Milleteers Hold On To Take Out Royals

Posted July 26, 2013


Milleteers Hold On To Take Out Royals
After a well played game in the opener, both teams limped to the diamond in game two dealing with injury shortened rosters.  With Armena’s five game winner Ian Sherbaniuk on the DL and Leduc’s Ryan Walker suffering a broken finger in last game both teams were short on arms.  The Milleteers handed the ball off to veteran Steve Pahl, while the Royals countered with lefty Dean Prpick.
 
The Royals started off the first with some small ball as SS Adam Johnson led off with a bunt single.  RF Jason Buzzell followed that up with a bloop single to left that the left fielder got a bad jump on as it should’ve been caught.  Pahl would then get a fly out and ground out and looked like he would wriggle out of it, but a two run throwing error on the third baseman got the Royals on the board.  The Milleteers would answer right back though as they used Prpick’s wildness to first score one on a past ball, then another three on a Josh Johnson double that cleared the bases.
 
After both teams went three up, three down in the second, the third inning was another long one.  First in the top half, Johnson again led off with a single to get things started.  A fielder’s choice would get the first out, then a lazy fly ball was dropped in left to open the flood gates as the Royals got back to back singles to tie it up.  Then another two run error on second baseman Brad Engel, playing in place of Shawn Brinkworth who is out with a cracked shin, would put the Royals up by two again.
 
The lead was short lived though as the Milleteers would bat around in their half.  Trevor Pahl got it started with a walk, followed by a HBP to his brother Steve to put two on.  Engel followed up with a single to score one and setup a first and third.  Then the Royals got sloppy as Prpick got a comebacker that should have been an easy double play, but threw the ball away at second to tie the game and setup a first and second situation.  Then Mark Walker waved at a sacrifice bunt and missed and the catcher tried to pick off Engel at second, but his throw was off the mark and both runners moved up a base.  Two more walks would give the Milleteers the lead and loaded the bases.  The Milleteers would cash in three more on a sac fly and a two out double from SS Jon Anstey to give them a four run lead.
 
Bolstered by his team’s offensive outburst, Pahl would only allow one base runner over the next three innings as he had it on cruise control.  On offense the Milleteers would continue to threaten to tack on runs, but they left four runners on without capitalizing.
 
In the seventh the Royal bats finally showed signs of life as Johnson again led off with a hit, this time a double.  Buzzell followed it up with a hit of his own and the Royals were in business.  Pahl would then get a tailor made double play ball that should’ve ended the threat, but second baseman Brad Engel booted it, literally, to load up the bases.  Pahl would then get three ground balls in a row that the defence converted to end it with the tieing run at the plate.  With all the costly errors and timely hitting in this one, the difference was in the free passes as Prpick walked nine and hit one, while Pahl made the Royals earn their base runners as he didn’t walk anyone.
 
With the win the Milleteers will be off to their fifth final in a row, this time taking on the Holden Blue Jays who also swept their series against the Bardo Athletics.  With the lose the Royals will head into the off season earlier than they anticipated after being the top team in the league most of the year before running out of gas at the end.  They lost their last four games to lose their grip on first place in the regular season and to get swept out in the first round.  Maybe coach Buzzell will have to hire a strength and conditioning coach this off season, or if the players aren’t ready for that much hard work, maybe he could get some “consulting” from Biogenesis so the boys can finish stronger.
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