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New Richmond Millers clobber Elmwood 14-7

Josh Leavens earned the pitching win for the Millers with several strong innings of relief pitching.

The bats carried the load for the New Richmond Millers in Friday's game at Citizens Field.

The Millers assaulted Elmwood's pitching with a variety of line drives in a 14-7 win over the Expos. The win raises the Millers' record to 4-1 as they maintain their lead in the Red Cedar Division of the St. Croix Valley League.

There was some concern when New Richmond starting pitcher Hayden Zimmerman had to pull himself out of Friday's game after facing five batters. Zimmerman has been battling a tender hamstring and it was decided to get him out of the game if the injury acted up.

Strong relief pitching from Josh Leavens made sure the Millers remained in a good position in the game. Leavens took over in the second inning and breezed through the Expo lineup until tiring in the seventh inning.

Millers manager Ryan Stephens said Leavens is an ideal relief pitcher to bring in behind Zimmerman or Sean Conrad, the team's other main starting pitcher. He said Leavens' pitches have such drastically different movement than either Zimmerman or Conrad that it takes opposing batters several innings to adjust.

"Josh needs to be ready for every game, just in case," Stephens said.

Elmwood scored once against Zimmerman in the first inning, but the Millers quickly began establishing their attack. Dan Leavens doubled home one run with a long drive to the rightfield gap in the bottom of the second. He scored when his brother, Josh, singled.

The Expos tied the game briefly in the top of the third, but the Millers took the lead for good in the bottom of the inning. Scott Emerson singled home Conrad for the go-ahead run.

The Millers broke the game open by scoring five runs in the fifth inning and another four runs in the sixth inning. Emerson drove home the first two runs of the fifth inning. The next two scored when Nick Scritchfield reached on an error, with the final run scoring on a Dan Leavens' single.

Jon Will and Emerson led off the sixth inning with singles. They both scored when Scritchfield dropped a check-swing single down the rightfield line. The Leavens brothers followed with RBI singles to raise the lead to 12-2.

Elmwood made a dent in the lead by scoring four times in the seventh inning. Conrad came on to work in relief of Leavens and finished the game.

The Millers registered their final two runs in the bottom of the seventh when Scritchfield tripled to rightfield, scoring Conrad and Eric Schmitz.

The Millers get a chance to view prospective future team members this Thursday when they face the New Richmond Senior American Legion team at 7 p.m. The Millers will play a SCVL game on Saturday, in a 3 p.m. start at Plum City. The Millers will play at home on Sunday, facing Exeland at 1 p.m.