WISCONSIN SPORTS ROUNDUP: Packers fill a big defensive need by taking Clinton-Dix
GREEN BAY -- The Green Bay Packers filled a big hole in their secondary last night, by selecting Alabama safety Ha Ha Clinton Dix with the 21st overall pick in the N-F-L Draft. Clinton-Dix was a college teammate of Packers' running back Eddie Lacy. He's expected to be an immediate starter for a Green Bay safety unit that was the only N-F-L team not to get an interception last year. General manager Ted Thompson calls Clinton-Dix a complete all-around player. Clinton-Dix is 6-1-and-a-half and 207 pounds. He left Alabama after his junior year, with two years as a starter behind him. Thompson admitted it was a rough night in the Packers' war room. Two inside linebackers the team wanted were long gone by the time Green Bay got on the clock. Ryan Shazier of Ohio State went to Pittsburgh at Number-15. C-J Mosley of Alabama was claimed by Baltimore with the 17th pick. Thompson said he would have been "crushed" had Clinton-Dix gone to New Orleans one pick ahead of the Pack. But the Saints took receiver Brandin Cooks, leaving Green Bay to meet an immediate need on defense. The Packers have eight more draft picks left -- including three in tonight's second-and-third rounds.
Packer fans won't have to worry about "Johnny Football" throwing against their secondary twice a year. The Minnesota Vikings passed on Texas A-and-M star Johnny Manziel with their Number-nine pick last night. They traded down one spot and took outside linebacker Anthony Barr. The Vikings did get a quarterback by trading up to get Louisville's Teddy Bridgewater with the 32nd-and-final pick in Round-One. Meanwhile, the Detroit Lions figured that they added another big receiver for quarterback Matthew Stafford, when they picked tight end Eric Ebron in the tenth slot. The Chicago Bears drafted Virginia Tech corner Kyle Fuller -- who fought a sports hernia in his final two seasons. No Wisconsin Badgers were taken in the first round. Manziel went to Cleveland at Number-22.
After a day off, the Milwaukee Brewers will return to Interleague play with a three-game home series against the New York Yankees starting tonight. The Brewers have a two-game losing streak, and they've dropped six of their last eight. The Yanks come in at 18-and-15. Right-hander Yovani Gallardo will start for Milwaukee tonight against Yankees' sensation Masahiro Tanaka. The right-hander is 4-and-0 with an E-R-A of just over two-and-a-half. He has struck out 51 and walked only six in 42-and-two-thirds innings -- but he has given up seven home runs. C-C Sabathia, who helped the Brewers make the playoffs in 2008, will pitch for the Yanks tomorrow night.
For all the success he's had as a manager, Joe Torre says he'll never forget the first big league team he played for, the Milwaukee Braves. Torre was inducted yesterday into the Braves' Honor Roll at Miller Park. He played nine years for the Braves, after he was first called up by the former Class-"C" Eau Claire Braves late in 1960. Torre said he has never forgotten his first Major League hit -- a pinch-hit single against Harvey Haddix of Pittsburgh at the old County Stadium. It triggered a rally which tied the game -- and he remembered his legs shaking so badly, that Lee Maye had to come out to run for him. Torre was a nine-time All-Star in 18 seasons as a player, before making his biggest mark as a big league manager. He won four World Series with the Yankees, and New York plans to retire his Number-Six on August 23rd. Torre is also going into the Hall-of-Fame this year as a skipper.
Madison golfer Steve Stricker is tied for 48th after the first round of The Players Championship. Stricker shot a one-under-par 71 yesterday at T-P-C Sawgrass in Ponte Vedra Beach Florida. Two other Wisconsin golfers struggled in their opening rounds of what's unofficially known as the "Fifth Major." Jerry Kelly of Madison is tied for 141st, after shooting a six-over-par-78. Pewaukee native Mark Wilson is 144th-and-last at seven-over-79. He had five bogeys, plus a double-bogey seven on the Par-five eleventh hole.
The Wisconsin women's golf team is in ninth place among 24 schools after the opening round of the N-C-A-A West Regional at Cle Elum, Washington. The Badgers shot a 13-over-par 301 yesterday. Top-ranked U-S-C is the leader at four-under-284. Senior Alexis Nelson was the Badgers' top individual after Round-One. She shot an even-par 72. The 54-hole tournament continues through tomorrow. The top-eight teams advance to the national finals starting May 20th in Tulsa Oklahoma.
U-W Whitewater blanked Madison Edgewood 6-to-nothing in yesterday's first round of the N-C-A-A Division-Three women's tennis tournament. It was the second time this season the Warhawks shut out the Eagles, after a 9-nothing win last August 30th. Whitewater is the state's only remaining team in the national Field-of-50. They'll take on DePauw today in the second round of the Saint Louis Regional. Meanwhile, two Wisconsin teams are in the Division-Three men's tennis tournament which begins today. Wisconsin Lutheran plays Grinnell in a five-team regional at Saint Peter Minnesota. U-W Whitewater has a bye, and will play the host school Gustavus Adolphus tomorrow. Whitewater is also the only Wisconsin team in the Division-Three softball tournament, and will play Benedictine today in a regional at Chicago.
Madison Edgewood was the first team eliminated from the Northern Athletics Collegiate Conference baseball tournament in Mequon. Edgewood lost twice yesterday, falling to Concordia-Wisconsin 7-to-3 and then Concordia-Chicago 2-1 in 10 innings. Carlos Olavarria drove home the game-winner with a sacrifice fly. Concordia of Mequon is the only Wisconsin team remaining in the double-elimination tournament. They'll play Dominican today. The tournament runs through Sunday.
Two women's basketball players will transfer to U-W Milwaukee this fall. Point guard Jaleesa Armstrong of Chicago and guard Alexis Lindstrom of Howards Grove both signed letters-of-intent to join the Panthers. Coach Kyle Rechlicz announced the signings yesterday. Armstrong did not play last season, after she averaged 21 points a game for Malcolm-X College in her sophomore year. She'll be eligible to play for Milwaukee next season. Lindstrom will have to sit out a year, after playing the last two seasons at Northern Illinois. She averaged almost six points per contest.
Marquette men's tennis players Dan Mamalat, Nick Dykema, and Vukasin Teofanovic have been named to the All-Big East Conference team. Mamalat is a senior who set a new school record for career singles' wins with 88. He's a two-time all-conference pick, while Dykema and Teofanovic were named for the first time. Dykema is a freshman who had a team-best 27 singles' victories this season. Marquette went 16-and-9 this season, making it to the semi-finals of their Big East Tournament.