The Milleteers have become the first back to back champions since Armena won three in a row from 2002 to 2004 as they slugged their way to victory against the Ryley Rebels. The Rebels went with their ace, Curt Stensrud while the Milleteers countered with work horse Ryan Walker.
The Milleteers jumped out to an early lead in the top of the first as Kevin Doyle drilled a three run shot to right center before the Rebels even got an out. The Rebels countered with one in their half of the inning after Walker wriggled out of jam with limited damage. After the teams went scoreless in the second the Milleteers again went deep in the third as cleanup hitter Steven Pahl hooked a three run shot down the right field line, his third this year in Ryley. The Rebels refused to quit tonight though as they quickly struck back with four in their half of the inning to make it a one run ball game and chase starter Ryan Walker from the mound.
The Milleteers quickly responded with two more in the fourth courtesy of a Jon Anstey double. Anstey then took the mound to try and close it out and he held the Rebels scoreless for three innings as the defense was rock solid tonight for the defending champs.
After the Milleteers added three insurance runs in the sixth they went into the bottom of the seventh with a six run lead. The Rebels finally caught up to Anstey’s fastball in their last bat as player-coach Kevin Reinhold lead off with a big blast to right center. Then the Rebels put two runners on before Anstey got two strikeouts and a fly out to right to end the game and close out the Milleteers second championship.
After that it was time to break out the champagne and drink out of the cup for the second straight year for the Milleteers. After many a chug out of the cup down at Leanne’s Bar and Grill the Milleteers reflected on a great season that saw the squad go 26-5-2 overall and saw the emergence of several youngsters that became quality ball players. Hopefully the core can stay together for next year as the squad will shoot for another PBL Championship and a chance to become a dynasty.