WISCONSIN SPORTS ROUND-UP: Brewers open series with Diamondbacks tonight
PHOENIX - The Milwaukee Brewers hope to regain some ground in the National League Central division tonight, when they open a series at Arizona.
The Diamondbacks have the league's worst record at 30-42, while the Brewers have the second-best mark in the NL at 41-29. The Crew lost two-of-three against Cincinnati this past weekend, and saw its five-game division lead drop to three-and-a-half over second-place Saint Louis. The Cardinals host the New York Mets this evening. Brewers' catcher Jonathan Lucroy continues to have the Majors' second-highest batting average at .336, trailing only Colorado's Troy Tulowitzki. Lucroy is also second in the big leagues with 25 doubles, trailing Arizona's Paul Goldschmidt who has 27. Like Lucroy, Goldschmidt has been hot lately. He has 13 RBI's in his last 12 games -- and five homers in his last eleven.
The Milwaukee Brewers hope to tee off against the pitcher with the most losses in the Majors, when they open a series at Arizona tonight. Diamondbacks' right-hander Brandon McCarthy is 1-9 on the year. He's winless in his last seven starts, and his season ERA is just under five-and-a-third. McCarthy took the loss in his last three starts, while giving up almost seven runs every nine innings of those appearances. The Diamondbacks' offense has not been much help, either. They've only scored three total runs in the last 16-and-two-thirds innings that McCarthy has been on the mound. The Brewers will counter with right-hander Wily Peralta tonight. He's 6-5 with a 2.90 ERA. He's coming off a two-run victory over the Mets in New York last Wednesday. Peralta took off right after that game for his native Dominican Republic, where he tended to an undisclosed family matter. He said he completed his normal preparation between starts, and he'll be ready to go against the D-Backs tonight.
Baseball Hall-of-Famer Tony Gwynn Sr. died today. The 54-year-old outfielder was pronounced dead at a hospital in Poway, California, after a bout with cancer. Gwynn won eight National League batting titles with the San Diego Padres, with 3,141 career hits over 20 seasons ending in 2001. He played in the World Series with San Diego in 1984 and 1998. Gwynn's son Tony Jr. came up in the Milwaukee Brewers' organization. He played for three seasons with the Crew from 2006-through-'08. The younger Gwynn is now 31, and he's playing with the Philadelphia Phillies.
In the Northwoods League, the co-leaders of the South Division will square off in a double-header late today. The Lakeshore Chinooks will host a double-header against the Madison Mallards in Mequon, where the two teams had a recent rain-out. Lakeshore edged La Crosse 5-04 yesterday, while Madison lost to the Wisconsin Woodchucks 5-3. The 'Chucks host Kalamazoo tonight, while La Crosse plays at Wisconsin Rapids. Rapids fell to the Battle Creek 6-3 on Father's Day, while Kalamazoo edged Green Bay 8-7. Green Bay moves on to Battle Creek this evening. The expansion Kenosha Kingfish play at Mankato, after the Kingfish swept a double-header from Saint Cloud 4-1 and 10-7. Eau Claire returns after being off yesterday. The Express are at home against Duluth. After two-and-a-half weeks of play, Madison and Lakeshore are both 12-7 as they share the South Division lead by a half-game over Wisconsin and La Crosse. Willmar leads the North by two games over Mankato.
UW-Platteville has a new wrestling coach. Mike DeRoehn spent the last four years at Lakeland College in Plymouth, where he led the Muskies to a pair of team titles in the Northern Wrestling Association. For six years before that, DeRoehn was the head coach at UW-Oshkosh. He also owns the World Class Wrestling School, which seeks to build character and positive habits for participants both on and off the mat. DeRoehn will also serve as Platteville's strength and conditioning coach.
Distance runner Reed Connor and softball standout Mary Massei have been named Wisconsin's recipients of the Big Ten Medal-of-Honor. The awards are given each year to a senior male-and-female athlete at each Big Ten school, based on both their athletic and academic performance. This is the 100th year the conference is handing out the awards. Connor led the Badgers to a national men's cross country title in 2011, and he was this spring's Big Ten indoor track athlete of the year. He had a 3.43 grade point average, with degrees in marketing, real estate, and urban land economics. Massei helped Wisconsin win its first Big Ten tournament crown in 2013, and led the team to the NCAA Tournament in her junior and senior years. She had a 3.13 GPA.
The Green Bay Packers will open their June mini-camp tomorrow. Unlike the OTA's of the past three weeks, the mini-camp is mandatory for all players on the Green Bay roster. It's scheduled to run through Thursday, although coach Mike McCarthy will often take the players on a "bonding" exercise on the mini-camp's final day, like paintball or bowling. After this week, things are expected to be quiet for more than a month at 1265 Lombardi Avenue. Team officials will return in the final week of July for the annual stock-holders' meeting, followed by the start of Training Camp a couple days' later. McCarthy says camp is when players will have their chance to make the regular season roster. Ten players are vying for wide receiver jobs, even after the free-agent departure of wide-out James Jones to the Oakland Raiders. The Packers won't have to worry about any rookie hold-outs, after all nine of their draft choices have signed their first pro contracts.
Steve Stricker of Madison dropped one place to 18th in the new World Golf Rankings. That's after he tied for 21st at the U-S Open. It was his fourth Top-25 finish in a row at the Open -- but a major title still eludes the 47-year-old Stricker. The state's only other player at Pinehurst, Pewaukee native Mark Wilson, dropped six places to 310th in the new world rankings. That's after he missed the cut last Friday after two rounds.