The Pios, a mixture of Notre Dame’s junior varsity team, took a 3-2 lead midway through the game and then rallied from a one-run deficit to tie game at 4-4 in the top of the seventh.
The Millers (5-1, 1-0) avoided the potential upset in the bottom of the frame when Taylor Doughty delivered a clutch one-out single to left field to drive in Brennan Bobbett and give the Millers a 5-4 victory.
Bobbett was hit by a pitch to start the rally in the seventh and Andrew Janisse set the stage for Doughty with a single down the left field line.
“Andrew was the key right there,” said Millers’ coach Timmy Robichaux, who also coaches the Pios’ summer league team. “He had better at bats tonight than he has had in the past and he hit one down the line to get the runner in scoring position. And Taylor did a great job in coming through with a game-winning hit.”
The Millers had numerous opportunities early in the game to potentially put the contest out of reach, but they stranded 11 runners on the night, five in scoring position. They also had two runners thrown out, one on an attempted steal and one trying to stretch a single into a double in their two-run fourth inning.
“Our hitters really did a good job today,” said Robichaux of the Millers, who racked up 11 hits on the day. “We had quite a few hits, but our runs didn’t reflect it because we ran ourselves out a couple times on the bases.
“We just have to get on the same page as far as me in the (coaches) box and them on the bases. Everybody is taught differently so when they get here we just try to kind of all mesh and all get together on what we need to do. But to be aggressive, you’re going to get thrown out from time to time. That’s just what you deal with.”
Pitching wise, the Millers sent five hurlers to the mound while the Pios threw three different arms.
Brody Deshotel got the start for the Millers and threw two scoreless innings before giving way to Doughty, who gave up two runs on three walks in one inning of work. Quinn Guidry gave up one run on two hits in two innings before giving way to Janisse, who gave up one hit in one inning of work. Kyle Smith pitched the seventh and gave up one run on three hits.
“With just three teams in our district now, not everybody can get on the mound so we’re trying to let everyone stay sharp and keep developing along the way,” said Robichaux. “That’s the key because if we’re lucky enough to get into postseason play, it’s going to take more than just two pitchers to get through a tournament.”
Brennan Corzine, who is a starter for the Millers, pitched the first two innings for the Pios and gave up two runs, one earned, on three hits. Alex Rozas took over in the third and allowed two more runs on four hits and three walks. Kyler Habetz suffered the loss after giving up one run on three hits and two walks over the final three innings.
“With the guys we put up there, it’s also guys that we’re trying to develop,” said Robichaux of the Pios’ pitchers. “Alex and Kyler, and Brennan, who hasn’t pitched since he was a freshman. You can never have too much pitching. They struggled a little bit at times, but that’s going to be the case until we can get them on the mound enough. We just have to play a little bit better defensively behind them; they had a few errors along the way.”
Offesivley, four Millers collected multiple hits on the night. Janisse, Mackay Mouton, Connor Goss and Paiton McBride each had two hits while Doughty, Bobbett and Luke Ancelet each had one.
For the Pios, Corzine, Jacob Mooney, Hogan Guidry (also rostered with the Millers), Royce Zaunbrecher and Sam Veillon each had one hit.