WISCONSIN SPORTS ROUNDUP: Lucroy's grand slam the difference as Brewers prevail 7-5
An exchange of hit batsmen turned into a 7-to-5 victory for the Milwaukee Brewers at Arizona last night. Kyle Lohse hit a pair of batters -- including Chris Owings in the back of the neck in the sixth inning. One frame later, the Brewers had runners at second-and-third when D-Backs' reliever Evan Marshall threw behind Ryan Braun, then hit him in the back with a 95-mile-an-hour fastball. Marshall was ejected, and was greeted with high fives in the Arizona dugout and a standing ovation from the Arizona crowd. Jonathan Lucroy then hit Brad Ziegler's first pitch over the wall for a grand slam which put Milwaukee in front for good. It was Lucroy's second homer of the night, the third grand salami of his career, and his fourth career multi-homer game. Aramis Ramirez also went yard for the Crew. Roger Kieschnick belted is first career homer for Arizona, which has now dropped six of its last seven games. Lohse got the win, giving up four runs in six innings. He's 8-and-2. Francisco Rodriguez got his 22nd save. Marshall took the loss without getting an out. He's 2-and-2. Brewers' outfielder Carlos Gomez missed his second straight game with a tight hamstring. He's expected to return tonight. Right-hander Matt Garza will face Arizona lefty Wade Miley, whose scheduled start was pushed back a day.
Ryan Braun said he was not surprised to be hit in the back with a 95-mile-an-hour fastball last night. But he was surprised that Arizona struck him when the Brewers had the tying and go-ahead runs at second-and-third. Milwaukee starter Kyle Lohse hit two batters earlier in the game. He said the dry air in Phoenix affected his control all night, and neither of his plunkings were on purpose. The plunking of Braun raised speculation that Diamondbacks' manager Kirk Gibson was still stewing over Milwaukee eliminating the D-Backs in the 2011 playoffs. Braun had a hot series while on P-E-D's, and Gibson previously indicated that his team would have otherwise won that series. Gibson wouldn't get into that after last night's game. He said he didn't want Braun to have a good pitch to hit, with two runners in scoring position. Braun said it was something Gibson would have to deal with. As Braun put it, "I wish him the best. I hope he finds peace and happiness in his life, and is able to enjoy his life." Lohse said the Diamondbacks won "tough-guy points," and he added -- "I don't know where the stats are for those. We won the game because of that. It was pretty unnecesssary." Lohse was referring to Jonathan Lucroy's grand slam the pitch after Braun was hit.
The Brewers traded Triple-"A" pitcher Brad Mills to the Oakland A's yesterday for what Fox Sports said was one-dollar. Mills, a left-handed starter, had a contract clause which allowed him to leave the Milwaukee organization on June 15th if another team puts him on its 25-man roster. Oakland reportedly expects to put the 29-year-old Mills in its starting rotation. Brewers' manager Ron Roenicke it was great to have Mills for insurance, but it's not fair to the player. He said he would have felt bad for a player like that to miss a half-season of opportunity in the big leagues, just because the rest of the roster stays healthy. Mills went 4-and-2 at Triple-"A" Nashville with a one-point-five-six E-R-A in 14 games, including 12 starts. He struck out 77 batters in 75 innings.
Herschel "Boog" Powell of the Beloit Snappers was the M-V-P of last night's Midwest League All-Star Game at West Michigan. Powell hit a two-run double, walked twice, stole home and one other base, and scored three times as the West All-Stars blanked the East 7-to-nothing. Powell was the Oakland A's' 20th-round draft pick in 2012 from Orange Coast College in California. Beloit pitcher Kyle Finnegan got the win by throwing a perfect first inning. West pitchers had a no-hitter going until the eighth, and they gave up just two hits on the night.
