Appleby, Kiler lead Mill Valley to victory against Golden Bears
It took four starts, but Ethan Appleby finally has his first victory of the season.
The Mill Valley pitcher was effective in three prior outings, but he didn’t receive enough offensive support to earn a victory.
That all changed Monday at the 3&2 District Complex as Appleby received three early runs of support in a 7-4 victory against Turner.
“He’d had three starts previously and he was 0-2 with a no decision and a 2.16 ERA. He’s a hard-luck pitcher,” MVHS coach Jeff Strickland said. “I was real happy to see him get the win, and for our whole team to get the win. They put in a lot of time. They come in early … some of them at 6:15 in the morning at an indoor facility. Last week they were in almost every morning. These kids put in a lot of time and they deserve every bit of success they get.”
Appleby threw four innings and allowed two hits and three walks while striking out eight. Montana Kiler provided five strikeouts in three innings of relief and collected the save.
Mill Valley jumped on Turner quickly in the bottom of the first inning. Luke Lawyer and Tyler Moore earned back-to-back walks, and both scored on a double to left field by Bennett Ratzloff. Ratzloff advanced to third on a wild pitch and scored on a ground ball by Addison Regnier for a 3-0 lead.
The Bears struggled against Appleby and managed to get just one run back after capitalizing on a one-out single in the third inning.
Mill Valley had opportunities to put the game away early, but they stranded the bases loaded in the second and fourth innings, and their 3-1 lead held into the bottom of the sixth.
A four-run sixth inning gave the Jaguars some much-needed breathing room. Garrett Scheffler reached on an error to start the inning, and Kyle Lichtenauer followed with a single. Lawyer smacked a run-scoring double and Moore followed with a base hit that plated Lichtenauer. Lawyer and Moore crossed the plate on sacrifices by Ratzloff and Mark Biesma as the lead grew to 7-1.
The Bears’ bats came alive in the top of the seventh as they pounded five singles and scored three runs before Kiler got Brett Stratton to fly out to center field to end the game.
The victory was Mill Valley’s second straight and the Jaguars improved to 5-5 overall this season.
Mill Valley next plays at 4 p.m. Monday, May 3, at Santa Fe Trail.
“We’ve got a lot of games coming up in the next couple weeks and hopefully we can keep the momentum going,” Strickland said. “Certainly our last five games we’ve played a lot better than our first five, and that’s what you want to do. There’s some things we need to get better at and didn’t do too well in this game, but we talked about it and we’re going to correct that.”