Eagles clinch Park Region Conference title with games to spare
NEW YORK MILLS -- The No. 4-ranked Eagles (10-0) swept Pillager at home Tuesday to clinch the outright Park Region Conference title and continue their perfect season with an overall record of 14-0.
NY Mills had a less than stellar first game, but a 5-2 victory clinched the conference title.
"It's hard to say when you're (undefeated), but we haven't hit well all year," Assistant Coach Tim Kupfer said.
That may have been a tongue-in-cheek statement or, by the score of the nightcap, a bit of motivation to his players.
The Eagles trounced the Huskies 21-2 in a statement game to the remainder of the conference and what will soon by section playoff foes.
The victory was the largest of the season for the Eagles and the most runs scored since the season-opening 19-1 wallop of Brandon-Evansville.
The Eagles sent Brandon-Evansville packing from the section playoffs last year on their run to the 6A title, which included two victories in the playoffs over Frazee to eliminate the Hornets.
In what will easily be the biggest game of the Eagles season, NY Mills travels to No. 10 Frazee (13-3) Monday, May 21 for a 4:30 p.m. showdown.
Before that game, the Eagles host Section-6A North rival Lake Park-Audubon (6-6) on Friday, May 18.
In game one of the Pillager sweep, Shane Novak and Tyler Patron had two hits each. Novak scored twice, as did Adam Patron.
Kyle Vorderbruggen crossed the plate in the second inning to break a 1-1 tie. Novak came around in the fourth inning with the game winner.
The Eagles punched nine hits into the field to score their five runs.
Adam Snelgrove allowed just six hits to Pillager, two runs, one earned, while fanning 11 and walking none.
The offensive numbers ballooned in game two's 21-2 blowout.
Pillager scored once in the first and once in the third to mirror their game one output.
The Eagles, well, they pounded 15 hits to give starter Brandon Kupfer plenty of comfort on the hill.
Kupfer duplicated the feat set by Snelgrove in striking out double-digit opponents for the second straight game. Kupfer faced only 21 batters and struck out 10. He issued no bases-on-balls and allowed two earned runs.
Shortstop Maison Roberts had a huge 4-5 day at the plate, scoring all four times he reached base.
Novak was 2-5 scoring thrice.
The top four in the lineup, Novak, Adam Patron, Kupfer and Roberts totaled 13 of the Eagles' 21 runs.
Kupfer had a patient day at the plate reaching four times via walk.
NY Mills holds to top spot in Section 6A-North with a record of 9-0. The Eagles are the top scoring team in 6A averaging 9.6 runs per game, while allowing only 1.6 runs per game.
Their 10-0 Park Region Conference record has opened a five-game lead over both Pillager and Parkers Prairie (5-5).