WISCONSIN SPORTS ROUND-UP: UW-Whitewater to play in title game of national baseball tourney
APPLETON - UW-Whitewater's baseball team earned a spot in the national title game, with a 10-4 rout of Saint Thomas yesterday at the NCAA Division III College World Series finals at Fox Cities Stadium.
The Warhawks led by one in the eighth inning when they scored six times on five hits and a pair of errors by the Tommies. Whitewater starter Brock Liston was knocked to the ground in the fourth by a line drive from Tim Kuzniar. Liston tried staying in the game, but he left after loading the bases. Connor Hurst got the win with four innings of relief. Dylan Friend went 4-for-5 with a double, and Casey Power homered as Whitewater improved to 3-0 in the winner's bracket. Three other teams are still in the running to be Whitewater's opponent in tomorrow's championship round. Emory and Southern Maine will play at noon, and the winner will then face Saint Thomas for the other title slot.
UW-Whitewater was eliminated from the NCAA Division III softball finals, after losing 8-0 to Tufts University yesterday in Tyler, Texas. The Warhawks were held to just three hits, as they secured a third-place finish at the nationals. Laura Eichenold went 2-for-2. Whitewater ended its season at 39-12. Cassie Ruscz homered twice for Tufts, which improved to 44-3 and will play Salisbury twice today for the national title. Both teams are unbeaten so far in the double-elimination tournament.
Ryan Braun went 4-for-5 and finished a homer short of the cycle, as the Milwaukee Brewers pounded the Marlins in Miami yesterday, 7-1. Jimmy Nelson got his first Major League win. He was called up from Triple-"A" to replace the injured Yovani Gallardo, who's due to start on Wednesday after a sprained ankle. Nelson pitched five-and-two-thirds scoreless innings, giving up five hits and three walks with a half-dozen strikeouts. Braun was his healthiest in some time, as rib-cage problems continue to dog him. Braun drove in a run and scored twice, as the Crew took 2-of-3 in South Florida to finish its 10-game road trip at 4-6. Milwaukee jumped all over ex-Brewer Randy Wolf, who gave up three runs in the first inning of his first start since 2012. That was the game right there, as the Crew added three more in the next two frames to make it six-zip after three. Wolf gave up six runs -- four earned -- in five frames. He's 0-1, after five relief innings this year in which he allowed just one run. Marcell Ozuna homered in the ninth for Miami's only tally. The Marlins had won 14-of-17 at home before dropping a pair to the Crew. The Brewers remain in first in the NL Central by a game-and-a-half over Saint Louis. And according to Stats Incorporated, 60-percent of division leaders on Memorial Day make the post-season. The Brewers open an Interleague home series this afternoon against Baltimore. Right-hander Kyle Lohse starts against Orioles' righty Chris Tillman.
The Brewers called up infielder Irving Falu from Triple-"A" Nashville late yesterday. In essence, he'll replace Jeff Bianchi -- who was sent outright to the minors on Saturday night to create room for emergency starter Jimmy Nelson. It was planned all along to have Nelson up for only one appearance in place of the injured Yovani Gallardo -- so Nelson was returned to Nashville after getting his first big league victory yesterday against Miami. Technically, Falu is taking Nelson's spot. Brewers' manager Ron Roenicke said Falu will be a strong back-up at shortstop should Jean Segura get injured. Falu has played 14 games at shortstop at Nashville this year, plus 17 at third base and 12 at second. He also played 24 games for Kansas City in 2012. Bianchi, who was .batting out of .145, is out of minor league options with Milwaukee.
Wisconsin's Matt Kenseth lost the lead with nine laps to go last night, and he finished third in NASCAR's Coca-Cola-600 at the Charlotte Motor Speedway. Jimmie Johnson led for a race-high 164 laps. Kenseth -- the Cambridge native -- was in first place after a late restart, when Johnson passed him on the 392nd of the 400 laps. Kenseth conceded second place to Kevin Harvick in the final laps, and Harvick lost to Johnson by almost one-point-three seconds. Kenseth remains second in the Sprint Cup season point standings. Jeff Gordon, who finished seventh last night, now has an 11-point edge, 432-to-421. Paul Menard of Eau Claire took eighth in NASCAR's longest race. He rose two spots for the year to 16th. Beloit-born Danica Patrick dropped out after 281 laps with engine trouble. She finished 39th in the race, and remains 27th in the point standings.
