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2018 STORIES

Mils halt nine-game WMBL skid

By Darcy Gross For Grasslands News >> posted Jun 21

After nine consecutive losses, the Western Major Baseball League's Melville Millionaires finally added another number to the win ledger.

Moose Jaw Miller Express 6 at Melville Millionaires 11 (June 18)

WMBL Melville Millionaires catcher Kade WallaceWMBL Melville Millionaires catcher Kade WallaceThis was an extremely tight game for 41/2 half innings, but in the bottom of the fifth the Mils would break out in a big way.

The Millionaires strung together some hits and took advantage of some shoddy Moose Jaw fielding as they exploded for seven runs, giving them an insurmountable seven run advantage.
The Express scored twice in the ninth inning, but it was a case of too little, too late for the visitors.
Eight of the nine Melville batters scored at least one run while the top four batters in the lineup — Kole Kaler, Chandler Hughes, Nik Pagan and Marshall McPherson — combined for six runs and eight RBI on eight hits to provide the keys to the offensive explosion.
Pagan reached base five times while Kaler went three for five at the dish.
Lyle Hibbits picked up his second win of the season for Melville, tossing six innings and giving up four runs, courtesy of two Miller Express two-run homers.

Melville Millionaires first basemen Marshall McPherson fights the sun on a pickoff attempt at first base against the Moose Jaw Miller Express on June 18. The Mils were the better team on this occasion, as they dumped Moose Jaw 11-6.
Melville Millionaires first basemen Marshall McPherson fights the sun on a pickoff attempt at first base against the Moose Jaw Miller Express on June 18. The Mils were the better team on this occasion, as they dumped Moose Jaw 11-6. Lyle Hibbitts picked up his second win of the season as the Mils bested the Moose Jaw Miller Express 11-6 on June 18. Hibbitts hurled six innings and gave up four runs to secure the victory.
Lyle Hibbitts picked up his second win of the season as the Mils bested the Moose Jaw Miller Express 11-6 on June 18. Hibbitts hurled six innings and gave up four runs to secure the victory.

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Melville Millionaires 2 at Yorkton Cardinals 4 (June 17)

The Mils were looking to get back into the win column, but their Highway 10 rivals had other ideas as Melville dropped its ninth straight contest.
Hughes and Pagan were the lone bright spots for the Mils, each banging out a pair of hits in the loss.
Melville hurler Zach Diaz saw his record slip to 1-3 for the season, as he allowed four runs on nine hits in 62/3 innings of work.
Tyler Ulrich finished up on the hill for the Mils, not allowing a baserunner and fanning two Yorkton batters in his appearance.

Melville Millionaires 0 at Regina Red Sox 6 (June 16)

Red Sox pitcher Evan Rogers pushed his record to 3-0 on the season as he tossed a complete game, five-hit shutout over the Millionaires.
Ricky Hockett had a respectable start for Melville, giving up three runs over six innings pitched.
Josh Braziel struck for a double while Hughes chipped in with a triple for the hapless Mils.

Melville Millionaires 1 at Swift Current 57s 7 (June 15)

Braziel was the only member of the Mils to touch up a Swift Current pitcher, hitting a solo home run for the visitors' only run on four hits.
Case Rolen was the Melville starter and he took the loss, giving up five hits and six runs in only 32/3 innings pitched.
Swift Current left fielder Bo McClintock walloped his eighth home run of the season to pace Speedy Creek.

Melville Millionaires 4 at Swift Current 57s 5 (June 14)

The Millionaires outhit the 57s in this contest, but couldn't hold them off the scoreboard, as they scored single runs in the sixth, eighth, ninth and 10th innings to defeat the Mils by a single run.
Braziel continued to swing the hot bat for Melville, notching a home run while going four-for-five and plating three RBI.
Ulrich also went yard for the Millionaires while collecting two hits in four at bats. Unfortunately, he was also on the hook for the loss, giving up a hit, a run and a walk in the bottom of the 10th inning.
Hughes also chipped in with a pair of base hits for the Millionaires.
After a couple of home games with the Weyburn Beavers, the Mils were back on the road for a matchup with the Red Sox in Regina on June 22.

