A dramatic walk-off grand slam from Brian Kiel sealed a 6-2 victory in the bottom of the seventh in game two of a doubleheader against North Branch in Milaca on July 1.
“I told Brian to get a good swing on the ball to get a sac fly to score Foss,” Naumann said. “That worked pretty well since the ball went out of the park, and we had our first walk off of the year.”
Kiel also had a single in the game. First baseman Wyatt Foss scored the game-winning run. Justin Fransen earned the victory by pitching a scoreless top of the seventh. He also added a single and a double at the plate. Matt VanSomeren pitched six innings, allowing two runs on four hits.
“It was well played by both teams,” Naumann said. “The bottom of the order really picked it up for us.”
Milaca also won the first game of the doubleheader 6-3, with Kiel playing a big role in that game as well.
Kiel pitched a complete game and allowed just three runs on four hits and struck out eight. He also added a 2-for-4 night at the dish with a single and a double. Fransen also had a single and a double.
“We had good at bats, and finally were getting some timely hits to push runs across,” Naumann said. ‘We had runners in scoring position in each inning, and only struck out twice in the game.”
However, the whole week was not all good news as Milaca was swept in a doubleheader on June 30 in St. Francis.
St. Francis won game one 4-0 as Milaca was unable to get a hit.
“Being no-hit a couple times during the season isn’t the end of the world,” Naumann said. “It’s happened in years past and will happen in the future.”
VanSomeren pitched well despite being tagged with the loss. He went the distance and allowed four runs on five hits.
“Matt pitched well enough to win and we didn’t give him any run support,” Naumann said. “The offense has been very anemic.”
Game two did not go much better as St. Francis again used an early lead to win 8-1. St. Francis scored five runs in the first inning to pace themselves to victory. Fransen took the loss on the hill as he allowed six earned runs in 3.2 innings pitched. Ian Carpenter pitched 3.1 innings of relief and allowed just one run on one hit.
Mason Hoskins, Kiel, Fransen and Raliegh Millar each had singles in the loss.
“We left four guys in scoring position with less than two outs and that hurts,” Naumann said. “However, we’re starting to work hard at the plate, and getting deep in the count.”
After the week, Naumann feels like the team may be beginning to get it.
“I feel like it’s starting to come together,” Naumann said. “The first four to five games are always experimental, to try and get people in their right place and to learn.”
Milaca is now 2-4 overall on the season.