Down 11-2 after seven innings, the New Richmond Millers looked like they’d limp to a loss against the Eau Claire Bears on Friday night.
But in the final two innings, the Millers caught fire and it couldn’t be extinguished. The Millers scored six runs in the eighth inning and seven more in the ninth inning to stun the Bears 15-11 at Altoona’s Cinder City Park.
Millers manager Ryan Stephens said it was the biggest comeback he’s been a part of with the team. The comeback came out of the blue, because the Millers struggled at the plate for much of the game, striking out 14 times.
A pair of walks started the charge in the eighth inning. Noah Towberman and Caleb Manecke had RBI singles, and then Blake Kretovics and John Earley both drove home two runs.
The bats stayed on fire in the ninth, including three straight doubles from Jack Bau, Towberman and Manecke. In the final two innings, the Millers ripped 12 hits.
Reece Lucas started on the mound for the Millers. Stephens pitched for the first time in more than a year in relief, before Austin Juhl pitched the final two innings to register the win.
On Wednesday, the Millers faced the Stockman Irish, a team comprised mainly of Division 1 and Division 2 college players. The Millers struggled early. They came back with four runs late, but lost 9-4.
Ryan Kling made his first pitching start for the Millers, working the first four innings. Grant Riemenschneider, Lane Christensen and Manecke all pitched in relief.
The Millers get back into St. Croix Valley League play with games at Citizens Field on Saturday and Sunday. The Millers host Prescott at 7:30 p.m. Saturday and Elmwood at 1 p.m. on Sunday.