Afternoon State Sports Briefs: Brewers continue to gamble on short pitching rotationsWisconsin Sports
-- The Milwaukee Brewers will find out tonight whether the second half of their pitching gamble will pay off in their National League Division Series with Arizona.
PHOENIX - The Milwaukee Brewers will find out tonight whether the second half of their pitching gamble will pay off in their National League Division Series with Arizona.
The first half of the gamble paid off on Sunday, when Zack Greinke started Game-Two with three days’ rest – and he had a five-inning no-decision in a 9-4 Brewers’ victory. The series shifts to Phoenix tonight, with the Brewers up two-games-to-none in the best-of-five set. And manager Ron Roenicke is going with right-hander Shaun Marcum, since he’s done better on the road than at home. Marcum is 8-and-3 away from Miller Park with a two-point-two-one ERA. But at home, he only went 5-and-4 while giving up almost five earned runs every nine innings. The Diamondbacks need to win to avoid elimination – and they’re going with rookie right-hander Josh Collmenter. His tomahawk-style throwing has given opponents fits at times. Collmenter pitched 14 scoreless innings against Milwaukee in two games during the regular season, allowing just six hits. The Brewers need just one more victory to advance to the NL Championship Series – and they’ll have three chances to do it. If the Diamondbacks win tonight, Game-Four will be played tomorrow night in Phoenix with Game-Five late Friday afternoon in Milwaukee. The series winner will play either Philadelphia or Saint Louis in the next round. That Division Series is tied at a game apiece.
The Arizona Diamondbacks are in a familiar position going into tonight’s Game-Three of their NL Division Series against Milwaukee – with their backs against the wall. The D-Backs are down two-games-to-none in the best-of-five series, which means that only one more loss will bring Arizona’s season to an end. Manager Kirk Gibson says he’s hearing from the same critics who were upset when the Diamondbacks fell six-and-a-half games out of first place in April. They came back with the help of a Major League-leading 48 come-from-behind victories in the regular season. And Gibson and his players say they’re taking that same chip-on-the-shoulder attitude right now. Gibson says his team prospered together, and it failed together – but they’re still competing. The Diamondbacks won their first National League West Division title in four years, but they failed to get home-field advantage in the first round – and the Brewers made them pay with two big victories at Miller Park. Right-hander Shaun Marcum starts tonight for the Brew Crew against D-Backs’ rookie Josh Collmenter – who threw 14 scoreless innings against Milwaukee in the regular season. If the Brewers win tonight, they’ll wait to see who they’ll play in the NL Championship Series which begins Saturday night. It will either be league-leading Philadelphia or Saint Louis. Their series is tied at one, with Game-Three late this afternoon at Busch Stadium.
Green Bay Packers’ defensive end Johnny Jolly will stay in jail for awhile. A judge in Houston refused to grant bail today for Jolly – and officials are not sure when his next court hearing will be. He was arrested for a third time during the weekend for possessing at least 400 grams of codeine, which is a controlled substance in Texas. Sheriff’s deputies from Houston stopped a car late Saturday night after they saw Jolly throw a bag from a passenger’s window – and they found codeine in searching the auto. Defense lawyer Carl Moore said his client is innocent. Moore said Jolly completed a court-ordered inpatient rehab treatment for 90 days earlier this year. It was part of a plea deal which involved Jolly’s first two arrests for codeine possession – the first one in 2008, and the second in March of this year. Jolly is from the Houston area. The NFL suspended him after the 2009 season for violating the league’s personal conduct policy. And he has not played since then, missing the Packers’ entire Super Bowl season of a year ago. Jolly was a sixth-round draft pick in 2006 out of Texas A&M. He started all 16 regular season games for the Pack in both 2008-and-’09. As for the other Packers, they’re off today while their coaches are finalizing the game plan for Sunday’s contest at Atlanta. Practice resumes tomorrow.
Austin Neu of UW-Eau Claire, Nicholas Matthews of UW-La Crosse, and Mike Scherr of Stout are the WIAC’s football players-of-the-week. Neu, a junior quarterback, threw for a career-high 349 yards and two touchdowns in Eau Claire’s 24-to-10 win over Stout last Saturday. Scherr, a freshman punter, averaged almost 48 yards on four punts against Eau Claire. One of his kicks was a 62-yarder that landed on the Blugold one-yard-line. Matthews, a senior defensive lineman, had a sack and two other tackles in La Crosse’s 31-28 victory over Stevens Point.
The WIAC also recognized Tim Nelson of Stout and Alyssa Sybilrud of Eau Claire in cross country – Kevin Kron and Aaron Sesselmann, both of Whitewater, in men’s soccer – Eryn Lansverk of River Falls and Emily Moore of Eau Claire in women’s soccer – Sofia Sanchez of Whitewater in volleyball – McKenna Prestigiacomo of Stevens Point in women’s golf – Emily Bostwick of Oshkosh in women’s singles tennis – and Bostwick and her Oshkosh teammate Lauren Piotrowski in doubles tennis.
Tyler Schoen and Brent Youngbeck, both of Wisconsin Lutheran, received football player-of-the-week honors in the Northern Athletics Conference. Schoen, a junior defensive back, had two interceptions. And he returned one of them 71 yards for a touchdown, in a 61-0 rout on homecoming. Youngbeck received the special teams’ award for booting six extra points, plus field goals of 31-and-37 yards. The NAC also recognized Brent Quade of Edgewood in men’s golf, Brittany Syms of Marian in women’s soccer, Kaitlyn Strehlow of Wisconsin Lutheran in women’s soccer.
The University of Wisconsin’s Russell Wilson has received a national honor for his performance against Nebraska last Saturday night. The senior was named the Davey O’Brien Quarterback-of-the-Week by a national selection committee – and fans accounted for five-percent of the vote. Wilson threw for 255 yards and two touchdowns, and he ran for another score in Wisconsin’s 48-17 rout of the Cornhuskers. Wilson has thrown at least two touchdowns in all five of his games as a Badger. Fourth-ranked Wisconsin is off this weekend, and will host Indiana October 15th.
Edgewood College of Madison was in second place going into today’s third-and-final round of the Northern Athletics Conference women’s golf tournament in West Chicago, Illinois. Edgewood had a combined score of 718 for two rounds, and is one stroke behind front-running Minnesota-Morris. Muriel McIntyre of Concordia-Mequon was the leader for the individuals. She shot an eight-over-par 151 for 36 holes, with a healthy 14-point lead over Abby Fragodt of Minnesota-Morris. Amanda Bliske of Edgewood was fourth going into today’s play.
Mackenzie Millis of UW-Milwaukee has been named the defensive volleyball player-of-the-week in the Horizon League. Millis, a senior middle blocker, had six blocks as the Panthers’ swept Cleveland State. And she five blocks in a Milwaukee sweep of Youngstown State. The Panther defense held Youngstown to a minus-.018 hitting percentage. It was the first time since 2007 that UWM held a Horizon League opponent to a negative hitting percentage. The top player on offense was named yesterday, Carmen Leitermann of UW-Green Bay.
Jacob Gahart of Ripon College is the Midwest Conference special teams’ football player-of-the-week. Gahart, a junior, booted two field goals in Ripon’s 26-20 win over Knox College. He now has 22 career field goals, and is just four away from the Ripon school record. Receiver Colin Duling of Illinois College is the league’s offensive player-of-the-week. End Kurt Frischmann of Illinois College is the top player on defense. The Midwest Conference also recognized Cassie Burke of Lawrence as the defensive soccer player of the week. The junior goal-tender had 13 saves in a scoreless tie against Carroll.