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New Richmond Millers ready for Fun Fest clash with Osceola Braves

The New Richmond Millers were represented at the 2018 St. Croix Valley Baseball League All-Star Game by (l-r) Jaryd Marks, Austin Juhl, Grant Riemenschneider and Jordan Luehman.

The New Richmond Millers are on one of their best streaks of the past decade.

The Millers won their third straight St. Croix Valley Baseball League game on Sunday, bashing Plum City, 13-2.

The Millers are hoping to carry that hot play into this weekend, when they play two critically important games against opponents from the SCVBL Northern Division. The Millers will host Osceola at 7:30 p.m. on Friday in the annual Fun Fest clash between the two teams. The Millers will also be in action on Sunday, playing at 1 p.m. at Hudson.

Since May ended, the Millers have been one of the rising teams in the SCVBL. The Millers went 0-5 in May. Things turned around quickly, with the Millers going 5-3 in June. They started July with the win at Plum City on Sunday.

The offense had a huge game at Plum City, putting together three four-run rallies. The first of those came in the third inning. The 2018 New Richmond High School graduates have been a great influx of talent for the Millers. Noah Towberman led off the inning with a double, followed by a single by John Earley and a walk by Jake Jirik. All three are NRHS grads. Towberman scored on a Jordan Luehman hit. Jaryd Marks, another new addition to the team, then launched a three-run homer over the right-centerfield fence.

The next four-run rally came in the fifth inning. Dakota Belter singled home Earley and Jirik for the first two runs. Blake Kretovics, another of the 2018 grads, then delivered a two-run double.

The Millers came right back with four more runs in the sixth inning. Marks singled home one run, Belter drove home two with a double, and Austin Juhl singled home the final run.

The final run came in the seventh inning. Manager Ryan Stephens delivered a double, with Marks following with a double for his fifth RBI of the game.

The pitching was in good hands for the Millers, with Grant Riemenschneider limiting Plum City to three hits over the first five innings. He pitched out of a bases-loaded in the jam in the third inning, striking out three Blues to get out of trouble.

Stephens heaped praise on the younger players who have fueled the team’s turnaround. With 2017 NRHS grads like Riemenschneider and Juhl working with the 2018 grads, the team has a nucleus of young talent that could make it a constant contender in the SCVBL for years to come.

Sunday’s game was the first win by 10-run rule in many years, with Stephens guessing that maybe a decade or more has passed since the Millers finished a win early.

“That was pretty impressive,” Stephens said of the team’s complete effort on Sunday. “The guys have really turned around their games.”

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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