Milleteers Almost Play A Complete Game, Beat Royals
Posted July 17, 2013
The Milleteers limped into this one on a three game losing streak that put them out of the hunt for first place. Staring across the diamond was the first place Armena Royals who could clinch first with a win tonight. It was the Milleteers who struck first as they finally looked like a 4 time defending champ early as they got a clean first after catcher Shane Gerein cut down Zennon Sherbaniuk trying to steal second. It was more good vintage defense in the second and third innings as pitcher Ryan Walker put up zeros, aided by a diving stop and throw across the diamond from third baseman Josh Johnson.
The Milleteers struck for a quick run in the first after Gerein walked and stole second, and then was driven in by Trevor Pahl. Basically the same formula in the third as center fielder Greg Zilkie lead off with a ripped double, then Trevor Pahl singled him in. In the fifth the Milleteers finally looked like they would break it open against veteran junk baller Jason Buzzell, who looked pretty good tonight for a pitcher that declared retirement earlier in the season, as they used a couple of doubles and error to plate two, but the wily vet limited the damage.
After finally playing a good game on defense the Milleteers started to show cracks in sixth as the Royals got one on a bizarre dropped third strike. Gerein was breaking in his new glove tonight and the ball popped out, but he threw the runner out at first. The runner on third then tried to break to home, but was gunned out by ten feet, only to have the ball pop out again for the Royals first run.
The Milleteers then answered back in the bottom half with two more runs to give them a little insurance going into the seventh. It turns out they needed the runs as the leaky defense that has plagued the Milleteers all season decided to show up. First second baseman Brad Engel dropped a fly ball and then threw it away to put the leadoff man on. Then after a fielder’s choice, back to back singles and an error in center put two more runners on. Then an error on the third baseman ended Walker’s night despite not giving up an earned run. In came veteran Steven Pahl with little warm up and little on the fast ball. He got the first batter he faced to hit an infield pop, before another error to the third baseman and a single put the tieing run on second. Pahl dug deep however to get the three hole hitter to fly out to center for the save to preserve the win.
With the win the Milleteers have assured themselves at least a third place finish, with a chance to finish second with a Holden loss on Thursday. Armena on the other hand still sits in first, but a Holden win in the final regular season game would bump them down to second. Either way the playoffs will begin on Tuesday, and for the first time in four years the Milleteers won’t have home field advantage.