WISCONSIN SPORTS ROUNDUP: Stalsberg named Player of the Year by the Coaches' Association
Mitch Stalsberg of Viroqua was named yesterday as the state high school baseball player of the year by the coaches' association. Stalsberg, a senior pitcher, struck out a state-record 21 batters in Viroqua's victory over Ripon last week in the Division-Two semi-finals of the state tournament. He went 8-and-1 in his final campaign with three saves and an E-R-A of just point-15. Stalsberg helped Viroqua to its first state baseball appearance in 29 years. They finished second. Stalsberg threw 16 strikeouts against Ellsworth in a 2-0 victory over the Panthers in a sectional semifinal.
The high-flying Milwaukee offense got cold last night, as the Brewers mustered only three hits in a 3-nothing home loss to Washington. Ryan Braun doubled. Jonathan Lucroy and Mark Reynolds both singled for the Crew, which ended a four-game winning streak. Carlos Gomez ended his 18-game hitting string and his Major League-leading 35-game on-base streak. A three-run homer by Adam LaRoche was the only offense the Nationals needed. It was the third straight game in which he homered at Miller Park. Matt Garza struck out seven in seven innings, as he gave up three runs on five hits with a pair of walks. He dropped to 4-and-5. Gio Gonzalez got the win, giving up three hits and four walks in six scoreless innings in his second start since being out for a month with an inflamed shoulder. Gonzalez struck out five, as he improved to 4-and-4. Tyler Clippard struck out the side in the ninth for his first save. Nationals' manager Matt Williams was ejected in the second inning after an argument with the plate umpire over a called strike three. Milwaukee still has the second-best record in the Majors, but its division lead over Saint Louis slipped to four-and-a-half games in the National League Central. Washington extended its N-L East lead to two games over Atlanta. The Brewers and Nationals play again tonight. Right-hander Yovani Gallardo faces former U-W Stevens Point right-hander Jordan Zimmermann from Auburndale.
Milwaukee's Aramis Ramirez has moved into first-place in the fan voting for the National League starter at third base in next month's All-Star Game. Carlos Gomez is back in third among N-L outfielders. It means the Brewers would have two starters if the fan voting had ended yesterday, when the latest round of results were announced. Ramirez had about one-million 280-thousand votes -- 20-thousand more than the previous leader, David Wright of the New York Mets. Gomez has around two-million 410-thousand votes, 270-thousand ahead of fourth-place Giancarlo Stanton of Miami. Milwaukee's Ryan Braun remains fifth among N-L outfielders. Jonathan Lucroy has moved up one place to second among National League catchers, far behind Yadier Molina of Saint Louis by 700-thousand votes. Brewers' shortstop Jean Segura also moved up one spot to second place in his fan voting. But he has only has about a-third of the vote total as Colorado shortstop Troy Tulowitzki, who remains the N-L's top vote-getter with three-point-three million. The fan voting ends July third. The All-Star Game is set for July 15th in Minneapolis.
Fans who watched the national E-S-P-N broadcast of last night's Brewer game were treated to a ton of hype about the one of the network's top baseball commentators running in the Sausage Race. Tim Kurkjian never had a chance, as he was a distant last out of the gate and never caught up during the sixth inning Miller Park ritual. Kurkjian wore the tall Hot Dog costume. The 57-year-old analyst hammed up his role to the max, as the preceding Sports-Center program dutifully showed him running around the Miller Park warning track and up the stairs in the lower deck. It didn't help, of course -- but he did flash a wide smile on camera afterward.
Fox Valley golf pro Ryan Helminen is in second place at the halfway point of the P-G-A Professional National Championship in Myrtle Beach South Carolina. The 39-year-old teaching pro at Ridgeway Country Club in Neenah birdied four of his first nine holes yesterday, before he faltered on the back nine with a pair of double-bogeys. Still, Helminen managed to shoot a one-over-par 73, to reach the 36-hole mark at three-under-141. That's one stroke behind the leader, Jamie Broce. Dustin Volk, Frank Esposito, and Michael Block are all one stroke behind Helminen in third place. Helminen is playing in his seventh pro national tournament. His best finish was in 2011, when he tied for 24th.