Title Reign Over: Rebels Sweep Milleteers

After a must win game for the Milleteers on Monday versus the Ryley Rebels on the last game of the regular season, the teams got right back at it on Tuesday and Thursday in the first round of the playoffs.

 

Game 1:

 

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 R H E
RYLEY 1 0 0 0 0 2 1 4 8 0
LEDUC 0 0 2 0 0 0 0 2 6 0

Game one saw All Star Chad Soucy get the start for the Milleteers, while Ryley countered with veteran Corey Epp.  The Rebels would score first after getting a one out walk and a steal, then a clutch single from clean up hitter Craig Koughan, who would be a thorn in Soucy’s side all night.

The Milleteers would finally break through with four singles in the third to plate two, but then that was it for the offense.  Epp did a great job of not allowing the clutch hit to break it open and the Rebel defense was solid all night.

The Rebels would finally break through in the sixth as they would string together a bunch of hits to score two, and would add some insurance in the seventh.  To add to the mess 3B Trevor Pahl got spiked and would have to go on the DL for the rest of the series.

The Milleteers would surrender meekly in the seventh to Rebel closer Tom Shulba as he nailed down the save and give the Rebels their first ever playoff victory against the Milleteers in seven tries.

 

Game 2:

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 R H E
LEDUC 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 1 4 5
RYLEY 0 2 3 0 0 0 X 5 4 2

Game two saw the same lack luster, low intensity effort from the Milleteers as they put forth in the first game.  The Rebels on the other hand kept up their good defense and clutch hitting and it paid off with an easy win.

Steven Pahl and his 11-1 all time PBL playoff record got the start for the Milleteers, while the Rebels countered with emergency starter Shawn Pilgaard as ace Scott Koughan couldn’t make it out.

Pahl got out of the first, but in the second and third innings the Rebels put up five unearned runs as the left side of the Milleteers infield made five errors.  The big blow came off the bat of game 1 starter Corey Epp as he laced a double to the gap to clear the bases.

After that Pahl held the Rebels at bay the rest of the way as they got away from the successful strategy of hitting grounders to the left side and the Milleteers defense converted outs the rest of the way.

On the other side of the ball the Pilgaard kept the slumping Milleteers bats in the deep freeze as he put up zeroes through the first five innings.  In the sixth the Milleteers finally got a little rally going as they got one back and were threatening for more, but a base running gaffe at third killed all momentum.  Rebels closer Tom Shulba came on in the seventh and had another three up, three down inning to send the Rebels to their first finals appearance since 2010.

The loss sends the Milleteers into the off season in an unfamilar place as they will come into next season as contenders, and not champions.  With a lineup that has been essentially the same for six seasons it seems to have gone a little stale.  It would seem a minor retooling would be in order to inject some intensity and hunger for next season.

Posted in Leduc Milleteers, Ryley Rebels, Steve
  • Buzzilinear

    Congrats to the Milleteers on the incredible run. A lot of things have to go right, and you have to have an incredible team to win five in a row. I remember winning three in a row with the Royals/Axemen and it felt like it would never end. I’d love to hear from the Milleteers what they think the most special one was of the five. Obviously the first is very special, but it seems the 2011 and 12 ones were pretty amazing. Even Steve mentioned how Holden should have won in 2011. And, yeah, I’m a little bias so being down after game one and winning IN Armena and then the huge d-stop and big inning off Pumps in 2012 had to be close. But then 2013 you guys got hot at the right time and probably beat two teams that were “better” than you. Hard to say. Great run, and who knows, you might be on it again. One has to wonder without the vote to change the tiebreaker, if a Beaumont first-round matchup changes things…

    The Milleteers really started the biggest arms race in modern-day PBL history. No longer do friends from work or some guy who plays slo-pitch suffice. Top to bottom, 1-9, you need real ball players. Ryley, Beaumont and Armena all made big acquisitions to try and stay competitive, and it’s kept Holden hungry to do the same.

    • Steve

      I would have to say the first one was the best. We had a terrible end to the season, then we turned it around and scrapped and clawed till the final out to beat a real good and determined defending champions from Bardo. 2010 was the best season just because we were so dominant. That team went like 30-5 and could have entered AA Provincials and had a good shot with no pickups, just superior pitching and defence with that squad. Peterson didn’t give up a run all year until his elbow blew up in the playoffs and he had to retire.
      In terms of the most special game, it would have to be the 2011 decider vs Holden. I think we averaged like 12 runs a game that year and cruised all season long as everything went our way. Then we layed an egg in Holden while Muzechka pitched well to force a deciding game in Leduc. Then everything that could’ve went wrong did. We already had a short bench due to injuries. Then our starting catcher hurts his back on the first play of the game. Then our second stringer gets a foul tip and breaks his hand and needed a bunch of surgeries, but with few healthy bodies left he tapes it up and plays the rest of the game behind the dish. Despite the fact that the bats were cold, a few runners got caught stealing, and a few bad hops and breaks had us down three with two innings left, not a single guy on that bench thought we were going to lose. That iron resolve carried us through and was special to be apart of.
      That win in 2011 was the peak, since then the focus and intensity has steadily decreased. Got to used to winning and forgot about how much it stings to lose and lost that drive. The last two championships were more relief than joy when we won, they were just to cement the legacy. Maybe the loss this year will be a wakeup call and get the drive back, or maybe not. Time will tell.

  • Koughan

    This 12 days off in between games is sure fun….