Horizon League regular season crown with an 11-5 mark. The Phoenix also won its second conference tournament crown. Green Bay had 27 victories this past season, tying a school record.
Mikole Pierce of UW-Whitewater has been named the player-of-the-year in D3baseball.com Midwest Region. The junior shortstop leads the Warhawks in nine offensive categories, as his team enters the NCAA Division III College World Series starting Friday near Appleton. Pierce is batting .446 with an on-base percentage of .519 and a slugging percentage of .723 with nine homers, 58 RBI, and 57 runs scored in 47 games. Whitewater's John Vodenlich is D3's Midwest coach of the year, with a record of 40-7 this season. He only needs two more wins to reach 400 for his career. Junior Luke Watson of UW-Stevens Point is the regional pitcher of the year. Trevor Bernsdorf of Saint Scholastica in Duluth is the D3's Midwest rookie of the year. Pierce and Watson are also on the All-Midwest first team -- along with Cole Cefalu and Taylor Kohlwey of UW-La Crosse, Tom Fairbanks of Superior, and Garrick Day of Wisconsin Lutheran.
UW-Eau Claire women's golfer Kate Engler has been named to the coaches' Division III All-America second team. That's after she was an honorable mention a year ago. Engler was the only Wisconsin golfer named to the national women's squads.