AMATEUR BASEBALL: A strong start
Milroy Irish begin playoffs with 8-1 victory over Worthington
MILROY — After amassing a regular-season record of 13-3, the Milroy Irish amateur baseball team began their quest toward regionals with an opening round matchup in the First Nite/Gopher League playoffs against the seventh seed from First Nite, Worthington. It took both teams to warm up a little bit, but a key fifth-inning outburst by Milroy was enough to lift the second-seeded Irish to an 8-1 game one victory in the best-of-three series Wednesday at Irish Yard.
It was a pitcher’s duel in the beginning stages, as Logan Huisman from Worthington and Milroy’s Beau Priegnitz battled it out across the first few innings. After not taking advantage of having baserunners aboard early, the Irish were the first to strike on the offensive end in the bottom of the fourth, as Ben Heichel drew a leadoff walk before coming around to score on Derek Riley’s RBI double to make it 1-0.
The Irish then all of a sudden broke out the bats in their next trip to the plate, with Dominic Dolan connecting on a one-out double before Tyler Peterson reached on an error to make it 2-0. One batter later, Brady Lanoue quickly doubled their advantage with a two-run blast to right field. Milroy wasn’t done there, though, using an RBI groundout by Riley and an RBI single by Tyler Patterson to push its lead to 6-0 after five.
Milroy kept things going in the next frame, as Peterson lined a one-out double before Lanoue brought him around with a single through the right side of the infield to make it 7-0.
Worthington wouldn’t go down without a fight, however, using a pair of walks and a sacrifice to put runners in scoring position before a wild pitch brought in the Cubs’ first run of the evening. But Milroy had a quick response, as an RBI groundout by Patterson put the Irish up 8-1.
After a scoreless eighth, the Irish quickly kept the Cubs from doing any further damage, getting three straight strikeouts to end the game.
Priegnitz earned the win on the mound, going eight innings while allowing just one run on five hits and stuck out seven.
Lanoue led the way for Milroy with a pair of hits, including the home run and three RBI while Heichel added two hits and Riley had two hits and two RBI.
The Irish will hit the road on Friday for game two of the series, with first pitch slated to begin at 7:30 p.m. in Worthington.