The Milroy Irish baseball team is off to its best start in 2019.
“This season is going extremely well,” said Bob Dolan, Milroy Irish manager, adding the team, which is in its 11th season is playing some of its best baseball ever.
Following a 6-5 victory June 12 over Luverne, the Irish moved its overall record to 14-2 and 11-0 in the Gopher League.
So, what is different about this year?
According to Dolan, it is the continued development of newer players, such as Kenny Morris and Brady Lanoue, added to the consistent play of that core group of Irish team members who have been around for several years that is contributing to this year’s success.
The team has demonstrated resilience in a number of games this season, as was evident Wednesday night at Irish Yard. Down 3-0 after the top of the first inning, the team battled back to get the win.
Dolan said Kenny Morris, who has been the team’s Wednesday night pitcher, struggled early, but came through with a complete game win for the Irish.
The two teams will face off again in Luverne July 7.
Dolan said the immediate goal for the team is to finish on top of the league this season, adding right now they have a pretty good chance of doing that.
“The team that wins the league has gone on to state in 10 of the last 11 years,” he said.
Naturally, making it to state is also a team goal. The Irish saw its deepest run in the state tournament in 2016, and Dolan said he wants to see the team competing at a high level in the post-season. He also is convinced this is a team that can do that.
Dolan said some of the younger players on the team have really been stepping up, adding he is a firm believer in developing players he thinks can not only contribute now but will be part of the team for many years to come.
Dolan said recruiting new players for the Irish is becoming more of a challenge for the Irish, adding new teams in the area are also competing for the same players.
Yet, he added, he likes seeing the addition of those new teams, because that means more kids are getting the chance to play baseball. That, he said, is very good for town team baseball.
Irish Yard, which opened eight seasons ago, continues to improve. A storm during the 2018 season blew over the batter’s eye, but that has been rebuilt. Dolan said a new digital scoreboard has been acquired that he hopes to have up soon. Doing the little things each year continues to make Irish Yard one of the best fields in the region.
The Irish took on Fairmont over the weekend and is scheduled to play at Lamberton June 18 with a game against Adrian June 19 at Irish Yard at 7:30 p.m. (Be sure to check out the Milroy Irish Facebook Page to not only learn about the team but also to find out what it is featuring at its home games in the concessions stand.)
One can tell Dolan is proud of how the Milroy Irish are doing this season and how it has done during its first 11 seasons.
While he serves as manager, Dolan also gets the chance every once in a while to get out on the field and play, adding when called on Dolan is confident he can still hold his own.