Luverne cruises past Milroy Irish, clinch trip to state
MILROY — After dropping Game 1 of their best-of-three series to No. 2 seed Luverne on Wednesday, the fourth-seeded Milroy Irish amateur baseball team returned to Irish Yard one final time for the season hoping to not only even up the series but also keep its playoff dreams alive. Unfortunately for the Irish, their offense continued to struggle putting up runs while Luverne kept its bats red-hot, and the Redbirds took down Milroy 12-3 on Friday night to claim the series.
With the loss, Milroy’s season draws to a close. The Irish posted an overall record of 17-7. Luverne clinched the final state tournament spot from Region 13C and will find out its opponent next week.
Neither team could capitalize early on, with Luverne not able to get a run across with the bases loaded while the Irish couldn’t take advantage of a leadoff single by Dominic Dolan in the first inning. The empty frames didn’t last long, however, as the Redbirds struck first in the top of the third, using a single and a walk before a triple brought both runners across to make it 2-0. Luverne then got an RBI single after that before a pair of singles and an error in the fourth pushed its lead to 4-0 after four.
Despite only having two hits at that point in the game, the Irish continued to battle on the offensive end, as Moses Dolan got aboard on a one-out single in the bottom of the fifth before scoring on an RBI single by Dominic Dolan to cut the deficit to 4-1.
Luverne would have an answer, however, breaking out the bats in the next half-inning. The Redbirds would get a single, sacrifice bunt, walk and another single to load the bases before all of the baserunners came across on a three-run double. Luverne wasn’t done there, as it connected on a two-run home run one batter later to push its lead to 9-1.
The Irish wouldn’t go down without a fight, though, as Jacob Plaetz drew a two-out walk in the bottom of the inning before Anthony Dolan connected on an RBI double to make it 9-2 after six.
On its next trip to the plate, Luverne would take advantage of a couple of errors to plate a run and push its lead to 10-2, but Milroy got a run back in bottom of the seventh, this time courtesy of a solo home run from Ben Heichel for the Irish’s third straight inning with a run scored.
But the Redbirds continued to attack on the offensive end as well, getting a hit batter to start the eighth before a single and a ground-rule double brought in a run. Luverne then added an RBI single to bring it to the 12-3 final.
Dominic Dolan led the way for the Irish with a pair of hits and an RBI while Anthony Dolan and Heichel each added a hit and an RBI and Patterson and Moses Dolan had a hit apiece.