Milleteers Walk It Off In Extras In Playoff Opener
Posted July 18, 2012
For the fourth year in a row the Milleteers needed a comeback in their last bat to secure a 3-2 win to start off the PBL playoffs, with the first three years ending in a championship run. Tonight playoff rivals Bardo and Leduc squared off, and as usual the two teams were involved in a bitter battle that ended up in an extra inning classic.
Both teams had their number ones rested and rearing to go on the mound.
Bardo struck first as they used a good approach and seemed to solve the hard
throwing Jon Anstey, who has been dynamite all year, as they punched across two
on four hits. One of those runs came courtesy of a good old Bardo hop (except
the game was played in the normally good infield in Leduc) as a grounder to the
shortstop with two out took a wicked hop over Trevor Pahl`s head to score the
After that Anstey pitched masterfully as he struck out eight and walked
none. Bardo got runners on and tried to play some small ball, but he was able
to work around it. He had to work out of a jam in the third when he got
strikeout and a groundout. In the sixth he found himself in another jam after a
leadoff error, but got a little help from a botched suicide squeeze to keep the
tying run at third. In the seventh he stranded a runner at third with the top
of the order out to give his team a chance to comeback.
Not to be out done Bardo`s starter All Star Ryan Oleson confounded
the Milleteers as he pounded the zone and changed speeds, and when the
Milleteers did manage to stroke a ball hard the Bardo defense held tight,
including Oleson as he snagged at least four hard comebackers, and first baseman
Ray Lehman added to his legend as he made a Bill Ranford kick save to turn a
double down the line into an out at first.
The Milleteers were finally able to scratch a run across in the fifth after
CF Greg Zilkie led off with an infield single and an error. He then came around
to score on a Mark Walker RBI single to get the Milleteers within 1.
That set the stage for the seventh as 2B Shawn Brinkworth got a two out
single to keep the Milleteers alive. Then speedster Adam Pahl pinch ran and
stole second on the first pitch, then got to third on a wild pitch. Then with
two strikes on number nine hitter Mark Walker, the left fielder connected with
his third hit of the game to send it to extras.
In the eighth Bardo got the leadoff hitter on and moved him to second on
the sacrifice, but Anstey was able to get a flyout and strikeout to keep the
game tied, but the Milleteers were unable to capitalize with the heart of the
In the ninth Bardo again got a runner on with a single, but Anstey was able
to keep the runner at first as he struck catcher Rob Berreclothe and got the hot
hitting Mike Leclaire to pop out on a great catch in foul territory by third
baseman Murray Doyle.
That catch got the Milleteers fired up and Doyle then led off with an HBP.
After a bunt moved him over to second the Milleteers hottest hitter came up,
Mark Walker. Walker quickly struck his fourth single of the game in the left
center gap, but Doyle got a late jump on the ball and was gunned out on a good
relay on a close play at the plate. Walker alertly moved to second on the throw
to the plate, and the move paid off as catcher Shane Gerein got a single through
the left side of the infield. Another good relay saw another close play at the
plate, but this time Walker beat the throw to give the Milleteers an extra
inning game one victory. Not bad for his first PBL playoff game.
The two teams are scheduled to lock horns again Thursday in Bardo. While
it will be tough to top this game, I wouldn`t put it past these two rivals,
especially with the rumored starters being PBL legend Ray Lehman vs Steven Pahl,
who has amassed a 7-1 PBL playoff career record.