Strong pitching boosts Legion team

Strong pitching performances by Brian Kiel and Matt VanSomeren carried Milaca’s Legion baseball team to a pair of victories last week.

Kiel stymied Chisago Lakes on one hit as Milaca scored a 4-3 win Tuesday, June 18, at Milaca. He walked six and struck out 13.

Milaca scored the winning run in the bottom of the seventh inning Hunter Foss singled, Mike Garber walked and Mike McLouth singled to load the bases for VanSomeren, who drove home Foss with a single.

Three of Milaca’s four hits came in the bottom of the seventh inning.

“Any time you win in the bottom of the last inning it’s exciting,” said Milaca Manager Bart Naumann. “Brian pitched very well and we got him the runs he needed.”

VanSomeren held Cambridge in check in a 4-2 victory in the first game of a doubleheader Thursday, June 20, at Cambridge. He allowed just two hits and one walk while striking out eight.

Milaca scored its runs on four hits, five walks and a pair of stolen bases.

Kiel rapped a pair of singles while Hunter Johnson and McLouth each had a single.

“Matt came through with another strong performance and we gave him good support,” said Naumann.

Cambridge topped Milaca 9-1 in the second game.

Justin Fransen pitched the first four innings, allowing four runs and just two hits while walking four. Johnson allowed five runs, three hits and three walks over the final three innings.

Foss, McLouth, Jorgen Erickson and Mason Hoskins each had a single.

“Our pitching was a little shaky in this one,” said Naumann. “We left five runners on base in scoring position and that didn’t help.”

Mora tipped Milaca 1-0 Monday night at Mora.

Kiel was charged with the loss despite allowing just three hits and one base on balls while striking out eight.

McLouth, Ian Carpenter, Zack Streff and Garber each had a single.

“Pitching from both teams doesn’t get any better than this,” said Naumann. “No matter the outcome, this was a great game.”

Milaca, 4-4, hosts North Branch Tuesday, July 2, at 6:30 p.m.