Yankees blank Saints

MILROY ? The Milroy Yankees only needed eight innings to dispatch of Corn Belt League opponent Sacred heart Wednesday in Milroy.

TheYankees put together a solid all-around performance on the diamond, shutting out the Saints 10-0.

While Yankee ace Nathan Deutz pitched a 2-hitter on the mound, squashing Sacred Heart’s offense, teammate Micah Gronli led the team from the plate. Gronli went 2-for-4 with a double and four RBI for Milroy.

“I felt really good up at the plate,” Gronli said. “It was a good night to play ball and I think everybody was seeing the ball well tonight.”

Gronli also paced the team in the field, where the Yankees only committed one error.

“We played really good defense,” Gronli said. “Everything just kind of came together tonight.”

Milroy started to rally offensively in the bottom of the third, collecting four runs on five hits. Chris Verdoes and Brian Dolan jumpstarted the inning with back-to-back singles. After Matt Bauer drew a walk, Josh Hadley drove in the first run of the night with of single of his own.

Gronli then blasted a two-RBI double deep to right-center. Aaron Mathiowetz followed up with an RBI single to put Milroy up 4-0.

“We’ve went through games where we’ve hit well, but maybe some errors cost us,” Yankees manager Ryan Rohlik said. “We’ve seen it all, literally this year. We’re at that point where we need to keep grinding and that’s what we did tonight. We started to take advantage of opportunities in the third and tacked some more on in the fourth. Overall, I think it was a good performance and league win for us.”

The Yankees added three more runs in the fourth inning after recording two additional hits. Dolan got on via a walk, and followed by a single from Bauer and a hit-by-pitch at bat for Andy Schmidt, Dolan scored on a passed ball. Gronli cleaned up with two more RBI before the Saints were able to close out the inning.

“After a little bit of a slow start, everybody kind of found their bats,” Gronli said. “And Nathan pitched a heck of a game. He’s been throwing really well lately. Hopefully we can all keep all that up.”

Deutz gave up two hits and struck out 12 batters on 96 pitches thrown.

“I was feeling good on the mound,” Deutz said. “I felt like I had good strength. We threw a lot of fastballs. That’s the way Matt and I typically like to work. We don’t throw curveballs until we have to.”

Deutz was in control the entire game and didn’t even allow a single walk in the contest.

“The main thing was that I wanted to throw strikes,” he said. “The last couple of games, I think I had one walk each time. But I didn’t want to walk anyone tonight. That was my goal.”

Deutz is optimistic that the win will spark a winning streak for the team.

“It’s nice to win against good teams,” Deutz said. “Normally the Saints are a good-hitting team. They’ve had about the same guys forever. It was nice to get a win against them because we’ve kind of struggled so far this year. In general, we’ve had trouble getting wins. But this puts us close to .500 in the league. It’s not where we are usually at, but there’s a lot of room to go from here.”

Milroy put up two more runs in the fifth, behind a single from Darrick Allpress and back-to-back sacrifice flies from Dolan and Bauer. The final run pushed the team to victory in the bottom of the seventh. Bauer opened the inning with a double to left-center and Colton Peterson closed out the game with an RBI double.

“We kind of blew some chances in the beginning, and with the way the season has been going, it would be easy to get down on yourself,” Rohlik said. “I was happy with Nathan because he’s really set the tone for us out there. He leads by example. Micah has been out for the last three or four games with a thumb injury so it was great to have him back. It was big for him to step up like that.”

Bauer finished the game going 2-for-2 with two walks and a sacrifice, while Dolan was 1-for-2 with two walks and a sacrifice. Peterson went 1-for-1, while Josh Hadley was 2-for-3 with a walk.

The Yankees (5-8, 3-4 Corn Belt) continue action Friday at Fairfax.

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Hitting: Sacred Heart (Trent Novotny 1-for-3; Ryan Hebrink 1-for-3) Milroy (Micah Gronli 2-for-4, four RBI, double; Matt Bauer 2-for-2, two RBI, double, two walks, two runs; Josh Hadley 2-for-3, run; Brian Dolan 1-for-3, RBI, 1-for-3; Chris Verdoes 1-for-4, run; Darrick Allpress 1-for-4, run).

Pitching (IP-H-R-ER-BB-SO): Milroy (Nathan Deutz 7-2-0-0-0-12; Matt Bauer 1-0-0-0-0-2) Sacred Heart (Ryan Fransen 4-7-7-5-6; Matt Koenen 1-2-2-1-0-1; Jeremy Hinderks 2-0-0-0-0-3; Trent Novotny 1-2-1-1-0-0).