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New Richmond Millers rally, get first SCVBL win of season

New Richmond third baseman Logan Peterson awaits a ball hit his way during last Wednesday’s battle with the River Falls Fighting Fish.

A four-run outburst in the bottom of the eighth inning earned the New Richmond Millers their first St. Croix Valley Baseball League of the season on Saturday.

The four runs lifted the Millers to an 8-7 win against the Elmwood Expos, a team which advanced to the adult baseball state finals in 2016.

The ninth inning started for the Millers with a walk to Brock Luehman and a single to Caleb Belter. Things got exciting in a hurry when Caleb Manecke cranked a triple to cut Elmwood’s lead to 7-6. Elmwood then intentionally walked Nate Olin, one of the Millers’ hottest hitters, in hopes of setting up a double play. Olin immediately ruined that strategy by stealing second base.

He did not stay there long. Tommy Grygienc singled over third base, scoring Manecke and Olin to give the Millers the lead.

Grant Riemenschneider came in to pitch for the first time for the Millers in the eighth inning. The recent NRHS graduate helped get the Millers out of an eighth inning jam. In the ninth, he gave up one bloop single, but otherwise pitched a spotless frame to earn his first adult baseball win.

The Millers have been pitching by committee so far this season. Riemenschneider showed he has the mix of pitches and the ability to throw strikes that could move him quickly into an important role in the pitching rotation.

Coleman Roskam started on the mound, working the first four innings. Dante LaDuke and Cam Hausman worked in the middle innings.

Offensively, the middle of the batting order carried the Millers to this win. Grygienc, Manecke and Olin all had two hits, with Grygienc driving home four runs.

Saturday’s win was the high point of the week. The pitching wasn’t as sharp on Friday, when the Millers lost to Plum City, 8-5. Plum City has one of the hardest throwers in the league in veteran hurler Tony Garner. Getting five runs against Garner was a good showing, but it was not enough. LaDuke started on the mound, lasting three innings. Manager Ryan Stephens pitched the next four, with Roskam and Belter taking the final innings.

New Richmond had one good inning, scoring four times in the eighth. An RBI triple by Manecke was the big hit of that rally.

Last Wednesday, the Millers hosted another of the state playoff tests when the River Falls Fighting Fish came to Citizens Field. In a game where the Millers got decent pitching and defense, the offense wasn’t up to par in a 5-3 loss.The Millers didn’t get their first hit until the fourth inning when Olin singled. The first run came in the eighth inning on doubles from Belter and Jon Will. RBI singles from Olin and Austin Juhl made the ninth inning interesting.

The Millers are on the road for three games this week. They play at Osceola at 7:30 p.m. on Wednesday and they play at the same time Saturday at Ellsworth. The week concludes with a 1 p.m. game at Hudson on Sunday.

Dave Newman

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 more than 30 years.

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