WISCONSIN SPORTS ROUND-UP: Gallardo looks to stay unbeaten as Brewers take on Pirates
PITTSBURGH - Yovani Gallardo has given up less than one earned run for every nine innings he pitches -- and he'll try to keep that trend going tonight when the Crew plays at Pittsburgh.
Gallardo is 2-0 on the young season with a .096 ERA. In his last start, Gallardo gave up his first two runs of the season when he went six innings against Pittsburgh last Saturday night at Miller Park. He left with a no-decision, as the Brewers went on to win 3-2. Edinson Volquez started against Gallardo last weekend, and he'll do the same tonight. Volquez has no record with a 1.29 ERA. He gave up two runs -- one earned -- in six-and-a-third innings last Saturday, in his second start of 2014. We don't know if Ryan Braun will return. Manager Ron Roenicke gave him yesterday off, as he continues to struggle with an ailing right thumb. Pirates' left-fielder Jose Tabata left yesterday's Pittsburgh loss to Cincinnati in the fifth inning with an apparent mild concussion, suffered when he slammed into the wall while catching a fly ball. The Pirates have lost five of their last six. Milwuakee has dropped two of three.
Brewers' first baseman Lyle Overbay was put on the team's paternity list today, and he'll miss the first three games of Milwaukee's four-game set at Pittsburgh. The 37-year-old Overbay and his wife Sarah are about to have their fifth child. Overbay is in his second stint with Milwaukee, and is batting 2-for-20 in 10 games with three RBI's in a platoon with veteran first baseman Mark Reynolds. Baseball's collective bargaining agreement allows players to be gone three days for paternity leave. In his place, the Brewers have called up utility player Elian Herrera from Triple-"A" Nashville. He's batting .250 for the Sounds with a pair of RBI's.
The Milwaukee Brewers hope to go 7-0 on the road tonight, when they open a four-game series at Pittsburgh. The Crew is off to its best road start in team history. The Brewers' record for most consecutive overall road victories is nine, tied most recently in July and August of 2008. Milwaukee is 11-4, with a two-game lead in the National League Central over second-place Saint Louis -- which beat the Crew in two-of-three games at Miller Park this week. The Brewers salvaged a 5-1 victory yesterday. The Pirates, meanwhile, have dropped five of their last six, including three straight to the Brewers last weekend. Yesterday, Pittsburgh was shut out for the first time this season. Johnny Cueto struck out 12 as Cincinnati blanked the Bucs 4-0
The Wisconsin Timber Rattlers will open a Midwest League home series tonight against Great Lakes. The Rattlers swept Lansing yesterday in a double-header near Appleton, 10-7 and 1-0 in eight innings. The Beloit Snappers are also continuing a home-stand against Lansing. The Snappers lost to Great Lakes last night 7-6 in 10 innings.
UW-Green Bay men's basketball coach Brian Wardle has agreed to a new five-year contract. Athletic director Mary Ellen Gillespie said today that Wardle -- a former Marquette University assistant -- has done an outstanding job in his four seasons with the Phoenix, and she wants to make sure the team keeps moving forward. Wardle is 71-56 in four seasons at Green Bay. He was named the Horizon League's coach-of-the-year after the Phoenix won the regular season crown in March. Green Bay was one of the last four schools to be eliminated from the NCAA Field-of-68. The team went 24-7 last season, with its first NIT bid in 22 years. More recently, Wardle was mentioned as a possible candidate for the Marquette coaching job that went to Steve Wojciechowski.
Now that $200-million is pledged for a new arena, Milwaukee leaders face the challenge of finding the rest of the funds that will be needed. Outgoing Bucks' owner Herb Kohl says he's not sure how much tax money will be necessary. Tim Sheehy of the Metro Milwaukee Association of Commerce says more private sector money is on the way -- and at some point, officials will have to ask taxpayers for something. The NBA wants Milwaukee to at least have construction going by 2017 for a replacement to the Bradley Center. In announcing his sale of the team yesterday, Kohl promised to spend $100-million on the new facility. The impending new owners -- hedge fund investors Marc Lasry and Wesley Edens -- have also put up $100-million to show how they committed they are to keep the Bucks in Milwaukee. Also, there are questions of where the new arena should go. Governor Scott Walker says a place at the downtown Park East corridor would boost the local economy. The governor says it's too early to consider the question of state funding for a new facility.
Both of Wisconsin's regular PGA Tour golfers are playing in the RBC Heritage tournament in Hilton Head, South Carolina. Jerry Kelly of Madison was at one-over-par after four holes of his opening round at the Harbour Town Golf Links. Pewaukee native Mark Wilson teed off just before the noon hour. Jeff Maggert, Rory Sabbatini, and Charley Hoffman all shared the mid-morning lead at minus-three. The PGA senior Champions Tour is in Duluth, Georgia this week for the Greater Gwinnett tournament. The 54-hole event begins tomorrow. Rhinelander native Dan Forsman is part of the field.
Minnesota State football players refused to take part in a spring practice yesterday, because they don't want coach Todd Hoffner to come back. The former UW-Eau Claire coach was re-instated at Mankato, after an arbitrator said he was wrongfully fired a year ago. The players said they want interim coach Aaron Keen to keep leading them. A meeting was scheduled for today between the players and both Keen and Hoffner. Hoffner was fired after a judge dropped criminal charges of allegedly having child pornography on a school-issued cell phone.
University of Wisconsin men's basketball is a hot commodity right now, after the Badgers' first appearance in 14 years at the NCAA Final Four. Tonight, the team will be honored at its annual banquet at the Kohl Center -- and all 700 public tickets were sold out a few days ago. The program will include video highlights of a season in which the Badgers made it to Number-three in the polls, lost five of six, and then roared back with four straight victories in the NCAA Tournament, before their national semifinal loss to Kentucky. The Badgers expect video from tonight's banquet to be on their website tomorrow at www.uwbadgers.com.
Iowa high school guard Roichelle Marble will play her college basketball at the University of Wisconsin. Coach Bobbie Kelsey said the 5-7 Marble has signed a letter of intent to play at Madison this fall. She's the daughter of former Iowa standout Roy Marble. Roichelle is a three-time All-State selection by the Des Moines Register, and a two-time all-Metro League first team nominee. She's one of three new players officially on board at the UW for next season. The others are Cayla McMorris and transfer student Rosie Gambino.