MILKMEN STIFLE SAINTS 3-1 IN EXTRA INNINGS
Milkmen Stifle Saints 3-1 in Extra Innings
Tonight's battle in Sioux Falls, SD featured the top hitting team so far in the American Association against the top pitching team as the St. Paul Saints and their collective .832 OPS met up with the Milwaukee Milkmen and their 3.64 team ERA. The pitching won out this evening as runs were at a premium throughout the contest, which wound up going to extra innings.
Milwaukee and St. Paul traded zeroes for each of the first five innings. Dylan Baker made his second start of the season for the Milkmen and worked four scoreless frames, allowing just one hit and two walks with three strikeouts. He threw 58 pitches before getting lifted in favor of Zach Hartman in the fifth.
The dam finally broke in the sixth inning, with Milwaukee getting on the board first against Saints starter Mike Devine. Brett Vertigan hit a one-out single and moved up to third base when Dylan Tice lined a single of his own. Up came Mason Davis, who worked Devine for an 11-pitch at-bat before lofting a fly ball to right field. It was deep enough to score Vertigan from third, and the sacrifice fly put the Milkmen ahead 1-0.
Hartman stranded runners in the fifth and sixth innings before pitching a perfect seventh and handed the ball off to AJ Schugel for the eighth. He worked around a walk to post another zero, and the Milkmen would enter the bottom of the ninth with a 1-0 lead. Karch Kowalczyk was called upon for the save opportunity but immediately found trouble. He walked Chesny Young to lead off the inning and then served up a booming double to Chris Chinea off the center field wall. Young scampered around to score and tie the game at one run apiece. Karch buckled down after that, however, striking out the next two batters then inducing a 3-1 groundout to send the game to extras.
Milwaukee's offense took advantage of some sloppy defense by St. Paul behind Paul Voelker in the top of the 10th. Back-to-back errors put Aaron Hill and Vertigan on base to begin the frame, and a Tice groundout moved them up to second and third. Once again, Mason Davis came through with a sacrifice fly, this one to medium left field that allowed the speedy Hill to score and break the tie. Zach Nehrir would add an RBI single two batters later to tilt things even further towards the Milkmen, 3-1.
Peyton Gray came out for the save chance in the bottom of the 10th and struck out the first two batters he faced before ending the ballgame on a shallow fly ball to right field. Gray has now thrown 5.2 scoreless innings across six appearances, with two hits and three walks allowed versus 11 strikeouts.
The win is Milwaukee's third in a row and at 8-4, they are just a half-game back of the top spot on the circuit. They'll face St. Paul in game two of the series tomorrow night, with first pitch scheduled for 6:05 PM.
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The Milkmen are in the Sioux Falls hub to face the St. Paul Saints. To watch the games, click here. A full season subscription can be purchased for $19.99.
The Milkmen are back at Franklin Field Tuesday, July 21st as they host the Chicago Dogs at 6:35 pm.
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