Vertigan Leads Milkmen to Fifth Straight Victory
By Jonathan Michel & Hannah McIlree
Franklin, WI – Fresh off arguably the biggest night in Milwaukee sports history, the Milwaukee Milkmen looked to continue their winning ways and take the series from the Chicago Dogs on Wednesday. On National Hot Dog Day, Chicago looked to take advantage of their special day and tie the Milkmen atop the league standings.
Tony Rosselli put the Milkmen on the board in the 2nd inning, which continued his hot streak against his former team. The Milwaukee designated hitter lifted a single to right center and brought Trey Martin, who reached via a two-bagger to center field across the plate. Just 8 days ago, Rosselli slugged two home runs at Impact Field to give the Milkmen a crucial victory.
Milwaukee threatened again in the following inning when Anibal Sierra and Brett Vertigan each singled. Sierra stole second and, following Vertigan’s single, came across to score on a perfectly executed double steal. Following a single from the ever-consistent Logan Trowbridge, Vertigan scored on an Adam Brett Walker II ground ball double play, making it 3-0 Milkmen.
“I haven’t been stealing much this year, my legs are starting to feel a little better and I went and he [Sierra] decided to go,” said Vertigan about his impromptu double steal.
Matt Solter performed outstandingly on the bump for the Milkmen, striking out 7 in his first 4 innings of work. The Milwaukee starter was buoyed by dazzling defensive plays including a line drive snagged by David Washington and a sliding grab from Trey Martin in right field.
“I had command of the fastball really well so I think that set up a lot of off-speed and we were just able to do what we needed to do,” Solter said. With 8 strikeouts on the day, Solter moved to 4th in the American Association in strikeouts.
The Dogs were able to muster a run across in the 4th after back to back doubles by K.C. Hobson and Ryan Lidge but Milwaukee regained their 3-run advantage soon after. Rosselli reached on an error and Christ Conley improbably reached on a bunt single to set the stage for Vertigan, who delivered an RBI double. With the bases loaded in the 4th and two outs, Dogs hurler Garrett Christman wriggled out of a jam to keep their deficit to 3.
Martin led off the bottom of the fifth for the Milkmen, and made it on base for the third time tonight, Aaron Hill followed and doubled. Next, Rosselli loaded the bases with a walk, Sierra looked to send in runs, hitting a sacrifice fly and scoring Martin. Clearing the bases was Vertigan, hitting a triple and making the score 7-1 Milkmen.
“It was nice getting some guys on base and getting a chance for RBI’s. I know I don’t really necessarily care about RBI’s, I’m more of a table setter,” said Vertigan.
Responding to the Milkmen’s three run inning was Chicago Dogs left-fielder Danny Mars, who blasted a home run over the right-field fence and closed the lead to five runs.
Kyle Mora made his debut as a Milkmen in the top of the seventh inning, allowing no runs and recording a strike out.
Neither side would cross home plate for the remainder of the game, leaving the Milkmen up 7-2 and 2-0 in the series.
“Conley was awesome behind the dish tonight and caught a great game. The boys played great defense and it was a fun game to win,” Solter said about the winning effort.
The Milkmen look for a series sweep against the Chicago Dogs Thursday at 6:35 pm.
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