The Milbank Firechiefs clinched the Eastern Dakota League (EDL) title Sunday afternoon, July 17, at Pribyl Park in Milbank. The Firechiefs clashed with the Volga Cormorants — the top two teams in the EDL — to determine the league champion and No.1-seed at the district tourney.
After a shutout in the first inning, the Firechiefs turned on their offense. Kaden Krause drew a one-out walk and Brady Krause followed him with another walk. Dom Boerger singled to right field to load the bases for Lance Frogner. Frogner was hit by the pitch to get Milbank on the scoreboard with an early 1-0 lead.
Justin Larson kept the momentum going in the bottom of the second with his lead-off walk. Ronnie Krause grounded out to the pitcher, but he gave Larson enough time to steal second and advance to third. K. Krause reached base on an error by the third baseman and the play allowed Larson to make it home. The Firechiefs were up 2-0.
In the bottom of the fourth, Milbank still held their 2-0 lead. Larson again led off with a single and R. Krause moved him to second with a sac bunt. Taylor Boerger scored Larson with a single to left field to push Milbank’s lead to 3-0. K. Krause then singled to left to score T. Boerger and put the Firechiefs up 4-0. B. Krause followed his cousin with a single and D. Boerger hit a sac fly to right to score K. Krause. The Firechiefs were now out in front at 5-0. Milbank added to their lead in the bottom of the fifth. Mitch Quade started the inning with a single and Travis Lester followed him with a bunt to move Quade to second. Quade then scored on a single to center by Larson to give the Firechiefs a comfortable 6-0 lead. Milbank held on for the victory.
D. Boerger earned the win on the mound by going the distance. In seven innings, he allowed only one earned run and struck out 13 batters. Quade and Larson led Milbank’s offense. They recorded two hits each. T. Boerger, K. Krause, B. Krause, and D. Boerger all added one hit apiece. Milbank lost game two of the doubleheader with the final score of 14-2. Lance Frogner led the Firechiefs’ offense with a home run and a double.