Tigers Take Game One
Springfield opened the Tomahawk East League playoffs by hosting Leavenworth in game one of a best-of-three series. The Tigers jumped out to an early lead, before the Orioles put together a five run inning. Springfield chipped away and pulled out a 6-5 victory to take a 1-0 lead in the series.
Matt Baier started the bottom of the first by being hit by a pitch. Baier stole second before Matt Tews followed with a bunt single to give the Tigers runners on the corners. Baier scored the first run of the evening with Alex Fink reached via an infield single. Brady Schwab moved the runners into scoring position with a sacrifice bunt. Pitcher Jordan Milbrath helped himself out when he crushed a double to put Springfield up 3-0.
Milbrath was solid during the first three innings, allowing just a two-out double to Andy Cook in the first. In the fourth, Milbrath had a hard time finding the strike zone. Leavenworth got a lead-off single before he walked three of the next four batters. A wild pitch, an infield single, along with a Tiger throwing error, allowed the Orioles to tie the game at three. Billy Cook then ripped a double to put Leavenworth up, 5-3.
The Tigers battled right back in the bottom of the fourth when Oriole hurler Briar Braulick hit three batters. Combined with a Leavenworth error, that got the Tigers back within one, 5-4.
After the tough fourth, Milbrath came back with a one-two-three inning in the fifth. Springfield got a clutch two-out single from Marc Salazar in the bottom of the fifth to drive in Milbrath and tie the ballgame.
Baier beat out an infield single to start things in the bottom of the seventh. Tews moved him to second with a sac bunt. Then Alex Fink smashed a double to right-center field, bringing around Baier to give the Tigers a one-run lead, 6-5.
Milbrath worked into the top of the eighth when he hit the lead-off batter and issued a walk with one out. Springfield went to the bullpen for Alex Frank who came on to get the final two outs of the inning. He also had a three-up, three-down inning in the ninth to wrap up the win for the home team.
Alex Fink led Springfield with three hits. Marc Salazar had two knocks on the night. Matt Baier, Matt Tews, and Jordan Milbrath rounded out the Tiger offense with one hit each. No Oriole batter had more than one hit in the ballgame. Milbrath evened his record at 3-3 on the season, earning the win on the hill, stepping up after the tough fourth inning to work a solid seven and one-third innings, giving up five runs, on five hits, with four strikeouts, but five walks. Briar Braulick took the loss for Leavenworth, working all eight innings, giving up six runs, five earned, on eight hits, with five strikeouts, two walks, and five hit batters. Alex Frank picked up the save, his third of the year, retiring all five batters he faced.
The win puts Springfield up one game to none in the best-of-three series. It marks the first time since 2007 that the Tigers have won their first game in the playoffs and haven't had their backs against the wall after an opening loss. They'll travel to Leavenworth on Sunday night for game two, scheduled to start at 7:30pm. We hope to see you there!
|A. Fink, SS||4||1||3||2||0||0||2B|
|Milbrath, P/CF||3||1||1||2||0||0||2B, HP|
|Milbrath (W, 3-3)||7 1/3||5||5||5||5||4|
|Frank (SV, 3)||1 2/3||0||0||0||0||1|