Milbrath and Larson Clash in a Classic
The 11-6 National Division leading Hanska Lakers visited a soggy Riverside Park on Friday night. Rains earlier in the day delayed the Legion playoffs taking place in Redwood Falls and meant the Tigers had just nine healthy players to begin the ballgame, including manager Steve Helget, and were missing four starters. The "iron-nine" more than held things together, while Jordan Milbrath did his best to put his team on his back with a great performance on the mound, but it wouldn't be enough as the Lakers came away with a 3-1 win.
Milbrath didn't even let Hanska put a ball in play until the third inning. He walked the first batter of the ballgame, then proceeded to strikeout the next six batters to retire the Lakers in the first two innings.
Back-to-back extra base hits from Dustin Wilfahrt and Brady Mosenden netted the Lakers their first run of the night in the top of the fourth. A two-out single by Chris Koob gave Hanska a 2-0 lead.
Laker starter Dayton Larson did not record a one-two-three inning all night, but got key outs when he needed them. Ken Sather started a two-out rally in the bottom of the fourth with a sold single. He stole second before Danny Christensen reached on an infield hit, moving Sather to third. Christensen swiped second and a wild pitch got the Tigers on the board as Sather came in to score.
Springfield got three hits and a walk in the fifth and sixth innings, but couldn't get the key hit, stranding those base runners in scoring position in both frames.
Hanska added an insurance run in the top of the seventh, taking advantage of a two-out walk and Springfield error to make the score, 3-1. The players from the Legion game arrived in the seventh inning, but even that couldn't spark the Tiger offense.
Brady Schwab had a big night for the Tigers with four hits. Christian Loomis and Ken Sather added two hits each. Jordan Milbrath, Adam Schmid, Danny Christensen, and Matt Baier rounded out the offense with one hit a piece. Brady Mosenden and Chris Koob led Hanska at the plate, both contributing two of Lakers' seven total hits. Dayton Larson earned the complete game victory, allowing just one run on twelve hits with eight strikeouts and one walk. Milbrath took the hard luck loss, falling to 1-3 on the season, also working nine innings, allowing three runs, two earned, with fifteen strikeouts.
With the loss, Springfield falls to 8-9 and fourth place in the American Division of the Tomahawk East. A make-up game against the New Ulm Brewers that was tentatively scheduled for Saturday night has been postponed, due to the Legion team's playoff run. It will be played sometime in the next ten days before the end of the regular season. Next up, St. James will visit Riverside Park on Sunday night for Merchant's Appreciation Night. Good luck to the Springfield Legion as they continue in the District Tournament this weekend! Go Tigers!
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