Irish secure sweep

MARSHALL – Tyler Peterson was effective over 7 1/3 innings while teammate Dominic Dolan scored four runs and stole four bases in an 8-4 win for the Milroy Irish over the Martin County Foxes Friday night at Legion Field.

Dolan’s third run scored of the game, coming off a single by Peterson, proved to be the winning run for the Irish, who swept their opening round series of the First Nite/Gopher League playoffs 2-0 over the Foxes.

Thanks to the win, the Irish find themselves in the midst of a seven-game unbeaten streak with Dolan featuring as a constant catalyst during the stretch.

“He is on fire right now. He’s probably batting over .600 in the last seven games,” Irish manager Bob Dolan said. “He gets on base and then Peterson knocks him in every time. He gets on base, steals a base and then (Peterson) brings him in. That was the key tonight. Dominic had an awesome night and that was huge.”

Two of Dolan’s runs, in the first and the seventh innings, came off of base hits by Peterson. Dolan also scored in both the third and eighth innings as ground balls off the bat of Peterson resulted in errors after squirting under the glove of Martin County shortstop Nick Sandberg.

For the game Dolan finished 3-for-4 with a walk, four runs and four stolen bases. Peterson was 2-for-5 with two RBIs and two runs of his own.

Aaron Antony and Derek Riley were each 3-for-4 for the Irish, with Antony driving in two runs and Riley clubbing a double.

Peterson started on the mound for Milroy, scattering eight hits over 7 1/3 innings pitched. He struck out four batters and ultimately picked up the win. Key to his success on Friday was preventing the timely hit for the Foxes, while working out of jams in the second and fourth innings.

“I think (Peterson) did a nice job, he was mixing it up really well,” Dolan said. “And (Martin County) is a good hitting team, too. They battled hard, but I thought he did a nice job and we made some nice defensive plays in the infield. Dom had a diving stop at shortstop, but I thought (Peterson) did a nice job for us.”

Cody Mather relieved Peterson in the eighth with two on and one out, but allowed just one run. Milroy got the run back in the bottom half of the inning to take an 8-4 lead into the ninth.

Martin County loaded the bases off of Mather in the ninth with one out, and with the tying run at the plate the Irish went back to bullpen. Clay Ellis was called on to close out the game, inducing a fly ball to shallow right before striking out Sandberg to end the game. In total, the Foxes stranded 12 men on the base paths, included six from the seventh inning on.

The Irish, on the other hand, cashed in on 12 hits (11 singles) and stranded seven runners.

“A lot of singles for us, a lot of stealing bases and a lot of bunts. This is our seventh straight win so we’re feeling pretty confident right now,” Dolan said. “Even when we get down, we’re still pretty confident.”

Milroy trailed briefly on Friday, falling behind 2-1 after a two-run top of the second for Martin County. The Irish scored twice in the third to regain the lead, while the Foxes knotted the game back up at 3-3 in the fifth as Jon Traetow came around to score after belting a two-out double.

Traetow finished the game 3-for-4 with three doubles, while Steve Zehms was 3-for-4 as well with two RBIs. Zehms also pitched for Martin County, going the distance and taking the loss.

A run in the sixth and three in the seventh put the Irish up four before the two teams traded runs in the eighth.

Milroy advances to the second round of the First Nite/Gopher League playoffs, though its opponent is yet to be determined. Regardless the Irish are looking to keep doing as they have been and hope that momentum stays on their side.

“Really the key is playing good defense and to keep on hitting the ball,” Dolan said. “We’re having fun. You win seven in a row and we just need to keep the momentum rolling.”