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Baseball returns to Millerville

Millerville’s Zach Carlson tracks down a fly ball in center field during the fifth inning of the Millers’ game against Sauk Centre on Sunday afternoon. Carlson and his teammates won 6-3 in their debut after Millerville was out of amateur baseball for a decade. (Blaze Fugina/Echo Press)

With many of its baseball players unable to find roster spots on area teams in previous years, the Millerville Millers were happy to return to the Resorters amateur baseball league after a decade-long absence on Sunday.

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A season-opening victory was an added bonus. The Millers’ return to the league was a successful one in a 6-3 win over Sauk Centre in Millerville. Aaron Lund picked up the win on the mound by tossing five innings of scoreless baseball as the Millers made the most of five hits by drawing six walks.

“I thought overall we hit the ball pretty good, decently for the first game at least,” said Dan Schaffer, co-manager of the Millers.

Center fielder Zach Carlson, third baseman Schaffer and right fielder Craig Campbell picked up one RBI each as the Millers also took advantage of some Titans errors and misplays in the field. The difference in the ballgame was in the third inning as Millerville scored three runs and nearly batted through the entire order.

“We took the advantages that they gave us and made with what we got,” Carlson said.

Even though they started the season off with a win, the Millers have not set many goals for wins and losses. The Millers originally decided to form a team after many of their players struggled to find playing time on the other veteran rosters in the Resorters baseball league.

They will spend the first months just shaking the rust off as many of the Millers have not played baseball in a few seasons.

“We just are expecting to have fun,” Schaffer said. “If we win some games, that’s a bonus.”

With the exception of two players, the entire roster graduated from either Brandon or Evansville high schools. This has created a sense of familiarity for the team’s players.

“Everybody here played together, pretty much,” Lund said.

Even though the team is brand new, the Millers had no problem finding players to fill the roster. Schaffer said the roster filled up quickly and he received many additional requests in the offseason from people who want to join the roster. Some of those had to be turned down as there are only so many spots on the roster.

“I have 18, 19, 20 guys now,” Schaffer said. “And if you have more than 20 you’re sitting there, how the (heck) are you going to play everyone?”

The players spent last fall fixing up the aging Millerville baseball field with the help of a grant from the Minnesota Twins Community Fund. The field is unlike most in the area, with a high fence in left field sitting just 270 feet from home plate.

With all the work getting the field in playing shape and filling the roster finally completed, the Millers were happy to finally get out on the field.

“We’ve been practicing probably like two or three weeks now,” Schaffer said. “We’ve been throwing in the gym for some pitching for probably a month-and-a-half now.”

The Millers’ next game is scheduled for 2 p.m. on Sunday, May 11 in Millerville against the Carlos Cougars.


SAUK CENTRE 000 002 001 – 3 8 3

MILLERVILLE 003 010 20x – 6 5 2

MILLERVILLE PITCHING – Lund – W, 5IP, 7K, 2BB, 4H, 0R, 0ER; Satterlie – 3IP, 2K, 1BB, 3H, 2R, 1ER; Schaffer – 1IP, 0K, 0BB, 1H, 1R, 0ER

MILLERVILLE OFFENSE – Zach Carlson – 1-4, 2 runs, 2B, BB, RBI; Trent Hintermeister – 0-4, run, SB; Jason Sieling – 0-1; Dan Schaffer – 2-5, 2SB, RBI; Aaron Lund – 0-2, BB; Mitch Anderson – 0-0, BB, run; Craig Campbell – 1-1, run, SB, 2BB, RBI; Nolan Bartholomew – 0-3, HBP; Shawn Koep – 0-2; Tom Bosek – 0-0, BB; Brandt Bitzan – 0-2; Brandon Christianson – 0-2; John Huisman – 0-1, HBP, run; Blake Satterlie – 1-2

Blaze Fugina

Blaze Fugina is the sports editor of the Woodbury and South Washington County Bulletin newspapers. Previously, Blaze worked as a sports editor for the Pierce County Herald and a sports reporter for the Alexandria Echo Press. He graduated from the University of Wisconsin-River Falls in May of 2011. You can follow Blaze on Twitter at @BlazeFugina.

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