In a game with playoff implications for both teams, the Milleteers travelled to Bardo to take on the A’s. The Bardo Fairgrounds has to be the toughest place to play in the league and historically the Milleteers have had a lot of issues there with the tricky hops, glaring sun, and swirling winds.
Ace Jon Anstey got the start for Leduc and it didn’t take long for a good old Bardo hop as a two out grounder right to the second baseman took a hard left hand turn at the last minute and turned into an RBI single for cleanup hitter Ken Braget.
Leduc would answer in their half with a Bardo single of their own as Chad Soucy led of with a grounder to the 5.5 hole that took a bad hop on Braget, then another bad hop in left field that allowed Soucy to stroll into second. He would then get cashed in on a Murray Doyle single.
The two teams would remained deadlocked at one after four, despite both teams getting plenty of runners on base, only to see Anstey and Bardo starter Ryan Oleson strand them.
The top of the fifth inning for the Milleteers started off like the other four as they got a leadoff hit, and then a ground out. Then cleanup hitter Kevin Doyle, who has been on fire as of late, stroked the first pitch he saw for a two run bomb to right to put the Milleteers ahead. Then the flood gates opened. Steven Pahl stepped up and almost made it back to back jacks as he hit a shot to the deepest part of the park in straight away center. Speedy CF Dylan Berreclothe got a good jump and looked like he was going to run it down at the fence, but it clanked of his glove and almost bounced over for a Jose Canseco moment. Berreclothe’s adventure was not over yet as the next batter hit a bloop that he lost in the sun and clanked again. In the end the marathon inning would see 10 batters reach safely in a row after the A’s got the first out and the final damage would be eight runs to put the game to bed.
The A’s would try to chip away against reliever Steven Pahl, but the final would be 11-4. It was the third game in a row the Milleteers scored double digit runs and fourth in a row wth double digit hits as the offense has heated up for the stretch drive.
The loss most likely kills the A’s playoff aspirations as it will probably take an 8-6 record to get to the dance this year. This is no longer your grandpa’s PBL where some years you could have a lineup full of guys in sweat pants and t-shirts, beat up on a few no hope squads, and limp in to the playoffs with a sub 0.500 record and then put your “A” lineup out there and get hot and take home the title. With six of the seven teams in the league having a good shot at winning every night, parity is at an all time high. Bardo might be the best 3-7 team the league has ever seen, with most of the defeats of the one or two run variety, but now they are on the outside looking in. As for the Milleteers ,at 6-4, they to still have a lot of work to do as they have the toughest schedule left of any team ,as they face the first place Royals, the Rebels and second place Blue Jays (twice) to finish out the season.