Kimberly and defending champion Sun Prairie will play for the Division-One title tomorrow at the state high school spring baseball tournament. Both teams won their semi-final contests last night, after winning quarter-finals earlier in the day at Fox Cities Stadium near Appleton. Sun Prairie eliminated Janesville Parker 8-to-7, on an R-B-I single by Michael Marchese in the eighth inning. Kimberly scored four runs in the first inning, on its way to a 15-to-1 victory over Wilmot. Mason Schnese had four hits including a homer. Earlier in the day, Kimberly won its quarter-final over Hartford 10-nothing. Wilmot edged Middleton 2-1. Sun Prairie topped Stevens Point 5-3. And Janesville Parker eliminated Bay Port 4-to-3.
Semi-finals in three other divisions are set for today. Unbeaten Lake Country Lutheran opens against Pittsville in the Division-Four semi-finals. Chippewa Falls McDonell takes on Ithaca in the other contest. The Division-Three semis are scheduled for the afternoon, with Oconto facing Racine Saint Catherine's and Mondovi going against Wisconsin Heights. The Division-Two semi-finals are set for tonight. Green Bay Notre Dame plays Jefferson, and Ripon faces Viroqua. Title games in all four divisions are set for tomorrow.
The Green Bay Packers enter the second day of their June mini-camp. Linebacker Nick Perry remains out, after he had a foot injury last season. The Packers do not disclose player injuries until after training camp begins, but coach Mike McCarthy is not playing down the importance of having Perry on board. He said the spring workouts have become more important, after they were shortened from a 15-week period to nine weeks under the N-F-L's collective bargaining agreement. Perry was Green Bay's first round draft pick in 2012. McCarthy says players who miss the O-T-A's and mini-camp due to injury or other reasons will have to work harder when Training Camp begins in late July.
In college basketball, Loyola Marymount forward Gabe Levin has transferred to Marquette. He left Marymount after one year, after the Lions fired their coach. The 6-7 Levin averaged eleven points and a team-high seven rebounds in his only college season. He'll take the mandatory one year off under the N-C-A-A's transfer rules, and he'll play as a sophomore in the fall of 2015. Levin went to Loyola Marymount after backing out of a commitment at Hofstra due to a coaching change. When he does play, Marquette coach Steve Wojciechowski says Levin will make an immediate impact due to his toughness and versatility. Marquette was among several places where Levin was thinking about transferring. The others included Notre Dame, Georgia Tech, and Northwestern.
A top official of the Milwaukee Bucks has stepped down after 15 years. Ron Walter, the executive vice president for business administration, said he had great role under former Bucks' owner Herb Kohl -- and it's "time to transfer leadership to the next generation." Walter often represented the Bucks on the N-B-A's Board of Governors. He said one of his most satisfying accomplishments was to help adopt a revenue-sharing plan to help smaller markets like Milwaukee compete. Walter is the first top Bucks' executive to leave after new owners Marc Lasry and Wesley Edens took over.
Former Bucks' guard Tate George is scheduled to be sentenced today for running an illegal Ponzi scheme. A federal grand jury in Trenton New Jersey convicted him last fall on four counts of wire fraud. Media reports say he's expected to go to prison for 6-to-9 years. Prosecutors said George convinced pro athletes and others to invest in what they thought was a real estate opportunity. Instead, George used the money for personal expenses, and to pay back other investors. George played in Milwaukee for one season, ending in the spring of 1995. He also played three years for the N-B-A's New Jersey Nets -- and he's best known for a buzzer-beating shot for U-Conn in a win over Cincinnati in the 1990 N-C-A-A Tournament.
A pair of sisters are the co-leaders after the first round of the Wisconsin State Women's Open. Allyssa and Brooke Ferrell, both from Edgerton, fired rounds of three-under-par 68 yesterday. They have a four-stroke lead over Jessica Hauser of Hartland and Leighann Cabush of Waukesha. The tournament's final round is scheduled for today at the Maple Bluff Country Club in Madison. Allyssa Ferrell is making her pro debut. Brooke Ferrell just completed her freshman year at Wisconsin.