The Milton Junction Pub Raptors completed a big two-game weekend sweep of Clyman Sunday and Fort Atkinson Friday evening to put themselves into the thick of the Rock River League South Division race and the finals of the Fort Atkinson Generals Baseball Tournament.
Milton beat RRL defending champion Clyman, 2-1, Sunday afternoon at Schilberg Park, behind the pitching of Alex Marro in his season debut for the Raptors. The win left the Raptors with a 3-2 record in the RRL South in a third-place tie with Clyman behind Hustisford, 4-0, and Neosho, 3-1.
The Raptors’ 2-0 win over Fort Atkinson, propelled Milton into Friday night’s General’s Tournament championship for the third time in four years. The Raptors, who won the eight-team tournament in 2016 and last year, will take on Jefferson for this year’s tourney title in a 6:15 p.m. game at Jones Park.
“Those were a couple of big wins this weekend, especially Sunday against Clyman,” Raptors manager Doug Welch said. “They were by far the best team in the South last year and had we dropped that game we would have been putting ourselves into a bit of a hole in the playoff race.”
The top four teams in the division compete in a double-elimination playoff tournament to advance to the RRL Grand Championship series against the North Division winner.
“In both those games this weekend we had about as good a pitching as we’ve had in any two-game stretch in some time,” Welch added. “Alex really gave us a boost Sunday and Drew Freitag tossed his second shutout in the tourney Friday.”
Marro, who threw a few games for the Raptors in 2017, recently completed his collegiate career at South Dakota State University. Marro checked the potent Canner lineup with a nine-inning complete game. He allowed eight hits, walked three and struck out seven.
“He had a hot fastball, and his curve really kept a pretty good lineup off-balance all day,” Welch said.
The Raptors scored the decisive runs in the fourth inning on a two-out single through the left side of Clyman’s infield by Matt Fredricks. McCauley Cox led the inning off against Clyman starter Brock Vredeveld with a booming double to right. The Raptors loaded the bases on a walk to Sam McCann and then Jeff Jacobson was hit by a pitch. With two outs, Fredricks delivered a single to left, scoring Cox and McCann on a close play at the plate.
The Raptors finished with just four hits, two by Cox.
Friday night in Fort Atkinson Freitag threw a complete, seven-inning game, striking out 13 Generals. The previous Friday, Freitag tossed a six-inning perfect game when the Raptors opened the tournament with a 10-0 win over Cambridge.
“It’s safe to say Drew is pretty comfortable on the mound at Jones Park,” Welch said.
The Raptors finished with eight hits. Andy Haney and Luke Malmanger drove in the Raptor runs.