Prior to Saturday's Class C state playoff game against Loretto, the Milroy Yankees had an idea of what it would take to have an extended stay in the state tournament.
"We were able to watch Loretto the week before and we saw they put the bat on the ball," said Milroy manager Ryan Rohlik. "We learned from other teams that played them that they played a lot better when they were ahead."
Thanks to a strong eight-inning effort from starting pitcher Josh Hadley, the Yankees prevented the Larks from getting on the board, advancing to the round of 16 with a 7-0 victory at Faber Field in St. Cloud.
Photo by Aaron Schlemmer
Milroy’s Micah Gronli slides safely into home plate for a run during the Yankees’ Class C state tournament game against Loretto Saturday in St. Cloud.
Loretto looked like it would hop on the board first with a runner at third with one out in the top of the second inning. But Hadley, who finished with two strikeouts and no walks, coaxed the Larks into two straight outs, ending the immediate threat.
From there, Loretto didn't touch Hadley again until the seventh inning.
"He was just doing what Josh does," Rohlik said. "He's pitched a lot at the state tournament and he kept (Loretto) off the board.
"The big turning point was Josh keeping them scoreless in the second. You could see they were doubting themselves and maybe pressing at the plate a little bit."
Once the threat was over, Milroy unloaded in the bottom of the seventh. Starting with a base hit by Eric Dolan, the Yankees hit five straight singles, with knocks from Hadley, Dean Zwach, Micah Gronli and Brian Dolan.
Milroy tacked on three more runs in the bottom of the fifth to cement the victory.
A trio of Yankees - Dave Schmidt, Eric Dolan and Dean Zwach - each went 2-for-4, combining for six of Milroy's 11 hits. Tyler Maher was Loretto's top hitter, going 2-for-4 with a double.
Now 17-7 on the year, the Yankees enter the final weekend of the amateur baseball season at 5:30 p.m. Saturday against Fergus Falls at Putz Field in St. Cloud. The Hurricanes advanced on Saturday with a 2-1 victory over Prior Lake.
Loretto000 000 000-0 5 4
Milroy040 030 00x-6 11 2
M-Josh Hadley, Austin Deutz (9). L-Eric Hanson. WP-Hadley. LP-Hanson. 2B: L-Tyler Maher.