Morning State Sports Briefs: Brewers game with Rangers rained outWisconsin Sports
-- The Milwaukee Brewers’ exhibition game against Texas was rained out in Phoenix. The decision was made yesterday morning to cancel the game – and it gave Yovani Gallardo, the Brewers’ scheduled starter, a chance to get some work in at a Triple-“A” contest.
PHOENIX - The Milwaukee Brewers’ exhibition game against Texas was rained out in Phoenix. The decision was made yesterday morning to cancel the game – and it gave Yovani Gallardo, the Brewers’ scheduled starter, a chance to get some work in at a Triple-“A” contest.
Gallardo gave four runs in seven innings yesterday against a team of Cincinnati minor-leaguers. He allowed six hits with two walks and seven strikeouts. Brewers’ manager Ron Roenicke said the level of competition didn’t make any difference, because it gave Gallardo the chance to work on all of his pitches. La Troy Hawkins and Takashi Saito – who were supposed to have relief roles against Texas – also threw in an earlier Double-“A” game. Hawkins, who’s coming off a shoulder injury, gave up one hit in one inning. Saito gave up two runs in one inning of work. The Brewers are scheduled to play the San Diego Padres this afternoon.
The University of Wisconsin football team will hold its first spring practice today. The Badgers are planning 15 workouts, culminating with the annual spring game on April 23rd at Camp Randall Stadium in Madison. Among other things, coach Bret Bielema will look at four candidates to replace outgoing senior Scott Tolzien at quarterback – Jon Budmayr, Joe Brennan, Curt Phillips, and incoming freshman Joel Stave. Phillips will be limited to passing drills as he recovers from a torn ACL knee ligament.
The UW-Green Bay women will play Michigan State tonight in their second-round NCAA Tournament game in Wichita, Kansas. Meanwhile, UWGB head coach Matt Bollant’s name is coming up as a possible replacement for Wisconsin Badgers’ coach Lisa Stone, who was fired yesterday. Stone went 129-119 in eight seasons in Madison. And Athletic Director Barry Alvarez said the program has not reached the level of success he believes is possible. Stone has one NCAA Tournament appearance to her credit, and her Badgers just lost in the NIT to Illinois State last Sunday. Chris Hansen of ESPN Hoop-Gurlz said Matt Bollant is quote, “the sexiest pick of the bunch right now” as Stone’s possible replacement. He’s 116-16 in four seasons at Green Bay, and he has Big Ten coaching experience as an assistant under Kathi Bennett at Indiana. Hansen also believes Bollant will be a candidate for coaching jobs at Washington and Virginia Tech. Dan Olson of the Collegiate Girls’ Basketball Report said Bollant is also the natural favorite to replace Stone. The Wisconsin State Journal says Bill Fennelly of Iowa State, Kevin McGuff of Xavier, Joe Foley of Arkansas-Little Rock, and Curt Miller of Bowling Green are other possibilities. Bollant began his career coaching high school girls basketball at tiny Tigerton High School before joining Bennett's staff when she went from UW-Oshkosh to Evansville.
Six years ago, Bruce Pearl was getting his UW-Milwaukee men ready for an NCAA Sweet-16 matchup against Illinois. Today, he’s wondering about his future, after he was let go as Tennessee’s coach. Pearl led the Volunteers to their most successful six-year run in school history. But he was on the hot seat for recruiting violations, and he admitted that he initially misled NCAA investigators. The probe centered around improper phone calls and contacts with potential recruits. And the school dismissed Pearl and his staff yesterday, reaching a settlement that gives him almost a million-dollars in departure benefits. Former Appalachian State coach Houston Fancher is the interim coach while Tennessee searches for a permanent replacement. Pearl led UW-Milwaukee to unprecedented success, allowing him to get the Tennessee job right after the Panthers’ 2005 NCAA run. He went 145-61 with the Volunteers with NCAA appearances in all six of his seasons. Last year, Tennessee made the Elite Eight for the first time in its 102-year history. But they went just 19-15 this season, and lost to Michigan in the first round of the Big Dance in a 75-45 slaughter.