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The Milan Wildcats baseball squads were back in action after a 10-day layoff, thanks in part to a week of rainy, and soggy field conditions. It is difficult to reach the consistency needed if you are not able to be on the field, especially for a young inexperienced team. This was a busy week, three games in four days, two being Grand Rivers opponents.
The Milan Wildcats traveled to Bethany on Monday, April 12, 2021, to face the South Harrison Bulldogs in a conference battle. Milan capitalized on the Bulldogs hurlers inability to command the strike zone, 21 Wildcat base-on-balls, plus the Wildcat offensive bats came alive. Milan gained their initial conference victory with a dominating 19-7 win.
Ryan Smith was the Milan starter on the bump going the first 2 2/3 innings, allowing 5 runs, 3 earned on 5 hits, 1 walk, 2 hit batters, two of the hits home runs. Ryan struck out 3 batters.
Brady Sayre came in with 2 on, two out in the bottom of the third put out the fire and tossed the remaining 4 innings. Brady used 68 pitches in his stint, gave up 2 runs, both earned, on 4 hits, 1 walk, striking out 6.
Milan got a run in the top of the first. Bryce Sinclair and Mallan Cole singled to open the contest. Bryce advanced on a fielder’s choice and scored on a ground out by Deric Doporto.
South Harrison answered with a tally in the bottom of the first on a single, stolen base, and a Milan error.
The Wildcats never trailed in this one, scoring 4 runs in the top of the second. Three walks loaded the bases as Grayson Smith, Blayton Dibble, and Bryce Sinclair worked the counts. With 2 out, Mallan Cole singled, driving in 2 runs. Ryan Smith singled knocking in 2 runs. Milan led 5-1.
South Harrison scored 2 runs in the bottom half. A lead off homer, a Wildcat error, and 2 singles produced the Bulldog runs. Milan 5, South Harrison 3 after 2 innings.
Milan added a run in the top of the third. Brady Sayre reached on a Bulldog error, Blayton Dibble walked, both advanced via a passed ball, and Brady scored on a sacrifice fly by Jeremy Bennett. Two runs by the Bulldogs in the bottom of the inning made it a one run contest 6-5.
The fourth inning was the game changer. Milan sent 13 hitters to the plate, scoring 9 runs to put the game out of reach. The Wildcats had but 4 hits in the 9 run inning, and the 2 were from the first 2 batters. Ryan Smith singled and rode home on a long home run from Deric Doporto. Two walks and an error loaded the bases with 1 out. Axel Pagan and Bryce walked, forcing in a run apiece. Mallan Cole came through with a base clearing double, followed by a run scoring single by Ryan Smith. Milan 15 and South Harrison 5.
The Bulldogs put up 2 runs in the bottom of the fourth, making the score 15-7.
Jeremy Bennett led off the fifth with a walk, stole second, and scored on a 2 base Bulldog error, 16-7.
Milan tallied 3 more insurance runs in the top of the seventh. Axel, and Mallan walked with one out. Ryan Smith brought both in with a double. Deric and Brady walked loading the bases. With 2 out, Blayton walked bringing in the last run.
Great 19-7 victory!
Ryan led Milan with 4 hits, 1 a key double, scored 3 runs, and drove in 5; Mallan 3 hits, 1 a key bases clearing double, scored 3 runs, drove in 5 Wildcats, and walked once; Deric 1 hit, a 2-run homer, scored one run, drove in 3 runs, 1 sacrifice, and walked 3 times;
Bryce had 1 hit, scored 3 runs, drove in 1 run, and walked 3 times; Blayton scored twice, drove in 1 run, and walked 5 times; Jeremy drove in 2 runs, scored twice, a sacrifice fly, walked twice, and stole a base; Axel scored twice, drove in a run, walked 3 times, and stole a base; Grayson Smith scored twice, and walked twice; Brady Sayre scored 1 time and walked twice.