New Richmond Millers hot, then not, in 2-2 week
"When you're hot, you're hot. When you're not, you're not."
You might not remember that 1971 chart-topping country song by Jerry Reed, but it is a perfect description of how the New Richmond Millers have played this season.
The Millers went from hot to cold during the span of a five days last week, in which they played four games. The Millers raked Menomonie's pitching for 22 hits and 19 runs in a historic win last Wednesday. That was followed by a win over Haugen and a painful 2-1 loss at Osceola. The week ended with a real clunker, with the Millers losing to Exeland 15-5 at Citizens Field on Friday.
The Millers got a key during warmups that clued them in about the pitcher they were facing at Menomonie. The Millers noticed that the pitcher couldn't locate his breaking pitches for strikes. So the Millers waited for him to throw fastballs and they teed off.
The Millers scored six runs in the first inning. They scored four more in the fifth and six more in the seventh to finally pull away from the Eagles.
Seven of the 22 hits were doubles, reflecting the authority to which the Millers hit the ball.
Jon Will and Mike Perillo each had four hits in the game. Perillo scored four times. Ryan Telschow added three hits and drove home four runs. Telschow, Matt Peterson and Aaron Frei each scored three times. Peterson reached base twice in the first inning, getting hit by pitches both times.
Perillo came up with the Millers' best defensive play of the season thus far in the sixth inning. Menomonie's Dave Reuber hit a wicked liner to leftfield. Perillo reacted quickly and made a full lay-out dive to snare the ball.
Millers manager Ryan Stephens said it was one of the 10 best defensive plays he's seen made in his 14 years with the team.
Logan Peterson got the pitching win for New Richmond, giving up 10 earned runs in six innings. Tim Brown got the save by pitching the final three innings.
The fans at Friday's win at Citizens Field got to see why Hayden Zimmerman was a standout at St. John's University this spring.
Zimmerman pitched the first four innings, allowing one hit while striking out eight. The Millers eventually won 6-5.
The Millers built a 5-0 lead behind Zimmerman's pitching and offense that was centered around Will and Emerson. Will scored two of the runs and drove home another. Emerson scored once and also had an RBI-double.
Haugen scored five runs off Logan Wink, who started pitching in the fifth inning. Cody Torkelson came in when Wink got into trouble in the sixth. Torkelson earned the win, firing 3.1 innings of hitless relief.
The score stayed at 5-5 until the bottom of the ninth inning when the Millers loaded the bases. Logan Peterson, one of the Millers' best contact hitters, lined a single up the middle to chase Emerson home for the game winner.
The Millers were hoping to even their St. Croix Valley League record with a win at Osceola on Saturday. The 2-1 loss leaves them with a 1-3 record in the SCVL.
The offensive never got rolling for the Millers. They were limited to five total hits. Emerson produced the only hit that amounted to anything. He tripled to the fence in rightfield in the fourth inning. When the Brave outfielder fumbled the ball, Emerson kept rolling and scored on the play.
Brown pitched for the Millers, giving up runs in the fifth and seventh innings. Both runs were unearned.
Exeland marks the spot
Saturday night's loss had some carryover effect on Sunday as the Millers wilted under the record breaking heat. Exeland took advantage of the Millers' stale play to win 15-5.
The Millers' malaise showed mostly on defense. Missed pop flies in the infield and outfield were the worst of those errors.
The Millers totaled nine hits, with Rod Peterson getting two of them. He had the team's only two RBI in the game.
The Millers need to bounce back because they will be hosting a powerful Stillwater Loggers team this Wednesday. The game will be played at 7:30 p.m. at Citizens Field.
The Millers then reach a badly needed gap in their schedule. They don't play again until June 4, when they travel to Blaine, Minn.