Ryan Hunter-Reay won the 98th running of the Indianapolis 500 after beating Helio Castroneves to the finish line by the slimmest of margins on Sunday. Hunter-Reay, the 2012 IndyCar Series champion, crossed the line just 0.060 seconds ahead of Castroneves, making it the second-smallest margin of victory in the history of this prestigious automobile race. The record for closest finish ever in the Indy 500 occurred in 1992, when Al Unser Jr. won by only 0.043 seconds over Scott Goodyear. Hunter-Reay, a Fort Lauderdale, Florida native, became the first American to win the Indy 500 since Sam Hornish Jr. did it in 2006. "It's a dream come true. I can't even believe it," said Hunter-Reay, who started 19th in his No. 28 Andretti Autosport car. "It hasn't even sunk in yet. A dream has come true today. I'm a proud American boy, that's for sure." In last year's Indy 500, Hunter-Reay held the lead for the final restart with three laps left, but Tony Kanaan pulled ahead of Hunter-Reay for the top spot just before Dario Franchitti crashed into the wall, forcing the race to end under caution. Kanaan won the Indy 500 for the first time in his 12th attempt, while Hunter-Reay ended up finishing third. Hunter-Reay's first victory in this race came in his seventh try. The Indy 500 featured 34 lead changes among 11 drivers and moved at a pace of 186.563 mph, which was second quickest to last year's record pace of 187.433 mph. Hunter-Reay led the most laps with 56, followed by Castroneves with 38. The fourth and final caution occurred with 10 laps remaining when Townsend Bell spun out and backed it hard into the turn 2 wall. Debris from Bell's heavily-damaged car littered the track, prompting IndyCar officials to display the red flag and stop the race briefly for cleanup efforts. Hunter-Reay led the way for the last restart with six laps to go, but Castroneves pulled ahead of him with five laps left. Hunter-Reay then made a bold move to the inside of Castroneves and reclaimed the lead for good on the following lap. The margin between Hunter-Reay and Castroneves when they crossed the line to complete the penultimate lap was a scant 0.0235 seconds.
Rhinelander native Dan Forsman tied for 25th at the Senior PGA Championship in Benton Harbor, Michigan. Forsman was in second place after the opening round. But that was before he shot a combined five-over the next two days. Forsman shot a one-under-par 70 in his final round yesterday to finish at even-par 284 at the Harbor Shores course. Colin Montgomerie finished at 13-under, and won the tournament by four strokes over Tom Watson.
Madison golfer Jerry Kelly tied for 38th at the PGA's Crowne Plaza Invitational in Fort Worth, Texas. Kelly shot a two-under-par 68 yesterday in his final round at the Colonial course. He finished at two-under-278 -- seven strokes behind the winner, Adam Scott.
In Major League Baseball...
Milwaukee 7, Miami 1
San Diego 4, Chicago Cubs 3
San Francisco 8, Minnesota 1
New York Yankees 7, Chicago White Sox 1
Texas 12, Detroit 4
In the Midwest League...
Wisconsin 3, Clinton 2
Cedar Rapids 6, Beloit 5
In the NCAA Division III baseball finals near Appleton...
UW-Whitewater 10, Saint Thomas 4
Southern Maine 11, Baldwin-Wallace 5
Emory 9, SUNY-Cortland 7 (SUNY-Cortland eliminated)
In the NCAA Division III softball finals in Tyler, Texas...
Tufts 8, UW-Whitewater 0 (Whitewater eliminated)
Salisbury 3, Saint Thomas 2 (Saint Thomas eliminated)