No matter who Jefferson threw out on the mound Monday, Milton couldn’t seem to get the bats going.
The Milton Legion baseball team collected four hits against a combined three pitchers in a 9-2 defeat to the Jefferson Post 164 Legion team Monday night at Milton High School.
Logan Wagner started the game for Post 164, throwing three-hitless innings. Jake Ball came in to pitch three strong innings and Quincy Wilharm closed the game out with a shutout seventh.
Milton’s only runs came in the bottom of the sixth, thanks to a 2-RBI single from Andrew Hoard.
“They [Jefferson] played well, we just we’re kind of running slim on pitchers,” said Milton varsity legion coach Paul Hermanson.
John Storlid started the game for Milton, giving up four runs, none of which were earned. In 3.1 innings, the right-hander surrendered three hits and walked just one batter.
Milton squirmed out of trouble early in the game. In the top of the first with a runner on third, Jefferson’s Logan Wagner hit a ground ball to Markus Mory at third base, the base runner tried to score from home, but Mory threw him out from third for the second out of the inning.
Wagner eventually reached third base after an error, but Storlid forced a ground ball to second to end the inning.
Milton looked primed to score early with runners on second and third with one out in the bottom of the first, but Wagner battled back on the mound. Wagner pitched into an out and then hit the next batter to load the bases. He would go on to end the inning with a strikeout however to avoid any harm.
After both teams retired the side in order in the third, Jefferson finally got on the board in the fourth.
Reese Fetherston scored the first run of the game off an error and then Aaron Heine scored off a wild pitch.
Wilharm singled in the third run of the inning with a single and Ball followed up with an RBI single to make it 4-0.
Heine collected an RBI off a sacrifice fly in the top of the fifth to extend the lead to 5-0.
Post 164 continued to build on their lead with a two-out rally in the sixth. Haygen Miller jogged in a run after he drew a bases-loaded walk. Fetherston singled in another run and with the bases still loaded, Wagner doubled in two more runs to make it 9-0.
All four of Jefferson’s runs in the inning came with two outs.
Milton did ensure it would avoid the 10-run rule in the inning, collecting the final out with a play at the plate, as Fetherston tried to steal home, but was tagged out at home.
With the bases loaded and with one out in the sixth, Milton got on the board. Hoard singled on a line drive to left field, scoring Mory and Garrett Daskam.
“They changed their approach at the plate,” Hermanson said regarding the sixth-inning breakthrough. “They were swinging earlier in the count, going after first pitch, second pitch, being more aggressive. It’s something we really preach, being aggressive and confident.”
However, with runners on first and second, Milton couldn’t continue to scrape back as the inning ended with a strikeout and a pop out.
Milton struggled with miscues Monday, collecting six errors on the day. Just one of Jefferson’s nine runs were earned.
Mory collected a team-high two hits for Milton and also pitched 1.2 innings, allowing no earned runs and striking out one.
“I thought Markus came in and pitched quite well for the last two innings,” Hermanson said. “He hasn’t pitched all summer and to come in and throw strikes, I was real pleased. And he hit the ball, too.”
Along with Hoard’s hit, Bray Fry picked up Milton’s only other hit of the game.
Despite not collecting a hit, Ian Lilla made several tricky plays at shortstop, including a over-the-shoulder grab in shallow left field.
“He’s a really good ball player, he’s totally out of position, he’s a second baseman,” Hermanson said. “He played very well.”
Milton played on Tuesday, July 9, but results were not available by publication time.