Jon Anstey picked up his fifth win on the year, his fourth down the stretch to get the Milleteers into the playoffs as the Milleteers downed Ryley 7-3 tonight. Anstey also added a two run homer for some late insurance to help his own cause. The Rebels started Craig Koughan and he quickly found himself in a hole as three errors in the first plus a Kevin Doyle double put up three quick runs for the Milleteers.
Both teams would trade zeroes for a few innings until the Milleteers gifted a run back with two errors of their own in the fourth. The Milleteers would threaten and finally break through in the fifth as they chased a tiring Koughan, but could only scratch across one. The Rebels came back in their half of the inning to get two runners in scoring position with none out, but Anstey dug deep and struck his way out of trouble against the heart of the Rebels order.
In the sixth Anstey would help his own cause. After a leadoff walk Anstey would line one over the left field fence to give the Milleteers a five run cushion. The Rebels would get those two back in their half on a Reinholt double, but the Milleteers would get Reinholt in a bizarre run down between second and third where Kevin Doyle faked everyone out with a timely accidental bobble to stop the threat.
In the seventh the Milleteers would get one more, but a close call at the plate didn’t go their way and the Rebels avoided a big inning. The Rebels would threaten again in the bottom of the seventh as they got two on, but Anstey closed the show and punched the Milleteers ticket to the playoffs.
The situation was simple tonight for the Milleteers: Win and your in, lose and get out the golf clubs. It wasn’t the prettiest game at times, but it featured a little bit of everything, from a home run and stolen bases, to close plays at the plate, an ejection, and of course a runner interference call. In the end the Milleteers did enough to win, while the Rebels missed an opportunity to clinch the pennant and end the title reign early.
Now they get a chance to end the reign in the first round of the playoffs as the two teams get to quickly renew acquaintences as they lock horns again tonight. The game ended the wildest PBL regular season in recent memory that saw the first imperfect season in modern PBL history from the Camrose Roadrunners (0-14), and a five way tie for first place. With only four teams making the playoffs and a last second re-interpretation of the tie breaker formula the Milleteers ended up second, with the Rebels third.
The Armena Royals clinched the pennant and await the winner of a one game playoff between the two youngest teams in the league, the Holden Blue Jays and Beaumont Angels. Time will tell if the PBL’s 2014 second season will be as wild and tight as the first season.