MILROY - Six runs in the sixth inning powered the Milroy Yankees to a 7-2 victory over the Raymond Rockets Friday night and into sole possession of first place in the Corn Belt League.
Following a three-up, three-down top of the sixth with two strike-outs from pitcher Nathan Deutz, and down 2-1, the Yankees' offensive surge began with a Matt Bauer single. The Yankees added six more singles in the inning, moving their teammates over one base at a time.
After a single from center-fielder Andy Schmidt tied the game, first-baseman Josh Hadley knocked in Justin Schlemmer for the go-ahead run. Schmidt and Schlemmer both finished the night 3-for-4 for the Yankees (4-0 Corn Belt, 6-0 overall).
Photo by Travis Andries
Milroy Yankees pitcher Nathan Deutz gets ready to deliver a throw in the early innings of the team’s Corn Belt League game against Raymond Friday night in Milroy.
Once gaining the lead, pitchers Nathan and Austin Deutz ensured that the Yankees would not concede again. The Rockets (3-1, 7-3) managed only one base-runner over the final three innings. Nathan Deutz struck out seven over eight innings while giving up two runs on five hits and three walks. His younger brother, Austin, closed out the game for the Yankees with a 1-2-3 ninth.
Despite the final tally, the opening half of the game looked to be telling a different story for the Yankees. Before the sixth inning, the Yankees were having a hard time settling in to all aspects of the game. Trouble on the base paths ended both the fourth and fifth innings for the Yankees prematurely.
"It's only our sixth game," said Yankees manager Ryan Rohlik on the base-running miscues of his team. "Guys get antsy. They have to trust in their speed."
The early batting struggles for the Yankees are also easy to understand. It's not every day you face a 6-foot-8 right-hander. Rockets pitcher Tyler Knott had stymied Yankee batters prior to the sixth inning, giving up one run before the bats came alive.
"Tyler's a good pitcher. It took us a while to catch up to him," Rohlik said. "Our guys started taking him the other way later on."
Even Yankee starter Nathan Deutz had a few hiccups in the early going.
"Sometimes when you play the Raymond's, the Sacred Heart's, the Marshalls', you want to be too fine," Rohlik said about his starter. "But Nate did a heck of a job. He battled and that's who Nate is."
With first place in hand, the Yankees next take on Corn Belt League foe Sacred Heart Sunday in Milroy.
Raymond 001 100 000-2 5 3
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R-Tyler Knott, Jordan Smith (6), Jason Meyer (7). M-Nathan Deutz, Austin Deutz (9). WP-N. Deutz. LP-Knott.