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All-Star game puts spotlight on NR

Players selected to represent the New Richmond Millers in the 2013 WBCA All-Star game were (l-r) Grant Nelson, Sean Conrad, Hayden Zimmerman and Jon Will.1 / 3
New Richmond's Jon Will rounds third base after singling for the North team's first hit in the 2013 WBCA All-Star Game last Friday.2 / 3
New Richmond pitcher Hayden Zimmerman fires the ball to first after fielding a bunt in the first inning of the WBCA All-Star Game. Backing up the play is North catcher Joel Schaeffer of River Falls.3 / 3

The 2013 St. Croix Valley League All-Star Game was played in front of a large crowd at New Richmond's Citizens Field on Friday night.

The South took advantage of some ragged defensive play from the North squad to earn an 11-7 victory in the game.

The game drew the largest crowd to a SCVL game at Citizens Field in a number of years.

"The turnout was great for a Fourth of July weekend," said New Richmond manager Ryan Stephens, who did most of the legwork to prepare for the game. "It was a fun time. I'd do it again in a heartbeat."

The game started out as a pitching duel, but eroded into an offensive battle as the defenses began to struggle.

Both starting pitchers showed why they earned those honors. New Richmond's Hayden Zimmerman started for the North team. He worked four innings, allowing one unearned run while striking out five batters. His success was matched by Ellsworth's Britton Wolf, who kept the North scoreless through his three innings on the mound.

The game began to get away from the North team in the fifth inning. The North defense committed four errors, leading to four unearned runs. Soon the South team was ahead 10-0.

The North battled back in the final innings to make the final score respectable. A triple by Osceola's Dakota Belter and a double by Spring Valley's Dylan Willett, both Somerset graduates, were key parts of the comeback.

New Richmond had four players take part in the game. Sean Conrad followed Zimmerman in the North pitching lineup, working one inning. Jon Will started at second base and singled in the first inning. Grant Nelson scored one of the North runs.

Chris Biedermann of Plum City was named Most Valuable Player of the game. Osceola assistant coach John Ball, the long-time New Richmond varsity coach, served as coach for the North team.

Fun Fest week

This is a pivotal week for the Millers, with two games during Fun Fest and another against one of the SCVL leaders.

Fortunately, all three games will be played at home. The Millers will host the River Falls Fighting Fish on Wednesday at Citizens Field. Both teams are among the those contending for a place in the state playoffs.

The Millers renew their most heated rivalry on Friday when they host the Osceola Braves. The Millers lead the Eau Galle Division of the SCVL with a 6-3 record at the beginning of this week. Osceola is right on the Millers' tail, with a 5-3 record.

The third home game of the week will be played on Saturday, when the Millers host Brill in a non-league game. All three of this week's games have 7:30 p.m. start times.

Jeff Holmquist
Jeff Holmquist has been managing editor of the New Richmond News since 2004. He holds a bachelor's degree in journalism and business administration from the University of Wisconsin-River Falls. He has previously worked as editor in Wadena, Minn.; Detroit Lakes, Minn.; Hutchinson, Minn.; and Bloomington, Minn. He also was previously owner of the Osceola Sun, Stillwater Courier and Scandia Messenger along with his wife. Together they previously founded and published The Old Times newspaper for antiques and collectibles collectors; and Up!, a Christian magazine of hope and encouragement.
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