The 14U VFW Milbank Junior Teeners played in the Class A Northeast Region Tournament held in Northville during the weekend of July 17. Milbank fell to Redfield 7-3 in Game 1, defeated Volga 12-0 in Game 2, and was defeated by Madison 9-4 in their third and final game.
In Game 1, Milbank’s offense got off to an early start. Milbank loaded the bases twice in the first two innings, and finally cracked the score column in the top of the third.
Joe Schulte led the inning with a triple to the right field wall. Schulte scored when Mason Meister singled to left field for the first run of the game. Meister stole second and advanced to third after a passed ball. Carter Gloe followed with a single to left field to take the score to 2-0 in favor of Milbank.
Milbank then found themselves trailing 3-2 going into the top of the fourth. But, they battled back to tie it up when Jayce Jonason singled to centerfield and later came around to score when Joe Schulte singled for the second time. Redfield, however, scored one run in the bottom of the fourth and three in the bottom of the fifth to defeat Milbank 7-3.
Josh Pederson had quite the afternoon at the plate and on the mound. He pitched all six innings, struck out eight batters, and allowed only four earned runs. Pederson also added two hits and a stolen base to his stat line in Game 1. Schulte recorded three hits and one RBI, and Jonason contributed two hits and two stolen bases.
In Game 2, blistering bats kept Milbank on a roll. After the first four batters of the game walked to make the score 1-0, Owen Tesch singled to bring in Jayce Jonason.
Milbank continued to draw walks and get hit by pitches to bump the score up to 6-0 at the end of the first inning. Carter Gloe knocked in Joe Schulte in the bottom of the second to make it 7-0. Caleb Pillatzki scored Gloe after he roped a line drive to left field to make it 8-0.
Milbank added three more runs in the bottom of the third to take the score to a comfortable 11-0: Schulte singled to center field to score Jonason. Jonason had reached base on a walk. Mason Meister doubled to the left-center gap to bring Owen Tesch home and increase Milbank’s lead to 10-0. Tesch had reached base on a fielder’s choice. Meister scored when Carter Gloe singled to left field.
Milbank added one more run in the bottom of the fourth to make the score 12-0: Josh Pederson tripled to left field to score Caleb Pillatzki. Pilatzki had reached base after being hit by a pitch.
The game ended after the top of the fifth when the 10-run mercy rule was invoked.
Schulte earned the win on the mound. He pitched 4 2/3 innings before running out of pitches. He recorded eight strikeouts in the shutout. Gloe led Milbank’s offense with two hits and two RBIs.
In Game 3, Milbank found themselves in a win-or-go-home situation. It took a while, but Joe Schulte gave the offense the jumpstart they needed in the fourth. Schulte hit a one-out triple and later scored on a sacrifice fly from Owen Tesch during the next at-bat.
Milbank added one more run in the bottom of the fifth when Carter Gloe singled to left field. He scored when Pederson grounded out to the second baseman.
Milbank scored two runs in the bottom of the sixth to take the score to 5-4: Joe Schulte singled to center field and scored during the next at-bat when Tesch doubled on a line drive to left field. Tesch came around later to score on a passed ball.
Schulte led Milbank’s offense with two hits and two runs scored. Tesch contributed one hit and two RBIs.
Milbank finished their season 16-16. Their coach, Brady Femling, stated, “I’m very proud of our guys and how far they’ve come this season. They made a huge jump in skill level from the year before. They were a great team to coach in my first season, and I am looking forward to coming back next summer to coach this group again.”