WISCONSIN SPORTS ROUNDUP: Brewers lose first road series of the year
CINCINNATI -- The Milwaukee Brewers lost their first road series of the season, after falling at Cincinnati 4-to-3 in 10 innings yesterday. The Crew dropped three-of-four against the Reds, after going into the series with just two road defeats. Todd Frazier won the finale with a double that scored Chris Heisey, who walked with two out. The Crew had a one-run lead in the eighth when Brandon Phillips tied it with a solo homer off Brandon Kintzler. It was Phillips' first homer since April fifth. Brayan Pena also hit a solo shot for Cincy. Tyler Thornberg took the loss, falling to 3-and-1. Brewers' starter Kyle Lohse has still not lost since April first, after he escaped with a six-and-a-third-inning no-decision. Lohse gave up two runs and struck out a pair, and has not given up more than three earned runs in any of his seven starts in 2014. Sam LeCure got the win in relief on his 30th birthday. He's 1-and-1. The Brewers scored their runs on a pair of solo shots from Scooter Gennett and Khris Davis, and a single from Jonathan Lucroy. At 21-and-11, Milwaukee still has the best record in the Majors -- but by only two percentage points over Detroit. The Brewers are back home to open a series tonight against Arizona. Right-hander Matt Garza faces Diamondbacks' right-hander Mike Bolsinger.
As always, Wisconsin sports fans will not only watch whom the Green Bay Packers will draft this week -- they'll also want to see who ends up with the top University of Wisconsin players. Badgers' linebacker Chris Borland is getting much of the pre-draft buzz -- even though the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel says a number of teams are concerned about his left shoulder, which has been surgically repaired twice. Some teams are also concerned over Borland's height. He was the second shortest linebacker at the February N-F-L combine, at five feet eleven-and-a-half. Other scouts have praised Borland's aggressiveness. He had a Big Ten-record 15 forced fumbles in his four seasons with the Badgers, part of 27 plays in which he induced turnovers. As far as the Packers are concerned, the defense is again the biggest area of concern -- especially at the safety spot. They may also draft a quarterback to groom. Green Bay picks 21st in the opening round on Thursday night.
The Wisconsin football team has secured a home-state offensive lineman for its 2015 recruiting class. Jon Dietzen, who's ending his junior year at Seymour High School, announced his verbal commitment to the Badgers yesterday at a Rivals-Dot-Com camp in Chicago. He was a first-team all-state coaches' selection during his junior year. Dietzen is listed at 6-5 and 305 pounds. He reportedly had scholarship offers from Nebraska, Michigan State, and Miami-Florida. Dietzen is the fourth known commitment to coach Gary Andersen's 2015 class at Madison. The others are quarterback Austin Kafentzis, receiver Andrew James, and tight end Kyle Penniston.
Wisconsin driver Matt Kenseth remains second in the NASCAR Sprint Cup standings, despite placing 37th in the Aaron's-499 at Talladega. Jeff Gordon is still the season points' leader by three over Kenseth, after both got dragged into a 14-car crash with 50 laps to go yesterday. Brad Keselowski triggered the pile-up. Kenseth's car needed minor repairs to complete the race. He said he was not happy with Keselowski's aggressive driving, considering that Keselowski was six laps off the pace at the time. Kenseth said any other driver would have been lectured. Earlier in the race, Keselowski got tangled up with Beloit-born Danica Patrick on Lap-14. Patrick was the first woman to lead an event at Talladega, when she got into a collision while checking her rear-view mirror. Keselowski's crew admitted not having enough clearance to make the move which caused that first collision. Patrick finished 22nd, and she remains 29th for the season. Paul Menard of Eau Claire was the top Wisconsin driver yesterday, placing sixth. He rose one spot in the point standings to 17th. Denny Hamlin won the race.
U-W Milwaukee snapped a string of ten consecutive men's titles by placing second at the Horizon League track meet at Youngstown State over the weekend. The host Youngstown won both the men's-and-women's crowns in a three-day meet which ended yesterday. The Milwaukee women placed fourth. Durell Busby of U-W-M was named the Horizon men's athlete-of-the-year. He won his third straight gold medal in the 110-meter hurdles yesterday with a league record time of 13-point-88 seconds. It was the fifth time in 11 years that a Milwaukee competitor won the men's top athlete award.
Northwest Wisconsin golf stand-out Charlie Danielson tied for the medalist honors at the Big Ten men's tournament which ended yesterday at French Lick Indiana. Danielson, of Osceola, is a sophomore at Illinois. He took a one-stroke lead into the final hole, but he bogeyed the Par-five and ended up in a tie with Jose Mendez of Minnesota. Both finished at one-over-289 for 72 holes, and both were given automatic berths to the N-C-A-A tournament. Illinois finished second behind Minnesota. The Badgers were 10th among the 12 competing teams. Junior Thomas O'Bryan was Wisconsin's top individual. He tied for 12th at 12-over-300.
On the P-G-A Tour, Pewaukee native Mark Wilson tied for 23rd at the Wells Fargo Championship in Charlotte. Wilson shot a two-over-par 74 in his fourth-and-final round yesterday. He finished at four-under-284 -- ten strokes behind the winner, J-B Holmes.Rhinelander native Dan Forsman tied for 18th at the Insperity tournament on the senior P-G-A Champions Tour. Forsman shot a two-over-par 74 in his final round yesterday at The Woodlands, Texas. He finished the 54-hole event at one-under-215. Bernhard Langer won the tournament at 11-under. Andy North of Madison was 74th at 24-over.
The U-W Milwaukee baseball team lost at Illinois-Chicago yesterday, 5-to-3. The Flames won their eighth straight game, as Milwaukee fell to 8-and-10 in the Horizon League and 16-and-21 overall. Illinois-Chicago had a 1-nothing lead when it scored four runs in the sixth inning to break the game open. Brothers Ryan and Eric Solberg each had a pair of hits for Milwaukee, as did Tyler Hermann.
The Wisconsin softball team earned the Number-four seed in its Big Ten tournament. The Badgers were given a first-round bye, and will play either fifth-seeded Northwestern or Number-12 Michigan State in the quarter-finals on Friday night. The Badgers won their regular season finale yesterday at Michigan, 6-to-5 in nine innings. Sara Novak homered in the top of the ninth to win it for Wisconsin, which ended its Big Ten season schedule at 15-and-7. They're 33-and-17 overall.