New Richmond Millers split baseball games with St. Croix FallsA highly unsatisfying weekend for the New Richmond Millers started well, but ended with a weak effort.
A highly unsatisfying weekend for the New Richmond Millers started well, but ended with a weak effort.
The Millers played two games against the St. Croix Falls Bandits over the weekend. The Bandits are one of the less experienced teams in the St. Croix Valley League and the Millers were hoping for a sweep that would raise their SCVL record to 5-1. The first half of the weekend went according to plan, with the Millers winning at Citizens Field on Saturday night, 9-1.
Apparently the Millers didn’t get enough sleep on Saturday night. When the teams met again in St. Croix Falls on Sunday, the Millers were flat, putting up little fight in a 7-2 loss to the Bandits.
In all honesty, the Millers took advantage of some flat play by the Bandits in Saturday’s game. The Millers scored twice in the first inning when Sean Conrad and Jon Will scored on SCF errors. Nobody scored again until the seventh inning, when the Bandits notched their only run.
In the bottom of the seventh the Bandit pitching and defense both imploded. The Millers only had one hit in a major rally, using six walks and three Bandit errors to score six runs. The only hit of the uprising was a single by Mitch Paquin that drove home the first run of the inning.
Conrad pitched the first seven innings Saturday, allowing three hits and one unearned run, while striking out six. Josh Leavens worked the final two innings.
Only 10 of the 19 players on the Millers roster were available for Sunday’s game. The Millers got the opening run, when Leavens scored on an error after singling to lead off the second inning.
Millers manager Ryan Stephens started on the mound Sunday. The Millers’ defense started to struggle in the second inning, missing several chances for outs while the Bandits were scoring four runs.
In the fourth inning the Millers missed their chance to get back into the game, leading the bases loaded. They stranded two more runners in the fifth inning. The teams traded runs in their next at-bats, but SCF put the game away with two runs in the sixth inning.
The Millers are entering a pivotal stretch in their SCVL schedule where there is opportunity to climb up the standings. The Millers play at home at 7:30 p.m. on Friday against Elmwood. Hayden Zimmerman is expected to make his first pitching start for the Millers while Elmwood is expected to throw former Baldwin-Woodville ace Dylan DeMotts. On Sunday the Millers play at Hudson in a 1 p.m. Conrad is scheduled to get the pitching start against the River Rats.