Morning State Sports Briefs: Brewers reacting to brawl with CardinalsWisconsin Sports
-- Brewers’ general manager Doug Melvin was not happy with Nyjer Morgan’s behavior that caused a bench-clearing brawl at the end of last night’s game in Saint Louis. But Melvin said the matter would be handled internally, and field manager Ron Roenicke would say anything that needs to be said about it.
MILWAUKEE - Brewers’ general manager Doug Melvin was not happy with Nyjer Morgan’s behavior that caused a bench-clearing brawl at the end of last night’s game in Saint Louis. But Melvin said the matter would be handled internally, and field manager Ron Roenicke would say anything that needs to be said about it.
Melvin made his comments this morning on a weekly show on the flagship radio station for the Brewers’ games, WTMJ in Milwaukee. Morgan struck out in the top of the ninth inning last night, and then threw chewing tobacco toward Cardinals’ pitcher Chris Carpenter. A bench-clearing brawl ensued – and Morgan was ejected. He accused Carpenter of swearing at him, and then turning his back on him. Carpenter denied it. Later on Twitter, Morgan called Cardinals’ first baseman Albert Pujols “Alberta,” and used the word “she” in reference to him. Melvin said teams need to monitor athletes’ tweets – and he said the Brewers would have to deal with it. The GM also confirmed that second baseman Rickie Weeks would be activated from the disabled list today. He’ll be phased in slowly, after hurting an ankle in late July.
The Milwaukee Brewers will open a four-game home series tonight against the team with the National League’s best record. Philadelphia is 43 games above .500 for the first time in its history, with a magic number of 12 for clinching the National League East division over second-place Atlanta. The Brewers, meanwhile, have a magic number of 11 for clinching the Central. They lost two-of-three to second-place Saint Louis this week, while the Phillies are coming off a three-game home sweep of the Braves. Atlanta leads the National League Wild Card race by six-and-a-half games over the Cardinals. Phillies’ All-Star second baseman Chase Utley is being checked for a possible concussion, after he was hit in the helmet last night by a pitch from Atlanta’s Eric O’Flaherty. The Brewer offense has struggled lately. They only had four hits in last night’s 2-0 loss at Saint Louis. But the Brew Crew is looking for good things as it returns to Miller Park – where they’ve got the Majors’ best home record at 50-19. Ryan Braun leads the Majors in home batting average at .356. And Prince Fielder has a league-leading 19 home runs in his own park. But the Phillies have won their last four contests in Milwaukee. Ryan Howard has a seven-game hitting streak there, with a .375 average and two homers during that stretch. Left-hander Chris Narveson will start for Milwaukee tonight against Phillies’ southpaw Cole Hamels.
The University of Wisconsin men’s basketball schedule has been finalized. Parts of the schedule were announced earlier, and the Big Ten Network TV games were unveiled yesterday. Bo Ryan’s Badgers will have one exhibition game this year instead of two. It will let his team have a closed workout with another school in lieu of a game. The exhibition will be against UW-Stevens Point at home on November 5th. The Badgers will open their regular season on November 12th in Madison against Kennesaw State. Wisconsin’s Big Ten schedule begins December 27th at Nebraska. And the Badgers will close out the regular season with a pair of home games against Minnesota on February 28th and Illinois on March 4th.
Christina Schaupp of Lawrence University in Appleton is the Midwest Conference women’s tennis player-of-the-week. The freshman won all six of her singles-and-doubles matches last week against Carthage, Knox, and Monmouth. The Midwest Conference also named Sam Stevens of Lawrence as the men’s cross country runner-of-the-week. The junior won the individual crown at the Tom Barry Invitational at Saint Norbert with a time of 21 minutes, two-and-seven-tenths seconds for four miles. Stephanie Rouse of Grinnell is the top female runner.
