Dave Newman has been the sports editor at the New Richmond News since 1988. He has covered the action in the Middle Border Conference, Dunn-St. Croix Conference and Big Rivers Conference for nearly 30 years.
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The hopes of a state playoff berth remain alive for the New Richmond Millers. The Millers kept those hopes alive with a sterling performance Saturday night, beating Hudson 3-1. It took outstanding pitching from Tim Brown and Luke Meier for the Millers to win Saturday. Brown and Meier combined to throw a two-hitter in the win. The Millers were facing Hudson's top hurler, Paul Johnson, who pitches at St. Olaf College. The Millers couldn't do anything against Johnson for the first seven innings of the game.
Many of the New Richmond varsity baseball players had never seen coach John Ball get mad. So when Ball got upset and started yelling at his players in the dugout between innings during this weekend's tournament in Cumberland, the message got across. The Tigers throttled up their play, winning all three of their games to take the tournament championship. While there are coaches in the area who yell and scream on a nightly basis, Ball's style is more of a calm method of teaching.
Freshman Nick Widing twirled a three-hitter to lead Somerset's baseball team to a 3-2 win over Frederic last Tuesday. Widing pitched the complete game for the Spartans. At times he clearly overpowered Frederic's hitters.
It was do-or-die for the New Richmond and Somerset baseball teams last Thursday. Both teams knew the losing team would see their chances of a Middle Border Conference championship all but disappear. It was New Richmond that kept its hopes of an MBC championship alive, with an 8-1 win over Somerset. With the win, New Richmond remains one game behind undefeated Ellsworth in the conference standings.
Somerset High School standout hockey player Brock Montpetit has verbally committed to play for the University of Wisconsin men's program. Montpetit accepted the commitment offer from the Badgers last Tuesday. Montpetit has played the past two years at Somerset High School, leading the state in scoring as a sophomore. Tuesday was the first time the Badgers had made the offer to Montpetit and he jumped at the chance to play with the team he's been following for most of his life. This fall, Montpetit will be attending school in Faribault, Minn. at Shattuck-St. Mary's School.
After spotting Glenwood City an 8-1 lead, the Somerset baseball team rallied to win Monday's Middle Border Conference baseball game, 11-9. Junior Austin Seibel made the comeback possible. Seibel came on to pitch in the fifth inning and he retired all nine batters he faced. Somerset's play matched the weather in this game. The first innings were played in a rain that ranged from a mist to a downpour. The clearing of the skies seemed to come simultaneously with the turnaround in Somerset's play in the game. Calin Hehling started on the mound for the Spartans.
The New Richmond baseball team is staying right on the heals of Ellsworth in the Middle Border Conference pennant race. New Richmond posted three more conference wins in the past week, over Webster, Glenwood City and Unity. The Tigers have only one conference loss, which came against Ellsworth. No team has been able to stop Ellsworth yet in conference action. New Richmond plays a key game in MBC play this Thursday, when they host Somerset in a 7 p.m. start.
The first time Rachel Poppy was invited to a lacrosse practice, she thought her friend was joking. She soon found out what lacrosse was about. And like many, she became hooked on what has become the fastest growing sport in America. Poppy said there are two groups of people, those who love lacrosse, and those who don't yet know about the sport. Poppy is a 2004 New Richmond High School graduate who attends Gustavus Adolphus College. Though she had never seen a lacrosse game before she went to college, Poppy started in the first game she ever played.
Even Mother Nature cooperated to help make the first New Richmond Millers Fathers' Day Tournament a success. The adult baseball tournament hosted by New Richmond's city team featured good baseball with good crowds for most of the games. The tournament started Friday night and finished early Sunday evening. The Stillwater Loggers were champions of the tournament, beating the Ellsworth Hubbers 7-0 in Sunday's championship game. New Richmond's team won once in its three games in the tournament. The Millers took over the tournament this year.
The Somerset baseball team was involved in two close finishes last week, winning one and suffering a heart-breaking loss in the other. The loss came last Thursday at Ellsworth. Somerset rallied for four runs in the top of the seventh inning to take a 6-4 lead. Ellsworth, the undefeated Middle Border Conference leader, then charged back with three runs in the bottom of the seventh to topple the Spartans 7-6. The win came last Tuesday.