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New Richmond Millers win their 2011 baseball season finale

Millers manager Ryan Stephens pitched a complete game victory in the season finale.

With nine loyal players available for the final game of the season, the New Richmond Millers managed to earn a win in their 2011 season finale last Wednesday.

The Millers finished the season with a 9-2 win over the Spring Valley Hawks in their finale. The Millers finish the season with a 9-15 record. They ended up tied for sixth place in the overall St. Croix Valley League standings with a 7-9 record.

Wednesday's finale felt a bit like a party, but also a bit like a funeral. The Millers were loose and enjoying their last time on the field, but there was also a sense that some of the team members had higher hopes for the season and hoped to be playing in the Wisconsin Baseball Association state playoffs that are taking place this weekend.

Millers manager Ryan Stephens had to take on an extra role in this game. About 30 minutes before the game, he discovered none of his pitchers were going to be available for the game. So Stephens stepped in, pitching the complete game victory. He allowed eight hits and struck out eight, issuing three walks.

It was a positive finale for the Millers because all night players contributed to the victory. The team totaled 13 hits.

The Millers took the lead in the second inning and they never gave it up. Dan Leavens doubled to lead off the second and he scored on a single from Eric Schmitz. Schmitz also scored two runs in the game.

"That's a kid, no matter if he's playing or not, he shows up," Stephens said. In a season where player attendance was spotty, Stephens said he greatly appreciated Schmitz's commitment to the team.

Matt Peterson and Ryan Telschow drove in runs for the Millers in the third inning. The Millers broke the game open by scoring four runs in the sixth inning. Jon Will, Peterson, Leavens and Stephens drove home runs in that rally.