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Dimock-Emery Raptors roll onto quarterfinals after holding off Milbank Firechiefs

Dimock-Emery continued its unlikely postseason run with a 5-4 win over Milbank in the second round of the Class B state amateur baseball tournament Sunday at Cadwell Park.

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Dimock-Emery's Phil Johnson pitches during a game against Milbank in the second round of the Class B State Amateur baseball tournament on Sunday, Aug. 8, 2021 at Cadwell Park. (Matt Gade / Mitchell Republic)

The Sunshine League’s No. 5 seed is onto the quarterfinals.

Dimock-Emery continued its unlikely postseason run with a 5-4 win over Milbank in the second round of the Class B state amateur baseball tournament Sunday at Cadwell Park.

The Raptors, who were the No. 5 seed in the District 5B tourney, rattled off three straight wins for the district title. Behind long-time pitching veteran Phil Johnson, Dimock-Emery made it five consecutive postseason victories against the Firechiefs. Dimock-Emery (13-10) will play Menno or the Plankinton Bankers at 5:30 p.m. Thursday in the quarterfinals.

“We are playing well at the right time,” Johnson said. “The young guys are playing well. The old guys are chipping in and we are kind of doing our whole thing here and just having a great time.”

Johnson scattered eight hits, allowed four runs (one earned) and struck out seven batters in the complete-game performance. The right hander threw 73 strikes on 98 pitches.

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“His grind through the game was unbelievable and he battled and made pitches when he needed to and defense made plays behind him,” Dimock-Emery manager Brad Bartscher said.

Johnson helped produce an early 3-0 lead for the Raptors in the first inning. Johnson’s two-run single plated Drew Kitchens and Luke Bamberg for a 2-0 advantage, while Peyton Nash’s two-out single made it 3-0.

“Whenever you get early runs for your starting pitcher, it obviously makes things a lot easier,” Bartscher said. “Especially knowing the weapons they have with their left-handed pitching in their bullpen today. We knew we had to get something against the right handers and it actually worked out for us.”

Sam Michels’ RBI groundout in the third and Jason Schmidt’s RBI single in the fourth made it 5-1. After Schmidt’s single, starter Taylor Boerger was taken out for Dominique Boerger.

Taylor Boerger threw 3.2 innings, allowed seven hits, allowed five runs (one earned), walked two batters and struck out two batters. Dominique Boerger threw three scoreless relief innings, struck out three batters and allowed three hits.

In the sixth, Milbank's Mitch Quade and Lance Frogner drove in runs to make it 5-3. In the ninth, Dominique Boerger hit a chopper back at Johnson, who tried to make the catch barehanded. But it was a base hit and scored Frogner for a 5-4 score.

After a conference at the mound, Johnson stayed in the game and threw a warm up pitch before Jacob Jackson grounded out to end the game.

“It just kind of went numb for a second,” Johnson said. “So I wanted to throw and I wanted to get back in there.”

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Johnson finished with two hits and two RBIs. Gene Kitchens and Sam Michels each added two hits. Drew Kitchens, Luke Bamberg and Peyton Nash each had a hit.

Up next, the Raptors will look to make it six in a row.

“Whenever you can make a run in this tough state tournament, it always feels good and it’s one pitch at a time,” Bartscher said. “It’s not even one game at a time, one pitch at a time and grind everything out.”

Related Topics: BASEBALL
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