One team came into Thursday night feeling pretty good and the other ... not so much.

One team came into Thursday night feeling pretty good and the other ... not so much.
But, it was a reversal of fortune as Millers — losers of two straight — knocked off Commerce — who picked up their first win of the season earlier this week — 13-2 in Don Gutteridge League action Thursday at JayCee Ballpark.
And Millers broke their losing streak behind a strong outing from starting pitcher Sam Gilbert, who gave up just two hits in three innings while striking out six.
“Sam really came out and pitched a good game,” said Millers’ head coach Rick Baden. “He was also able to get us out of some pretty tight situations.”
Those tight situations included Commerce loading the bases twice but being unable to plate runs in either situation.
“We had the bases loaded twice and we couldn’t score either time and that made a difference,” said Commerce head coach Brian Sutton.
The searing heat also made a difference as the near-100 degree temperatures wreaked havoc on both teams — namely pitching.
“Christian [Commerce starting pitcher Smith] just wore out in the second inning,” Sutton said. “We just had another kid that started to feel sick because of the heat so, I think it did play a factor for both teams.”
The heat also forced Baden to switch up Millers’ normal pre-game routine.
“Our guys were a little worn out early,” Baden said. “We elected not to take infield practice before the game and that helped a little.”
It was the second inning where Millers did the most damage — scoring seven of their 13 runs.
Spencer Bernhardt connected with a two-run single and Taylor Thomas followed with an RBI single of his own as part of the barrage.
In that inning, Commerce pitchers surrendered five walks and three hits, which led to the seven runs for Millers.
Millers was able to score four more runs in the third — three on wild pitches and the last on an RBI single from Thomas that scored Brandon Baker.
Commerce picked up their runs in the first and third. Cody Lindbloom hit an RBI single in the first to score Zach Smith and Christian Smith scored the second run in the third after stealing home.
Baker closed the door on Commerce by retiring the only three batters he faced in the fourth.
“Brandon came in with great control and he pitched very well tonight,” Baden said.
For Millers, not only did the win snap a two-game losing streak but, Baden said it may have re-energized the team heading into their last two games before the start of the postseason tournament.
“You don’t want anything negative going into that situation,” Baden said.

Matthew Clark can be reached at or at 620-231-2600, Ext. 140. Follow Morning Sun sports at

JL Hutchinson baseball
Don Gutteridge League
Thursday, June 25, 2009
Millers 13, Commerce 2, 4 innings
Commerce    101 0 —  2  2 2
Millers    274 X — 13 7 1
Sam Gilbert, Brandon Baker (4) and Jesse Newcomb. Christian Smith, Zach Smith (3), Tucker Hoffman (3) and Christian Sharp. WP — Gilbert. LP — C. Smith. LOB — Commerce 7, Millers 7. 3B — Gilbert.