Two former Milwaukee Admirals were among 43 people killed when a private plane carrying a Russian pro hockey team crashed shortly after take-off yesterday. The team was heading to its first game of the season when the plane struggled to get in the air, and then hit a signal tower and broke apart. Among those killed was 37-year-old Karlis Skrastins of Latvia, who played for the Admirals from 1998-to-2000 – and Robert Dietrich, who played in Milwaukee from 2008-to-last year. Admirals’ president Jon Greenberg said both were not only good up-and-coming hockey players – but they were wonderful people. The team was Lokomotiv Yaroslavl, was flying from Russia to Belarus to play its season opener in the Kontinental Hockey League. The International Ice Hockey Federation said the team had players and coaches from 10 nations – and the group called it the darkest day in hockey’s history.
The Marquette University women’s soccer team shut out UW-Milwaukee 1-0 in overtime last night. Maegan Kelly scored the game-winner in the 109th minute. The Golden Eagles out-shot UWM 19-to-6. Both teams are now 6-1.
University of Wisconsin running back Montee Ball says he hopes his younger teammates will avoid the same mistake he made at the start of last season – not working hard enough. Ball was bypassed by freshman James White on the Wisconsin depth chart at the start of last year. But he recovered enough to run for 996 yards and 18 touchdowns – and he’s now the starter for a 1-0 Badger team that’s getting ready to host Oregon State on Saturday. Ball said he entered this year’s pre-season camp at a muscular 210 pounds. He ran for three touchdowns and caught a fourth last Thursday night, as the eighth-ranked Badgers trounced Nevada-Las Vegas.
The reserves on the Wisconsin defensive line are getting quite a bit of playing time. Line coach Charlie Partridge used a big rotation of 10 players last Thursday night, when the Badgers pounded Nevada-Las Vegas by 34 points. Partridge said he needed to keep his players fresh because of the intense heat during the game, with readings close to 90 at the kickoff. But he also said a few backups have earned some major playing time – including defensive ends Pat Muldoon and Brendan Kelly. Partridge said both had a great pre-season camp – and they proved they could play at the game’s highest level. He said Beau Allen needs to improve on a couple things before he’ll become an explosive lineman. The Badgers had 65 defensive snaps against UNLV. The starting four had over 35 plays – the middle group had around 25 – and two others had about 10 plays. Partridge said he worked out a similar plan last season, but it took him awhile to develop enough faith in his backups to carry it out.
Matthew Morrison of Maranatha Baptist in Watertown has been named the season’s first defensive player-of-the-week in the Northern Athletics Conference. Morrison, a corner, returned three interceptions for 46 yards in Maranatha’s 26-12 win over Martin Luther last Saturday. Running back John Borsellino of Benedictine won the league honors on offense. And Billy Dixon of Benedictine won the special teams’ award with a 76-yard punt. The NAC also recognized Brent Quade of Madison Edgewood in men’s golf – Meagan Harrington of Concordia-Mequon in women’s tennis – and Torey DeLozier of Maranatha Baptist in volleyball.
Caleb Voss of UW-Oshkosh, Joe Mleziva of Stevens Point, and Eric Kindler of Whitewater are the season’s first football players-of-the-week in the WIAC. Voss, a sophomore receiver, caught four passes for 148 yards and two touchdowns in a 31-28 Oshkosh victory over Central College of Iowa. Mleziva, a senior safety, had one interception for the Pointers in their 8-6 victory at Willamette. Kindler, a sophomore kicker, tied a school record with four field goals in a 26-7 non-conference victory over La Crosse. And six of his seven kickoffs landed within the 10-yard-line. The WIAC also recognized Eric Nilsen of Superior and Will Chaney of Oshkosh in men’s soccer – Sarah Eck of Platteville and Robbie Shelby of Stout in women’s soccer – and Mary Welch of Stevens Point in women’s golf.
The Green Bay Packers’ two biggest stars will have their own Wheaties’ boxes. General Mills said it recognized quarterback Aaron Rodgers and linebacker Clay Matthews both for their play, and for their community service. The two cereal boxes will be sold only in Wisconsin, starting in a month. Rodgers said he could never imagine being on a Wheaties’ box as a child – and he called a privilege and an honor. Matthews said last year was special for the Super Bowl champion Packers – and he’s planning to have the same success this year. Green Bay will open its Super Bowl title defense tomorrow night at Lambeau Field against the champs from the previous season, the New Orleans Saints.