WISCONSIN SPORTS ROUNDUP: Brewers snap out of funk by pounding Arizona
MILWAUKEE -- The Milwaukee Brewers broke out of their offensive shell last night, crushing Arizona 8-to-3 at Miller Park. The Brewers scored as many runs against the Diamondbacks as they did in their last three games combined at Cincinnati. The eight runs were the most at home this year, after the Brewers failed to score more than five in their previous 15 Miller Park games. The Crew wasted no time, as Carlos Gomez drove Mike Bolsinger's first pitch over the wall. Martin Maldonado and Jean Segura had two-run homers. Gomez drove in three, as Milwaukee ended a two-game losing streak. Matt Garza got the win in his first start since bruising his pitching thumb last week. He gave up three runs on eight hits in six innings, with five strikeouts and two walks. Garza is now 2-and-3. Bolsinger took the loss, giving up four runs in five frames. He's 1-and-2. Aaron Hill went for 4-for-4 for the Diamondbacks, who've now lost five of their last six. Milwaukee is now tied with Detroit for the best record in the Majors -- both with .667 winning percentages after the Tigers also won last night. The Brewers and Diamondbacks will play again tonight at Miller Park. Right-hander Marco Estrada faces Arizona right-hander Josh Collmenter.
Three Brewers' minor-leaguers were named players-of-the-week in their respective circuits. Right-hander Mike Fiers of Triple-"A" Nashville was the honored pitcher in the Pacific Coast League. He threw a seven-inning shutout last Wednesday in which he struck out 11 and gave up just two hits. First baseman Nick Ramirez of Double-"A" Huntsville was the top position player in the Southern League. He batted .462 for the week with 12 hits and 11 R-B-I's. Outfielder Michael Reed of Class-"A" Brevard County was the honored position player in the Florida State League. Reed homered twice, while batting .524 with five R-B-I's and multiple hits in four games.
A three-hour 17-minute rain delay caused problems for both Zack Greinke and Jordan Zimmermann last night, as Washington blanked the L-A Dodgers at home 4-to-nothing. Greinke, a former Brewer, ended a string of 18 starts in which he gave up two runs or less while going at least five innings. That was the longest such string in the Majors in 100 years. Greinke lasted just three frames last night, giving up a pair of runs. He also suffered his first loss of the season for L-A, and is now 5-and-1. Zimmermann, the former U-W Stevens Point right-hander from Auburndale, had a scoreless start of four innings for the Nationals interrupted by the long rain delay. He didn't return after giving up five hits and striking out three. Aaron Barrett, the first pitcher for Washington when play resumed, tossed a 1-2-3 inning to get the win.
The Big Ten Conference will apparently move its men's basketball tournament out of the Midwest in 2017. Commissioner Jim Delany is expected to announce the change today at the Verizon Center in Washington D-C, where the league tournament could be held three years from now. The move would be part of the Big Ten's effort to have a physical presence on the East Coast, as Maryland and Rutgers join the conference this fall. The Big Ten men's and women's basketball tournaments have alternated between Chicago and Indianapolis for almost two decades. Yesterday, the Big Ten and Big East announced a men's basketball challenge, similar to the one the Big Ten has with the A-C-C. Eight games will be played each year, starting in the fall of 2015. The two leagues agreed to what they called the Gavitt Tip-off Games for at least eight years.
U-W Whitewater will open against Benedictine on Friday at their N-C-A-A Division-Three softball regional at Chicago. A national field-of-62 teams was announced yesterday. Whitewater, at 31-and-9, received the W-I-A-C's automatic bid and was the state's only team named to the national tourney. Chicago and Thomas More of Kentucky are the other teams in the double-elimination regional, which runs through Sunday. The winners of 16 regionals will compete in a super-regional next week. The national D-Three tournament is set for May 22nd-through-27th in Tyler Texas.
Whitewater will play Madison Edgewood on Thursday at Saint Louis in the opening round of the N-C-A-A women's tennis tournament. The winner will play DePauw in the second round on Friday. Whitewater is 20-and-5, after winning the W-I-A-C's automatic bid to the nationals. Edgewood is 19-and-8, as the champions of the Northern Athletics Collegiate Conference. They're the only Wisconsin teams in a field-of-50 schools, and they're part of a six-team Saint Louis Regional.
Madison Edgewood is the only Wisconsin school invited to the N-C-A-A Division-Three men's golf tournament. The Eagles are among 41 teams and five other individuals to compete on Tuesday-through-Friday of next week in Greensboro North Carolina. None of the individuals are from Wisconsin. Edgewood earned the N-A-C-C's automatic bid. On the women's side, the Badger State will have three schools in their national Division-Three golf tourney. U-W Eau Claire, Carthage, and Concordia-Wisconsin are among 21 teams and six other individuals -- none from Wisconsin -- to play next Tuesday-through-Friday at Howey-in-the-Hills Florida.