WISCONSIN SPORTS ROUNDUP: Brewers beat Philadelphia again; go for sweep tonight
PHILADELPHIA -- The Milwaukee Brewers are 5-and-0 on the road for the first time in 27 years, after winning at Philadelphia last night 9-to-4. Milwaukee broke a 4-all tie by scoring five runs in the final two innings. Mark Reynolds scored the game-winning run in the eighth, when Logan Schafer hit a sharp one-hopper that got by Phillies' first baseman Ryan Howard for an error. Ryan Braun capped the rally with a two-run double. Reynolds drove in the Brewers' final runs with a two-run homer in the ninth. Carlos Gomez went 3-for-5 with a solo homer. Aramis Ramirez had three hits and an R-B-I, as the Brewer offense has exploded for 27 hits in its two games at Philly -- 13 for extra bases. Tyler Thornburg got the win with two hitless innings of relief. He's now 2-and-0. Antonio Bastardo took the loss. He's 0-and-1. Brewers' starter Matt Garza gave up four runs -- three earned -- in six innings. Carlos Ruiz and former Beloit Snapper Ben Revere each had two hits for Philadelphia, who was 1-for-10 with runners in scoring position. The Brewers will try to sweep their second straight road series tonight at Citizens Bank park. Right-hander Marco Estrada goes against Phillies' left-hander Cliff Lee.
Central Wisconsin native Jordan Zimmermann got shelled last night, but he escaped with a no-decision as his Washington Nationals beat Miami at home 10-to-7. The former U-W Stevens Point right-hander from Auburndale had the shortest outing of his big league career. He lasted just one-and-two-thirds innings, giving up five runs on seven hits. Nationals' manager Matt Williams said Zimmermann struggled with his command as the Marlins came out swinging. Zimmermann's E-R-A jumped to eight-point-one-oh.
The Milwaukee Bucks lost to Indiana's bench at home last night, 104-to-102. Pacers' coach Frank Vogel sat out all five of his starters, saying he wanted to let them rest after they dropped eight of their last 11 during a crucial run for the post-season. Khris Middleton kept the Bucks in the game by making three free throws to tie the game at 102 with four-point-nine seconds to go. Chris Copeland hit a floater with one-point-two seconds left, to move the Pacers' into the top playoff spot in the N-B-A's Eastern Conference. Indiana is now a half-game ahead of Miami, as those two teams get ready to face each other tomorrow night. It was just another embarrassment for Milwaukee, which dropped to 14-and-64. Bucks' center Jeff Adrien said resting the Indiana starters was like quote, "smack in our face." Luis Scola led the Pacers with 24 points and nine rebounds. Adrien had 13 points and 17 rebounds, and Brandon Knight had 25 points and 10 assists, as the Bucks lost their sixth straight game and 14 of its last 15. Milwaukee will host Cleveland tomorrow night.
Bucks' center Larry Sanders has started his five-game N-B-A suspension for violating the league's drug policy. He's out for the rest of the season anyway, after having surgery for orbital fractures in right eye suffered two months ago against Houston. It means that he won't have to miss the first five games of next season, as was originally reported. He also gets a financial break by serving his suspension now. Sanders is losing 186-thousand-dollars in salary for this season -- as opposed to a 671-thousand-dollar loss for five games once his new contract extension kicks in this summer. Sanders has had three positive marijuana tests. He defended his marijuana use to the Journal Sentinel, while apologizing to fans and the team.
The U-W Milwaukee men's basketball team was banned from post-season play next year due to academic problems. An N-C-A-A committee said yesterday that U-W-M lost a final appeal of its ban due to its low Academic Performance Rate over the previous four years. Coach Rob Jeter's team had an overall rate that was 22 points below the new minimum of 930. As a result, U-W-M will not play in next year's Horizon League Tournament, which the Panthers won last month to earn their first N-C-A-A bid since 2006. Milwaukee will also be shut out of all the national tournaments next March. Athletic director Amanda Braun said the school started working to resolve its academic issues while appealing the order for the post-season ban. She said Milwaukee has brought in two additional academic advisers for the players, plus screening to determine who would need additional help to get their classwork done right. U-W-M's one-year ban is similar to the one Connecticut got a year ago, before the Huskies roared back to win the N-C-A-A men's basketball crown on Monday night.
Marquette women's basketball coach Terri Mitchell has left. Interim Athletic Director Bill Cords announced the move last night, and would not give a reason. Mitchell spent 23 years with the Golden Eagles, the first five as an assistant and the last 18 as the women's head coach. She went 348-and-215 with seven N-C-A-A Tournament appearances and a W-N-I-T title in 2008. However, Mitchell never led Marquette past the second round of the N-C-A-A's. This year's team went 22-and-11, falling to Indiana in the second round of the Women's N-I-T. The Eagles were fifth in the newly-aligned Big East Conference. Cords says he's already hearing from possible replacements. Since he returned in December as the interim athletic director, Cords has found replacements for two other coaches in men's basketball and women's volleyball.
Madison golfer Steve Stricker shot an even-par 27 in yesterday's Par-Three contest at the Masters. Mequon native Jordan Niebrugge was five-over at 32. Ryan Moore won the contest at six-under-21. The winner of the Par-Three event has never won the Masters, which begins this morning at Augusta National. The 47-year-old Stricker is still looking for his first victory in a major, after finishing in the Top-10 in eight of 13 tournaments on a limited schedule a year ago. He'll begin his first round just before nine o'clock as part of a three-some with K-J Choi and Zach Johnson. The 20-year-old Niebrugge, a sophomore at Oklahoma State, looks to become only the third amateur since 1985 to have a Top-20 finish at the Masters. He earned his slot by winning last summer's U-S Amateur Public Links Championship. Niebrugge tees off at 7:18 a-m. He'll be playing with 1998 Masters champion Mark O'Meara and Australian Steven Bowditch.
The Green Bay Packers' exhibition schedule has been announced for August. Exact dates were not announced yet for the first two games. The Pack will open at Tennessee anywhere from August 7th-through-10th. They'll be at Saint Louis from August 14th-through-18th. C-B-S will televise Green Bay's first home exhibition on August 22nd against the Oakland Raiders. Fans can expect to see former Packers Charles Woodson, James Jones, and C-J Wilson in that game. Green Bay's final pre-season contest is set for August 28th at Lambeau against Kansas City. For the third straight year, the Packers will not see any of their pre-season opponents in the regular season. That schedule is due out in a couple of weeks.