Milton’s baseball team has started to turn some heads.
The Red Hawks ran their winning streak to seven games Thursday when they swept Badger South Conference rival Monona Grove with a 4-0 shutout.
The team, at 8-3, is just one victory shy of matching last year’s season total. And by this time next week, it might already have double-digit victories—something Milton hasn’t done in a season since 2015.
The Red Hawks may be an early-season surprise to some, but not to head coach Kris Agnew.
“We knew we had a pretty good group,” Agnew said. “We were pretty familiar with a lot of the younger guys coming into our program and obviously knew what we had coming back. We felt really confident.
“I just think this group is kind of different. They’re really relaxed, but hard-working, and they all get along well together. And those little things have really paid off.”
Those things have been particularly evident in the fact that the Red Hawks have won several close games. Four of the games in their current winning streak came by two runs or less, including three straight before Thursday’s four-run win.
Milton trailed in all three of those games. It was down 3-1 but beat Elkhorn 7-5. It trailed Fort Atkinson 5-0 before rallying all the way back to another 7-5 win. And it was down 2-0 early in the first meeting with Monona Grove but won 5-4 on Tuesday.
“We’ve started a little slow, and we’re trying to coach against that and start faster,” Agnew said. “But it’s a good quality in a young team that they don’t panic. They know they can come back and put up crooked numbers at any time and get back into a game.”
The Red Hawks have also flashed their depth.
Ten different players have a multi-hit game during the seven-game winning streak.
“Colin Schuetz has been really, really good. He’s got 18 hits through 11 games, and even his outs have been loud outs,” Agnew said. “But one through nine, we’re very productive. It’s hard to fill out the lineup card every day. We’ve got two or three kids on the bench that are solid contributors.”
And from the mound, eight different players have made a pitching appearance during the winning streak.
Evan Jackson has four wins in that span, but four players total have picked up a W.
“We’ve had some kids step up when given a chance,” Agnew said. “We can take on the pitching differently than we have in the past. We had to leave guys in before, because we had to get innings out of them. Now we’re flexible. We can get a couple innings from one guy and pull him back because we’ve got confidence in another, and still be able to then use them later in the week.”
The sweep of Monona Grove left Milton at 5-1 in the Badger South, a half-game ahead of Madison Edgewood (4-1). Edgewood and Milton split early in the season.
The Red Hawks travel to face Janesville Parker today.
Stark no-hits Palmyra
Orfordville Parkview junior Remington Stark added another no-hitter to her resume this week.
Stark struck out 15, walked just one and didn’t allow a hit in the first game of a doubleheader against Palmyra-Eagle on Monday.
The Vikings won that game 6-0 and the nightcap 10-2. Star struck out six in the second game, pushing her season total over 100 in just eight games. Parkview is 7-1 overall.