Milleteers Dent Bardo’s Playoff Hopes
Posted July 4, 2011
The Milleteers were able to edge the Bardo Athletics on Thursday night in Leduc with a come from behind 5-3 effort. Murray Doyle got the start for the Milleteers and gave his team a chance to win as he went five good innings only giving up 2 runs, striking out 4 and walking no one. On the other side Bardo went with their big game pitcher, future Hall of Famer Ray Lehmen. Lehmen was tough early as he kept the Milleteers off balance with his changing speeds, arm angles, and windups. He also mixed it up when runners got on base to shut down a running game that had been wreaking havoc as of late.
With the game tied going into the sixth the Milleteers turned to their closer Jon Anstey. As they always seem to do with their backs against the wall, the veteran laden Bardo squad dug down deep and were able to scratch across a run to take the lead in their half of the sixth.
The Milleteers offense would come alive to answer back in their half of the sixth to chase Lehmen from the mound as they finally got to him with a three run inning to take the lead into the final inning. The Athletics would not rollover as a leadoff error and a walk had them in business. Then their number nine hitter tried to lay down a sacrifice, but the bunt was placed so well the third baseman just had to eat it to load the bases with none out and the top of the order coming up. Anstey would then dig down deep as he struck out the next two batters and got the final batter to fly out to center field to preserve the win.
With the win the Milleteers have all but assured themselves a first place regular season finish as they would have to lose all their remaining games and Ryley would have to win out. With the loss Bardo is now on the outside looking in for the final playoff spot and will need some help as they no longer are in control of their own destiny. They only have one game a piece against the teams they are trailing, and are a 1.5 games back, which suits the Milleteers just fine as the Athletics always seem to find an extra gear, or four, and crank it up come playoff time. With 2 championships in the last 5 years and a playoff series win against the Milleteers the Athletics have always been a playoff force, despite often underwhelming regular seasons. If they can’t make up the ground and find a way to squeeze into the playoffs the chase for the PBL Cup will look markedly different this year as for at least the last half decade the road to the championship had to pass through Bardo.
Posted on July 4, 2011 by Steven Pahl