Milkmen Hold Off Cougars to Win Series
By Jonathan Michel & Hannah McIlree
Franklin, WI. — The Milwaukee Sweet Teats debuted their new temporary nickname and candy-themed jerseys in style despite overcast skies on Father’s Day.
Ryan Boyer made his first start for the Sweet Teats, after primarily pitching in a long relief role for most of the year. As Boyer retired the first three Kane County Cougars, rain began to fall and it became apparent that the precipitation would become the biggest obstacle of the day.
Adam Brett Walker II struck before any lightning could, hitting a solo home run that carried over the center field fence and giving the Sweet Teats the early advantage. The old adage says lightning never strikes twice, but in this case, it did as designated hitter Christian Correa slugged a home run on the very next at-bat, igniting another crowd of just under 2,000.
“On the first pitch he threw me a fastball up and it had some life on it so I knew I had to get my foot down early to get going and luckily I was able to barrel it and get it up in the jet stream,” Correa said.
The Sweet Teats loaded the bases in the bottom of the second with a Christ Conley walk, Anibal Sierra single and Brett Vertigan reaching by way of a hit by pitch, but Logan Trowbridge grounded into an inning-ending double play.
Kane County had a runner in scoring position in the top of the third when Anfernee Seymour hit a single, stole second, and moved to third on a throwing error by Correa. Milwaukee’s Boyer shut down the inning by forcing a ground out from Kacy Clemens.
As the rain increased, Anibal Sierra of the Sweet Teats legged out a triple to deep down the right field line, scoring a hustling Conley from first and giving the Sweet Teats a 4-0 lead. The Milwaukee catcher originally reached by getting hit by a pitch. Trowbridge gave the Sweet Teats their 4th extra-base hit of the day with a double to left field and came across to score on a single from Walker.
Cats are scared of storms but the Sweet Teats were not as Hill hit the third home run of the outing to start off the bottom of the fifth inning. Liam Scafariello reached on a walk and Sierra continued his hot streak with a single but both were left on base and the inning ended with the Sweet Teats holding a 6-0 advantage..
After a successful outing, Boyer returned to the bullpen and Karch Kowalczyk stepped into the rain. Left fielder Nick Zammarelli was the first to reach base after hitting a single. Gavin Lavalley reached with a walk while Jack Surin and Mitch Reeves hit RBI singles closing the lead to four runs. Sam Baier reached base for the first time of the day on a walk, juicing the bases for Anfernee Seymour who popped out to center field.
Reliever Zach Hartman stepped in for Kowalczyk in the top of the seventh inning. The Cougars came back with strong bats, after lead off Luis Roman walked and Kacy Clemens hit a home run making it 6-4 Milwaukee.
In the top of the 8th inning, Kane County pinch hitter Jeffery Baez hit a triple to center field and Seymour grounded out, but still drove in Baez.
Sierra added to his standout game, hitting a home run to start the bottom of the eighth, making him a double away from the cycle. In his last six games, Sierra has gone 10 for 26 with 2 home runs and 5 RBI.
“All I’ve been really focusing on was just letting the ball get there and trying to put a barrel on it,” Sierra said. “[The team working together] is the most important thing. It means everyone has good results and we’re going to play well.”
The Sweet Teats’ heart rates increased in the top of the ninth when the Cougars’ Kacy Clemens muscled a double to right center field and came home to score on a single from Lavalley off of Milwaukee closer Nate Hadley. As hundreds of kids lined up on the concourse for the postgame candy drop, Hadley struck out Kane County catcher Jack Surin to wrap up a 7-6 victory.
The Milkmen will be at home for the coming week, beginning with a Monday night clash with the Kansas City Monarchs. First pitch will be thrown at 6:35 PM.
Tickets and more info at MilwaukeeMilkmen.com