Merik Junker blasted off three homeruns in the Firechiefs’ game on the road against Castlewood on Sunday, July 2. Junker, the youngest player on the Milbank team, went 4-7 with 6 RBIs, but the Firechiefs were edged out by the Monarchs 17-16 in a match-up full of fireworks.
Mitch Quade got Milbank’s offense started in the top of the second. He led off with a single to center. Merik Junker and Brady Femling each followed with a single to load the bases. Tyler Krause reached on a fielder’s choice to score Quade and Junker. It was all tied up at 2-2.The Monarchs added four runs to take the lead at 6-2, but Milbank’s Brady Krause launched a solo homerun to left field to put another scratch in the scoring column for the Firechiefs.
Milbank also pushed a run across in the fourth when Femling reached first on an error, stole second and third, and took it to the barn on a single to left by T. Krause. The scoreboard moved to 6-4.In the top of the fifth, B. Krause reached on an error, and Junker hit his first of three homeruns to left. The Firechiefs pulled closer at 8-6. Milbank momentarily held the lead in the top of the sixth by putting up six runs. T. Krause reached on an error and Mikey Karges and Taylor Boerger each hit a bunt single to load the bases. Kaden Krause then tied the game at 8-8 with a two-RBI single to center to score T. Krause and Karges. B. Krause singled to left to bring home Boerger and give the Firechiefs a 9-8 lead.
Junker’s second homer of the day came on another shot to left field. He also scored K. Krause and B. Krause and pushed Milbank’s lead to 12-8.Castlewood had regained the lead at 16-12 by the seventh inning, when Boerger hit a two-out single and K. Krause followed with a walk. Hoeke loaded the bases with a single to left. Boerger scored on a wild pitch to inch the Firechiefs closer at 16-13. The Monarchs added one to their total to make it 17-13.
Milbank chipped away at the deficit in the eighth. Junker hit his third homerun of the afternoon on a solo shot to left field to put the score at 17-14. T. Krause then reached on an error, and Karges scored him with a single to right field. The Firechiefs trailed by just two at 17-15.In the top of the ninth, Milbank got close — oh, so close– Femling hit a sacrifice fly to score Hoeke and threaten the Monarchs at 17-16, but that run ended their scoring rally and the game.