Anstey Powers Past Royals In Game 1
Posted July 24, 2013
For the first time in five years the Milleteers had to start a playoff series on the road, and for the first time in five years the Milleteers didn’t need a come from behind win in their last bat in the opening game of the playoffs.
It was a tight game early on as starters Jon Anstey and Joel Boettger had no trouble in the first as they each put down the hitters 1-2-3. In the top of the second the Milleteers managed the game’s first base runner courtesy of a one out walk, but it was quickly erased on the next pitch with an inning 6-4-3 double play. In the bottom half the Royals would get a two out double from player-coach Jason Buzzell, but would fail to capitalize.
In third the Milleteers would get a rally going as the Walker brothers led off with back to back singles. Then with the number nine hitter up to bat, everyone in the park knew a sac bunt was coming, but it was placed so perfectly Boettger had to just pick it up and concede the hit. With the bases loaded and none out the Royals decided to play for a double play as they had the infield back, and it would cost them as Greg Zilkie hit a grounder to the shortstop, who went to second, but Zilkie beat out the back end at first, while a run scored. Then Zilkie quickly stole second to put two runners in scoring position, which catcher Shane Gerein cashed in with a single. The Milleteers threatened for more, but the inning ended on a bizarre runner interference call on a pop up where the second baseman got a bad break on the ball and stuck his arm out at the runner, despite having a clear lane to the ball.
The Royals threatened to get back into it in their half with two outs after an error and a miscommunication on a fly ball had runners at second and third, but Anstey would strikeout all star Dean Prpick to end the threat. After that neither team would offer much offense until the seventh. Mark Walker would again be in the thick of it as he drew a one out walk, followed by another Adam Pahl bunt that was thrown away to set up a first and third with the top of the order up. Lead off man Greg Zilkie would deliver a single to score one, but Pahl got a bad read off second and was thrown out by ten feet at the plate to end the threat and send the Milleteers to the bottom of the seventh with a four run lead.
The Royals would finally get something going off Anstey in the seventh as a leadoff single and a walk had them in business. A fielder’s choice and another single would finally break the goose egg and bring the tieing run to the plate, but Anstey would dig deep and got two fly outs to center to finish off the game and give the Milleteers the lead in the best of three series. Game two goes Thursday in Leduc.