Afternoon State Sports Briefs: Brewers invite Wooten to spring trainingWisconsin Sports
-- The Milwaukee Brewers have invited minor league pitcher Rob Wooten to Spring Training. That brings to 18 the number of non-roster players invited to camp, presumably with a chance to make the big club sometime this year.
MILWAUKEE - The Milwaukee Brewers have invited minor league pitcher Rob Wooten to Spring Training. That brings to 18 the number of non-roster players invited to camp, presumably with a chance to make the big club sometime this year.
Wooten is a 27-year-old right-hander. He spent most of last year at Triple-“A” Nashville, where he went 0-2 in 40 relief outings with a 1.93 ERA. Wooten also went 3-0 at Double-“A” Huntsville with a 1.74 ERA in 17 relief appearances.
The Milwaukee Bucks have won three straight home games over the Detroit Pistons – and they’ll try to make it four tonight at the Bradley Center. The Bucks also hope to extend their current overall winning streak to three games, and give coach Jim Boylan a 3-0 mark since taking over for the departed Scott Skiles on Tuesday. The Bucks are shooting better with Boylan in charge. They made just over 46-percent this week in victories over Phoenix and Chicago – while the Bucks shot 43-percent under Skiles. Point guard Brandon Jennings has scored 64 points in his last two outings with Boylan calling the shots. He averaged just under 18 points before the move. Jennings says he’s letting the game come to him – and he’s getting his swagger back. Jennings has made at least one three-pointer in each of his last 22 games. That’s the longest string in his four-year career. The Bucks are 19-16, and will face a Detroit squad that’s 13-23. The Pistons have been off since last Sunday, when they lost by one point in overtime to Charlotte. Detroit blew a 13-point lead in the second quarter of that contest – and Tayshawn Prince led the Pistons in scoring with 21.
The eighth-ranked University of Wisconsin women’s hockey team will host No. 9 Ohio State tonight and tomorrow night at Madison’s LaBahn Arena. The Badgers are third in the league with 28 points, just one behind the second-place Buckeyes. Wisconsin is 12-6-2 overall, and Ohio State is at 14-5-1. Wisconsin’s Brianna Decker is fourth in the nation with 19 goals. The Badgers are coming off a 4-0 exhibition win over the Minnesota Whitecaps last Friday night, and a two-game sweep of North Dakota in early December.
The University of Wisconsin men’s hockey team can even their overall and conference records tonight, with a win over Minnesota State in Mankato. It’s the opener of a two-game series that wraps up tomorrow. The Badgers have a four-game winning streak after sweeping Alaska-Anchorage on the road last weekend – and they have an eight-game unbeaten string. Wisconsin is now 4-5-5 in the WCHA, and 6-7-5 overall. Minnesota State has won 11-of-its-last-12. The 11th-ranked Mavericks are 14-6-2 overall, and 8-6 in the conference. Sophomore Matt Leitner leads Minnesota State with 24 points, including six goals. Sophomore defenseman Jake McCabe returns to the Badger line-up tonight, after he helped the U.S. win the World Junior Championships in Russia during the holidays.
The Milwaukee Admirals are gearing up for another three-game weekend. They’ll play at Peoria tonight – and they’ll host Rockford tomorrow night and Peoria on Sunday evening. The Admirals lost Chris Mueller, Ryan Ellis, and Jon Blum due to the ending of the National Hockey League owners’ lockout. All three are reporting to the Nashville Predators, the Admirals’ parent NHL club. The Admirals called up three replacements from Cincinnati of the ECHL. They are Taylor Aronson, Andre Bouvet-Morrissette, and Anthony Bitetto. Milwaukee is 5-1-0-1 in its last seven games. The Admirals are in second place in the American Hockey League’s Midwest Division with 38 points, two ahead of Rockford and six up on last-place Peoria. Grand Rapids is the division leader with 45 points.
The Black River Falls native who broke the NCAA basketball scoring record is out for the season. Grinnell College sophomore Jack Taylor broke the wrist on his shooting arm during a game on Wednesday night, in which Grinnell topped Midwest Conference rival Cornell 119-117. School officials say Taylor will have surgery by next Thursday – and he’ll be out for 2-to-3 months, costing him a sensational season. On November 21st, Taylor’s teammates kept feeding him the ball in order to get him out of a shooting slump. And Taylor ended up with 138 points, while shooting an average of every 20 seconds he was on the floor. He also scored 48 against Carroll of Waukesha last weekend, and he finishes the season with an average of 36-point-three points a game. On Twitter yesterday, Taylor thanked everyone for quote, “the support and well-wishes.”
All of Wisconsin’s major college basketball teams have the night off. And there’s only one men’s-and-women’s double-header scheduled in Division-Three. Northland College of Ashland will host Crown College of Saint Bonifacius Minnesota. The Northland men are 0-9 overall, and 0-1 in the Upper Midwest Athletic Conference. The Northland women are 1-0 in league play, and 2-6 overall. Conference action resumes tomorrow for virtually all of Wisconsin’s teams. And most games will be played in the afternoon, so the players and their fans can see tomorrow night’s Packer football playoff game.