New Richmond Millers will face Chaseburg-Coon Valley in WBA playoffs on Saturday
The opponent has been set for the New Richmond Millers' opening round game in the Wisconsin Baseball Association state tournament.
The Millers will play in the state regional tournament in Haugen. The Millers will play at 5 p.m. this Saturday. Their opponent will be the Chaseburg-Coon Valley Blues. Chaseburg is the top seed in the Haugen regional tournament while the Millers are seeded fourth. Chaseburg has a 13-1 league record, while the Millers finished play in the St. Croix Valley League at 8-7.
Hayden Zimmerman is expected to draw the pitching assignment for the Millers. Zimmerman has been one of the hottest pitchers in the St. Croix Valley League over the past month, including throwing a one-hitter against Osceola to lock up the Millers'' place in the playoffs.
The winner of Saturday's game between New Richmond and Chaseburg will be in action again on Sunday. That will be the regional championship game, where they would face the winner of Saturday's game between the Brill Millers and the Tilden Tigers.
The winner of the regional tournament will advance to the WBA State Tournament, which will be played in Osseo on Aug. 17-18.
The Millers played their final regular season game of the season at Citizens Field on Saturday night. The Millers played uninspired ball, losing to the Spring Valley Hawks, 7-4.
To get ready for Saturday's playoff game, Millers manager Ryan Stephens had four pitchers throw against Spring Valley. Zimmerman worked the first three innings, with Josh Leavens, Coleman Roskam and Mitch Paquin also getting work in.
It wasn't until the final three innings of the game that the New Richmond offense began showing a spark. The Millers loaded the bases in the seventh inning and Dylan Leslie emptied them with a three-run double that scored Zimmerman, Evan Gaddis and Paquin.
The Millers got one run back in the ninth inning, but they left the bases loaded when the final out of the game was recorded.
Stephens said the Millers had nothing riding on the game against Spring Valley and they couldn't find the motivation to produce a winning effort. He said the team will need to be at its sharpest to knock off a league champion like Chaseburg-Coon Valley.
"We'll have to do all the clutch hitting that we did against Osceola," Stephens said, referring to the dynamic 4-0 win by the Millers over Osceola to qualify for the playoffs.