NY Mills takes 3rd place at State Babe Ruth Tourney
The semi-final matchup between New York Mills and Dassel-Cokato got off to a rough start for NY Mills.
Down 5-1 in the first inning a pitching change and a welcome 45-minute rain delay changed the course of what was beginning to look like a potential blowout. Dassel-Cokato would eventually win 10-7, but not before a scare was put into the Chargers by the boys from Mills.
"This year I had a team that never gave up, even when we were down by more than a run or two," said Head Coach Greg Esala. "We came back many times and I'm proud of the season this young team had."
Tucker Skoblik took to the mound in relief of Damon Tumberg. Skoblik stopped the bleeding and retired the Chargers the next three innings. In the third, he fanned Eric Monson and Dean Kivisto before inducing Brandon Johnson to pop to foul ground on the third base side to retire the Chargers in order.
Skoblik, along with Tumberg, would score in the top of the fourth to cut the Charger lead to 5-3. Momentum had switched dugouts and the D-C three-headed coaching staff made mention of it more than once to their team.
NY Mills would tie the score in the fifth Evan Perala and Dustin Gaudette would score. Tumberg again made an impact with an RBI.
Heads were low in the D-C dugout and there was a lot of chatter coming from the Mills side of the field.
D-C would answer in the bottom half with a pair of runs. The momentum seemed to be teeter tottering between the dugouts and the boys from Mills would let go and slam D-C to the ground in the sixth.
Down 7-5, Mills had another rally in them. Gabe Stafki and Devin Fischer would reach on walks. Fischer battled at the plate to get his free pass. The duo would score to tie the game on consecutive wild pitches.
The dogfight ended in the sixth, when the Chargers used some aggressive base running to score three runs and put the game away.
The NY Mills path to the semi-finals saw the team go undefeated through the winner's bracket to the semis.
In the first game, NY Mills tallied a run in every inning but the sixth hanging onto a 6-4 win over Melrose. Tumberg scored two runs and Gaudette got the win. Skoblik mopped up the final two batters for the save. NY Mills moves on to play Crookston at 4:45 p.m. today (Thursday, July 29) on Matt's Field.
In game two, NY Mills won a scoring festival 17-14 on Matt's Field over Crookston. Down 8-0 at one point, Mills stormed back. Crookston would inch within a run in the fifth, 13-12, but four runs in the bottom half, highlighted by Micah Esala's two RBI single put the remaining runs up for Mills and they held on for the 17-14 win.
Next up NY Mills met a fellow undefeated Perham squad and pounded Perham 13-4 to advance in the winner's bracket of the tournament. Skoblik retired 10 straight Perham batters and Tumberg held Perham at bay pitching the final two innings.
The Mills nine got down early and any attempt at a comeback fell short, as they took their first loss 11-5 to Albany in the winner's bracket semi-finals. Tumberg was 2-4 at the plate and scored two runs. The loss sent NY Mills to the loser's bracket to face off against Dassel-Cokato for a shot at the championship game versus Albany.
Albany would take the Babe Ruth In-Tact State title with a 10-1 victory over Dassel-Cokato.