Milbank American Legion Post 9 players were named the 2016 State B baseball Champions! Post 9 captured its first State B baseball title in over a decade with a 10-1 victory over Hartford/Humboldt this afternoon in Webster.
“It was an outstanding tournament,” stated Milbank head coach Ron Krause. “The kids did so well. Starting out the season, we set goals. Last year, the goal was to make it to the state tournament, and we came up short. This year, the goal was to get back to the state tournament. This year the division was a little bit tougher, so they really wanted to win it.”
The 2016 title is just the fourth for Milbank and the second for Coach Krause. Post 9 won the title in 2001 under Krause’s direction. Prior to that, Milbank earned back-to-back titles in 1962 and 1963.
“I knew Vermillion and Hartford/Humboldt, were good teams and would be in the tournament,” said Krause. “We got a good draw, but we had to have big pitching performances. And we did! This is a great group of kids. They hadn’t had real success so this is a quite an achievement for them.”
After an over one-hour delay because of rain, thunder, and lightning, Milbank started out hot in the first inning. Lead-off hitter Brady Krause stepped up to the plate and fired out a single to center field. Tanner Gauer walked to first base before Tristan Hall walked to load the bases up with one out. Jonny Ash’s single to center field scored Krause and Gauer. Hall advanced to third and Ash to second on a Hartford/Humboldt error. Jake Anderson reached second base on another error by the opponent while Hall and Ash each touched home plate to give Post 9 a 4-0 advantage. Brady Gomer singled to right field to score Anderson to further the gap to 5-0.
The teams exchanged runs in the third inning to move the score to 6-1. After three scoreless innings, Milbank got its bats going again. Gomer started things off with two outs. He singled to left field before Mitch Quade got on base off an error. Krause advanced the runners with the help of another Hartford/Humboldt error. Gauer belted out a double to score Gomer and Quade and go ahead 8-1. Krause and Gauer then scored on a single hit by Hall to widen the gap to 10-1. Milbank held on to earn the championship title.
Gauer led the team with two hits, two runs, and two RBIs. Krause had two hits, two runs, and one RBI and Ash added two hits, one run, and two RBIs. Gomer added two hits, one run, and one RBI. Also contributing to the offense for Post 9 were Jacob Jackson and Hall with one hit each.
Brady Krause went the distance on the mound to secure the victory for Post 9. He struck out seven batters and allowed just four hits, no earned runs, and three walks. At the conclusion of the championship, Krause was named the tournament MVP and Legion Player of The Year.
“I just went out there and did my job,” B. Krause said humbly. “I was ready to pitch and go out there and do my best. I’m pumped up. I’m so excited. We set our goals and we met our goals. You can’t ask for any better than going 5-0 in the state tournament. With my grandpa being the coach and winning the state title, earning this award, is icing on the cake.”
Milbank faced Winner/Colome in the opening round of the State Class B American Legion baseball tournament Friday. Post 9 got on the scoreboard first with one run in the second. The locals added three hits in the third and another single run in the fourth to push ahead 5-0. Winner/Colome answered with two runs in the sixth but would not come any closer.
Hall racked up three hits and two RBIs to set the pace for Post 9. Ash and Krause powered off two hits and Gauer, Jackson, Dalton Koch and Quade added one apiece.
A solid effort by Dominic Boerger carried Milbank to the victory. He pitched all nine innings, struck out 13 batters, and allowed only four hits, no earned runs, and three walks.
Milbank took on Redfield in the second round of the tournament and secured a 5-2 victory behind great pitching by B. Krause.
Milbank took an early 1-0 lead after the first inning. Redfield knotted things up at 1-1 in the fourth before Post 9 went ahead 2-1 after five innings of play. Milbank added two more runs in the sixth and Redfield tallied one to move the score to 4-2. Milbank’s last run came in the seventh inning with a line drive to center field by Jackson.
Milbank used a well-rounded offense to collect the win. Krause, Jackson, Koch, Ash, Anderson, and Gomer collected one hit each in the contest.
Krause worked himself out of three tough situations and pitched nine innings. He struck out seven hitters and allowed four hits, no earned runs, and one walk.
Milbank advanced to face Hartford/Humboldt in the third round of play Sunday. Post 9 rolled to a 13-3 victory in eight innings.
The game was highlighted by a big eighth inning for Post 9. Milbank scored five runs on an RBI single by Ash, a two-run double by Boerger, an RBI single by Quade, and an RBI single by Jackson.
Ash led the locals with three hits, three RBIs, and one run. Hall and Quade had two hits each and Krause, Gauer, Jackson, Koch, and Boerger added one apiece.
Hall pitched all eight innings and struck out two batters and allowed nine hits, three runs, and five walks.
Milbank met Vermillion in semi-final action Monday evening and edged out the opponent 2-1. Post 9 scored its two runs in the second inning. Koch started things out with a single to center field. Anderson then doubled to left to score Koch. Boerger hit a single which scored Anderson.
Vermillion came back with one run in the third. With tough pitching by Boerger and a solid defense behind him, Post 9 held on for the victory.
Milbank’s two runs came off six hits in the contest. Gauer, Jackson, Hall, Koch, and Boerger had one hit each in the game.
Boerger went the distance on the mound for Milbank and secured the victory. He struck out 16 batters and allowed six hits, one run, and one walk.
Eight players completed their Legion baseball career in this tournament. Wrapping up their final season were: Brady Krause, Brady Gomer, Dalton Koch, Tristan Hall, Jacob Jackson, Nolan Foss, Riley Van Sambeek, and Dylan Johnson. “I’m gonna miss those guys,” said Coach Krause. “They were the true leaders of this team.”
Milbank 10, Hartford/Humboldt 1 – championship
Milbank 6, Winner/Colome 2 – Game 1
Milbank 5, Redfield 2 – Game 2
Milbank 13, Hartford/Humboldt 3 – Game 3
Milbank 2, Vermillion 1 – Semi-Finals
Milbank American Legion Post 9 pictured with their State Class B championship trophy are back row, left to right, assistant coach Matt Stephans, Nolan Foss, Jacob Jackson, Tanner Gauer, Mitch Quade, Tristan Hall, Jake Anderson, Brady Krause and head coach Ron Krause. Front row, Brady Gomer, Cole Dockter, Jonny Ash, Riley Van Sambeek, Dominic Boerger, Dylan Johnson and Dalton Koch.