Milleteers Lucky Seven Angels
Posted May 24, 2013
Tonight the Milleteers made the short drive down to Beaumont. The expansion Angels were fresh off a big win knocking off the second place Rebels on Tuesday and looked to keep the momentum going. The Milleteers went with old Millet Minor Ball product Josh Johnson, fresh off eight years of retirement on the hill. Johnson gave the Angels fits when he found the strike zone, as he struck out seven of his eight outs, but six walks and a big bases clearing triple were his undoing as the Angels raced out to a quick five run lead after three. Mark Walker had to come in and bail him out in the third and he kept the Milleteers in it.
On the other side the Angels went with big hard throwing Ryan Lehman. The TRU Wolfpack hurler blew the Milleteers away for the first three innings, save for a one out triple in the first. Then the wheels fell off for him in the fourth as all of a sudden he needed a map to find the strike zone. Four walks and two beanings later the call to the bullpen was made as Beaumont brought in a hard throwing lefty, a rarity in the PBL, to try and stem the tide. After a walk to score another he settled down and struck out the last two hitters to end the threat, but the Milleteers were back in it, despite not putting a ball in play in the inning as they found themselves down by one.
The teams then traded zeroes until the bottom of the fifth when the Angels scored an unearned run to give them a two run cushion. In the top of the sixth the Angels then went to the bull pen bringing their veteran player coach Butch to try and close it out. The Milleteers mustered their second hit and a walk to threaten, but were unable to score.
In the bottom of the sixth the Milleteers had to go to the pen again after pinch hitting for Walker and opted to go with national team member Tara Sliwkanich. Sliwkanich battled wildness however and loaded the bases with walks before the Angels connected on their second triple of the game to increase their lead to 8-4.
In the bottom of the seventh the Milleteers, who had only mustered two hits all night to go along with eight strikeouts, suddenly looked like a different team. Kirk Smith and Ryan Walker lead off with first pitch line drive singles to get something started. Then the Angel vet balked in a run, which seemed to rattle him as he then walked the next two batters. Steve Pahl then ripped a pinch hit single and Greg Zilkie followed with a walk before catcher Brad Engel, who was 0-4 on the day and struck out twice in the same inning crushed a bases clearing double to give the Milleteers the lead. The Milleteers would then plate Engel on a sac fly to give the Milleteers a four run cushion.
The Angels would not go quietly however as they scored a couple and got runners on off their old minor ball team mate Kirk Smith who had to warm up in a hurry once the Milleteers took the lead as they pinch hit for Sliwkanich. A liner in the gap with the visibility getting pretty iffy looked to bring the tieing run to the plate, but RF Shane Gerein found it just in time to cut it off and get the second out. Then Smith would strikeout the last hitter to seal the comeback and keep the Milleteers in first place, despite being totally out played in all facets of the game for six of the seven innings.
The Milleteers will look to keep the hot hitting going as they get the early morning game Saturday against the defending champion Lloydminster Blue Jays in the annual Axemen tournament this weekend.