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Wednesday State Sports Briefs: Gallardo hopes for good showing from mound vs. Pirates

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PITTSBURGH - Yovani Gallardo hopes to recover from his recent troubles tonight, when the Milwaukee Brewers play the Pirates in Pittsburgh.

Gallardo is 0-1 with an ERA of almost 6.30 in his last two starts. Last Friday, he lasted just four innings in a loss at Cincinnati in which he walked five batters while giving up three runs. For the season, Gallardo is 3-2 with a 4.70 ERA - and he's 10-1 in 15 lifetime starts against Pittsburgh. Left-hander Wandy Rodriguez will start for the Pirates this evening. He's 3-2 with an ERA of almost 3.75. Rodriguez threw four scoreless innings before giving up a solo homer against the New York Mets last Friday night. He's 4-1 in his last seven home starts, with an ERA of one-point-nine-oh in those outings.


The Milwaukee Brewers continue to dig a hole for themselves, after dropping to a season-low eight-and-a-half games out of first place in the National League Central. The Crew was hoping to gain some ground in the standings with their current 10-game road trip against their divisional opponents. But Milwaukee is only 1-4 at the halfway mark of that trip, with two more games coming up at Pittsburgh and three at division-leading Saint Louis. The Brewers fell to 2-10 for the month of May, after losing in 12 innings to the Pirates last night. Pittsburgh has won two of its last three against the Brewers, after losing nine straight. The Pirates are at 22-17, while Milwaukee has dropped 10-of-its-last-12 to fall to 16-21. Right-hander Yovani Gallardo will start for the Crew this evening against Pirates' left-hander Wandy Rodriguez.


The Brewers could decide today whether to add Francisco Rodriguez to their bullpen. "K"-Rod struck out the side last night in his only inning of work for Triple-"A" Nashville. He also gave up a walk, while throwing 20 pitches. In two relief appearances at Nashville, Rodriguez threw two hitless innings, walked a pair, and struck out three. Brewers' general manager Doug Melvin said K-Rod threw pretty well - and while he's got some work to do, he appears to be aggressive and in shape. Rodriguez spent a year-and-a-half with Milwaukee before leaving as a free agent last winter. Nobody signed him, so Rodriguez agreed to a one-month minor league contract in mid-April. It's possible that the Brewers would want to see K-Rod one more time in the minors - but the player and his agent Scott Boras would have to agree to that. Rodriguez would get just over two-million dollars if Milwaukee calls him up. If they don't, he'll become a free agent.


In the Midwest League, the Wisconsin Timber Rattlers will host Quad Cities again tonight on the heels of a 9-7 Rattlers' victory. The Beloit Snappers will play tonight at Clinton, where the two split a double-header last evening. The Snappers lost the opener 1-0 before coming back to win the nightcap 10-3. There are four day games in the Midwest League today. Peoria has a matinee at Kane County. South Bend plays at Great Lakes. Lake County hosts Lansing. And Bowling Green is at Fort Wayne. Tonight, Dayton entertains West Michigan. And Burlington plays a double-header at Cedar Rapids.


Marty Herum of UW-Whitewater has been named the WIAC baseball position player-of-the-year for the second straight season. J.P. Feyereisen of Stevens Point is the pitcher-of-the-year. Herum, a sophomore first baseman, leads the conference with a .430 batting average and 22 doubles. He has a .470 on-base percentage and a .739 slugging percentage. Feyereisen, a sophomore right-hander, leads the WIAC with a 2.24 ERA with an opponents' batting average of .213. Both players are among 20 named to the all-conference first team. Repeat selections on the top squad are Sean Gerber, Ryan Schilter, and Dan Douglas of Stevens Point - Jared Fon of Whitewater - and Tyler Kamps of Oshkosh. Gerber is a three-time All-WIAC selection. Whitewater's John Vodenlich was named the coach-of-the-year, as his Warhawks entered the NCAA Division III tournament today. Adam Cordova of La Crosse is the sport's honored scholar-athlete.


Saint Norbert College was in 29th place going into today's second round of the NCAA Division III men's golf tournament in Destin, Florida. Saint Norbert shot a combined 39-over-par-328 yesterday. Nic Vrubley led the Green Knights with a 76, tying him for 46th among the individuals. The Milwaukee School of Engineering was tied for 32nd after Round-One at 45-over. Michel Diaz Garcia was MSOE's top individual at six-over-77, which tied him for 71st. Donnie Langland of Carthage, playing as an individual, was at 13-over-85, tied for 162nd. Methodist College had the team lead, at two-over-290. The 72-hole tournament continues through Friday.


Three Wisconsin teams struggled during the first round of the NCAA Division III women's golf tournament at Destin, Florida. Concordia-Mequon was last among the 21 teams at 393, 105-over-par. Carroll of Waukesha was 20th at 89-over. UW-Stout was 17th at 71-over. Mary Hardin-Baylor was the opening round leader at plus-18. Last year's individual champion, Catherine Wagner of Eau Claire, was tied for 38th at mid-morning. She shot an eight-over-par 80 yesterday, and was three-over in the early going today. Wagner is playing as an individual in this year's tourney. Britt McNett-Emmerich of Stout and Morgan Zuleger of Carroll were at 12-over-par-84, tying them for 46th. Nina Puch of Concordia-Mequon was tied for 74th at 89. The four-round tournament runs through Friday.


University of Wisconsin swimmer Dan Lester will represent his native Australia at the World University Games in Russia starting July 10th. Lester, a senior, received All-American honors after placing seventh in the 200-yard butterfly at this season's NCAA meet. He also had the eighth-fastest time in Australian history in the 100-meter butterfly at the recent Energy Australian Championships, at 52-point-14. Another Badger, Michael Weiss, will also compete in the World University Games. He was named to Team USA last fall.


Three Wisconsin teams are playing their first games today in the NCAA Division III baseball tournament. Ripon College kicked off the six-team Augustana Regional by facing top-seeded Webster. At the Whitewater Regional, second-seeded UW-Stevens Point was to play Benedictine around mid-afternoon. Then tonight, third-seeded UW-Whitewater will face Case Western Reserve. Both regionals have double-elimination formats. The winners of eight regionals will square off starting May 24th at the national Division III finals near Appleton.


Aurora swept the men's-and-women's All-Sports Awards in the Northern Athletics Conference. The Spartans had the highest combined conference finishes in all sports during the past school year. Milwaukee Engineering was second in the men's overall standings. Concordia-Mequon was second for the women.


Green Bay Packers' kicker Mason Crosby will co-chair the Vince Lombardi Golf Classic, to be played in Menomonee Falls on June 7th-and-8th. This is Crosby's second year heading the charity event, which features past-and-present Packer stars. With the help of honorary co-chairs Bart and Cherry Starr, players from the 1960's Green Bay "Glory Years" teams have taken part in the Lombardi event for over four decades - along with players from later decades. Last year, Crosby recruited 14 of his current Packer teammates to join in, and about 130 players each donated almost a-thousand dollars to play with a Green Bay celebrity. A silent auction the night before the Lombardi Classic raised $86,000, more than twice as much than the previous year.