Brewers beat Pirates in 14th after third-inning brawlSubmitted: 04/20/2014
Story By Associated Press/ESPN.com

PITTSBURGH - Ryan Braun homered in the ninth inning to tie it, then Khris Davis hit a home run in the 14th that put Milwaukee ahead for good.

Yet those were hardly the big blows that attracted all the attention Sunday in the Brewers' 3-2 victory over the Pittsburgh Pirates.

Brewers center fielder Carlos Gomez, Pirates outfielder Travis Snider and Milwaukee bench coach Jerry Narron were ejected after a shouting match quickly escalated into a punch-filled brawl in the third.

"I'm not apologetic for anything that I did today," Gomez said. "I was just doing my job."

The problems started when Gomez paused at the plate and flipped his bat to watch his two-out drive off Pirates starter Gerrit Cole.

Gomez said he thought the ball would be caught. Instead, it hit the wall and he sped into third base, making a headfirst slide for a triple.

Cole, who was near third base backing up the play, stormed toward Gomez and they exchanged words.

Cole said he told Gomez: "If you're going to hit it out of the ballpark, then you can stop and look at it. But it you're going to hit just a fly ball to center field, then don't stand and look at it."

That didn't sit well with Gomez. He took a couple steps toward Cole and the benches and bullpens emptied.

"Everything had stopped," Gomez said. "He told me something, I told him back, then I talked to the umpire. Then Snider came like a superhero, trying to throw punches at everybody. I just tried to protect myself."

Milwaukee's Martin Maldonado came from the dugout and threw a punch that knocked off Snider's hat.

"We're a family," said Maldonado, who expects to be suspended. "I see two guys over Gomez, so I tried to protect him."

Snider, who wasn't in the game, and Gomez shoved each other, and the Brewers star fell to the ground.

Pirates catcher Russell Martin called Maldonado's swing a "sucker punch" and had to be restrained by teammate Gaby Sanchez as he walked off the field.

Last September, Gomez was in the middle of the bench-clearing brawl after arguing with Atlanta pitcher Paul Maholm while rounding the bases after homering.

Milwaukee manager Ron Roenicke said he fears Gomez could develop a reputation as a guy who starts conflicts. But he said he found little fault in the way Gomez initially handled Cole's challenge.

"(Cole is) the one that started it all," Roenicke said. "If you start it, we're going to respond. Gomey's not going to sit there and not say anything."

Gomez said he planned to appeal any suspension.

The Brewers won their third in a row. Pittsburgh has lost three in a row and five of six.

Davis hit his first homer, connecting for a leadoff shot against Jeanmar Gomez (0-1).

"It was pretty hard to see with the shadow," Davis said.

Zach Duke (1-0) pitched two scoreless innings and Francisco Rodriguez got his seventh save.

Cole allowed one run and six hits in a career-high eight innings, striking out six.

Cole appeared to be in line for the win after Jose Tabata's eighth-inning infield single scored Ike Davis to give the Pirates a 2-1 lead. Roenicke challenged the call, but the play was upheld.

Braun hit his sixth homer with one out in the ninth, giving Pittsburgh closer Jason Grilli his second blown save in as many games.

Mark Reynolds hit his fifth home run, a solo drive in the Milwaukee seventh.

Neil Walker homered for the Pirates in the fourth off Marco Estrada.

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MERRILL - This weekend Northcentral Technical College hosted its fourth annual Fire and EMS University for firefighters across Wisconsin.

It provides training on firefighting and EMS techniques at the Public Safety Center of Excellence in Merrill.

In a simulation training exercise, firefighters have their hoods covering their face so they couldn't see anything when they entered a basement. They had to feel a fire hose and use teamwork to get around and save a dummy.

Firefighters from all over Wisconsin can come to the all-day event. They came to refresh their skills, teach and learn new techniques.

"We put out some classes that are very interesting and not run every day and if it applies to their department they'll send people," said Dean of the Public Safety Division of Northcentral Technical College Doug Jennings.

The school keeps adding other training tools as well. Just this year they added more training features, such as a simulator that allows law enforcement to practice driving trucks, squad cars and EMS vehicles.

On Saturday the students also trained with the aerial ladder.

"We are the only fire department in Lincoln County with an aerial ladder," said Merrill Fire Chief Dave Savone. "And so most of our firefighters have to operate our aerial ladder. And so we felt this truck operation aerial ladder operations is a great class for them to come and see."

UST Fire Apparatus brought a new aerial ladder truck for the students to practice with, and teachers from southern Wisconsin and St. Louis, Mo., also came to help coach.

Firefighters say they want to constantly re-educate themselves.

"It's great to get the extra practice," said Dean Johnson from the Town of Wausau Fire Department.

Northcentral Technical College also offers semester schedule curricula for law enforcement and fire science. 

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MILWAUKEE - A published report says unauthorized improvements have been made to a footpath on state land that a donor to Gov. Scott Walker has been trying to buy.

A spokesman for business executive Elizabeth Uihlein acknowledged that workers at her adjoining property may have cleaned up the trail slightly.

But the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel (http://bit.ly/1Z18WU8 ) reports those who have seen the trail say the improvements are significant.

Uihlein is seeking to buy 1.75 acres along Rest Lake, where the footpath is located. But a tentative deal with the Department of Natural Resources was put on hold after critics raised questions.

A DNR spokesman says the agency inspected the site on Thursday and found an "established trail." He declined to say whether the department had talked to Uihlein or her representatives.

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MERRILL - Merrill residents might have heard a lot of music in town today.

Merrill High School hosted the Merrill Marching Invitational. Three high school marching bands took over the football field at Merrill High School Sunday.

Antigo, D.C. Everest, and Merrill high schools all showcased their musical creativity.

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RHINELANDER - Harvest Hoedown started Saturday at noon at the Woodpecker Bar and Grill in Rhinelander.

The event featured a hay maze, horse-drawn carriage rides, food, and live music all afternoon.

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NEKOOSA - People in Nekoosa could go back in time this weekend.

Volunteers at Pointe Basse recreated a historical camp that portrayed the lives of people from the 1700s and early 1800s.

Volunteers from all across the U.S. had a piece of history to share.

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EAGLE RIVER - Eagle River hosted its 36th annual Cranberry Fest during October's first weekend.

Organizers say the weather this year brought in many more visitors.

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THREE LAKES - A Northwoods priest may never experience a mass as large as he did this past Sunday. It was Pope Francis' final mass in the U.S. during his trip. Organizers predicted nearly 500,000 people would attend.

Father Bala of Three Lakes was able to make it to Philadelphia for the mass. He was one of a small group from the Northwoods who made the trip, and he said it felt like an extremely personal gathering.

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