Yankees clinches top four playoff spot in 6-2 win over Kilowatts

Photo by Chris Drummond Milroy Yankees pitcher Nathan Deutz throws off the mound in a 6-2 victory over the Granite Falls Kilowatts on Friday evening.

MILROY– The Milroy Yankees bounced back with a win over the Granite Falls Kilowatts 6-2 on Friday evening. With the win, they have clinched a top-four spot in the playoffs and they will avoid the play-in game.

Bryce Sneller ripped a double into the gap of center-left field, driving in the first run of the game for the Kilowatts. In the ensuing inning, Jake Tauer of the Yankees hit a ground ball passed the shortstop to also drove in a run and tie the game up at 1-1 all after the first.

Bennett Knapper had an RBI groundout that put Granite Falls back on top 2-1 in the top of the third.

Once again Milroy responded by scoring three runs in the bottom of the fourth. Tauer got his second hit of the game on a bloop single and Aaron Mathiowetz ripped a double down the left-field line tying up the game at two. The next two batters Dave Schmidt and Zach Leibfried both had RBI singles extending the lead to 4-2 but Leibfried trying to stretch it to a double was thrown out. The Yankees led 4-2 at the end of the fourth. Granite Falls also committed three errors contributing to the runs of the Yankees.

Milroy continued to pour it on as Andy Schmidt hit a ground ball past the third baseman scoring two runs and having a fun run lead heading into the seventh. The Kilowatts changed pitchers in the inning to Ty Schulte.

In the seventh and eighth inning, Granite Falls had runners on first and second with no outs, posing a threat to Milroy. However, failed to capitalize on scoring runs both times and ultimately would fall 6-2. Manager of the Kilowatts Mike Richter spoke on his team’s performance and how important it is to close out this regular season with victories.

“We came out and got a couple of hits, were able to go up on them 1-0,” Richter said. “They’re a very skilled baseball team. We got the lead back on them in the third but had that one inning that costs us. We just can’t give good teams extra outs and errors hurt us tonight. That changed the game a lot. A couple of hits and a couple of breaks go out way, we could have been a lot closer. I thought at the beginning of the year that to be a playoff team, we would need to have 10 wins. We have to get some wins in these next four games, it is pivotal. We just need to play good baseball, clean up errors and get some key hits, we’ll be okay.”

Sneller had three hits on the night driving in an RBI in the contest. Jordan Odegard had two hits in the loss.

Schmidt and Tauer both led Milroy with two hits apiece David Schmidt, Leibfried, and Mathiowetz all had hits and each drove in an RBI in the victory. Austin Deutz pitched seven innings allowing two runs on six hits and struck out five in the win. Manager of the Yankees Ryan Rohlik spoke on the team’s win and also how his two players Branden Flock with Tauer were named to the Cornbelt League versus Tomahawk League All-Star game.

“Offensively, we have been hitting the ball well this year but in our last contest against Bird Island, they shut us down,” Rohlik said.“Sometimes doubt can creep into your mind. It was good to see the guys adjust throughout the game. I am just proud of them. We are battling a lot of injuries right now and guys are battling through it, which is what you like to see. Austin Deutz and Nathan Deutz both did a heck of a job on the mound tonight. Tauer has had a great year so far. He is a great guy and we know he is going to represent us well. Flock originally played in the Tomahawk League so it’s kinda a going-home thing for him. He has a lot of old friends in that league. They are two great players and we’re hoping they help bring back that title to the Cornbelt League.”

The Milroy Yankees will be back in action on Sunday as they travel to Jackson to face off against the Jackson Bulls. The Granite Falls Kilowatts will also be in action on Sunday as they will host the Wabasso Jaxx.

The first pitch for the Yankees game is 4 p.m. and the first pitch for the Kilowatts is 5 p.m.


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