Milaca defeated St. Francis 10-7 Wednesday night at Howard Solheim Veterans Field in Princeton to remain alive in the double-elimination North End District 10 Legion Baseball Playoff.
Milaca will play Cambridge today (Thursday, July 19) at Princeton at 5 p.m. in the double-elimination tourney. The winner of that game will face North Branch at 8 o’clock tonight.
North Branch trimmed Milaca 13-2 Monday night in the first round at North Branch.
After Milaca scored a run in the top of the first inning, North Branch scored seven runs in the second inning, one run in the third and four more in the fourth to take a 12-1 lead.
“North Branch hit the ball very well,” said Milaca Coach Bart Naumann. “We hit pretty well but we couldn’t string our hits together and left six baserunners in scoring position.
“Until this game our young team has been very competitive.”
Milaca was scheduled to continue play in the double-elimination tournament Wednesday night against either Princeton or St. Francis at 5 p.m. at Princeton.
Travis Bertram had a pair of singles Monday while Brandon Kiel, Mike McLouth, Justin Fransen, Bob Peterson and Zip Ploeger each had a single.
Fransen pitched the distance, allowing 13 hits and four walks over six innings. He struck out four.
On Friday, St. Francis tipped Milaca 5-4 at Milaca in the final game of the regular season. The second game of the scheduled doubleheader was rained out.
Milaca scored three runs in the bottom of the third inning to take an early lead before St. Francis went ahead with three runs in the fourth inning and a run in the fifth. Milaca tied the game at 4-4 with a run in the seventh inning but St. Francis scored the winning run in the eighth.
It was the seventh game Milaca has lost by one run this season.
Brandon Kiel pitched the distance, allowing seven hits and six walks while fanning six.
He led Milaca’s offense with a double. Brian Kiel, Peterson and Matt VanSomeren each added a single.
“We played well but not quite well enough,” said Naumann.
On Thursday, July 12, Cambridge tipped Milaca 5-4 at Milaca.
Brian Kiel went 3-for-4 with a double and two singles to lead Milaca’s offense. Brandon Kiel had two singles while McLouth, Bertram, Jorgen Erickson and Hunter Foss each had a single.
VanSomeren pitched the distance, allowing six hits and four walks over seven innings. He struck out two.
“Once again, we had a chance to win a close game,” said Naumann. “But, we needed another key hit or two.”
On Tuesday, July 10, Chisago Lakes edged Milaca 6-5 at CL.
Trailing 6-3, Milaca rallied for two runs in the top of the seventh inning but the rally fell short.
Fransen, who pitched the distance, and McLouth each had two singles to pace Milaca’s offense. Brian Kiel, Brandon Kiel, Bertram and VanSomeren each had a single.