Record slips, weekly wrap up

By Darcy Gross , for Grasslands News   >>  posted June 13, 2018

After a promising start to their WMBL season, the Melville Millionaires have suffered four losses in a row to drop below .500.

Melville Millionaires 1 at Moose Jaw Miller Express 6 (June 10)
The Mils saw their record slip below the .500 mark in a game where neither team had a ton of success at the plate, but the Miller Express made the most of their chances, scoring twice in an inning three times to come away with the victory.
Dionisio Diaz got the start for Melville and took the loss, allowing two unearned runs in a stint that lasted only 11/3 innings.
The Express scored two runs in the first inning on an error and tacked on two more in the fifth and another pair in the seventh.
Catcher Justin Braziel counted Melville's lone run with a homer in the seventh.
Ricky Hockett had a pair of singles and a stolen base to lead Melville at the dish.

Melville Millionaires 7 at Weyburn Beavers 8 ((June 9)
The Mils took a 7-2 lead into the seventh and it looked like they'd cruise to the win, but the Beavers had other plans.
Weyburn scored six times on six hits, a wild pitch and an error as Hockett was on the hook for the loss, squandering a terrific start by Case Rolen who gave up two runs on five hits and two bases on balls while fanning six Moose Jaw batters.
Kole Kaler led the Melville offence, going three for four with a double, a pair of steals and three runs scored
Veteran first baseman Marshall McPherson also notched a pair of hits for Melville.

Weyburn Beavers 3 at Melville Millionaires 2 (June 8)
The Mils appeared to be in good shape in this contest, but the Beavers still had some magic left as they scored a pair of runs to turn a one-run deficit into a one-run lead in the ninth inning.
Melville couldn't out any pressure on the Beavers in the ninth, going three up and three down to fall to Weyburn in the first of two home and home meetings.
Zach Diaz took the loss for the Mils after a respectable start by Alex DeBell who gave up three hits in five innings of work.
Keaton Sullivan and Braziel each banged out a pair of hits for the Mils.

Melville Millionaires 10 at Yorkton Cardinals 6 (June 6)
McPherson and Sullivan each took a Cardinals pitcher deep to pace the Mils to a one-sided win in which they belted 15 hits.
Starting pitcher Lyle Hibbits gave up four hits and a run in five innings to secure the victory for the visiting Millionaires.
McPherson was swinging the hot bat on this night as he went four for five with three runs scored and a couple RBI.

Melville Millionaires 10 at Swift Current 57s 6 (June 5)
Zach Diaz tossed four scoreless innings in relief of Dionisio Diaz as the Mils blasted the 57s in Speedy Creek.
Ryan Tackett had three of Melville's 14 hits, including a homerun and three RBI as the Mils had an easy time of things.
Melville scored three times in the first and fifth innings and added three more in the seventh.
The Millionaires play road tilts in Swift Current, Regina and Yorkton before returning home for three straight home games.
On June 18 the Mils entertain Moose Jaw in the Wear Plaid for Dad night. The Weyburn Beavers provide the opposition on June 19 and 20, with the last contest being Minor Ball Night.
All games get underway at 7:05 p.m.

 

>>photos property of Grasslands News. Photo credit George Brown, Darcy Gross

Mils have easy time in home opener>> posted June 7, 2018

By Darcy Gross, For Grasslands News
The Melville Millionaires got their season off to a solid start, but day 2 of the Western Major Baseball League schedule wasn't quite as kind.
Melville Millionaires 6 at Swift Current 57s 4 (June 4)
The beginning of the game couldn't have gone much worse for the visitors, as Case Rolen was shelled for six hits and six runs in the first two innings. Relief hurlers Noah Freimuth and Ricky Hockett gave up five and three runs respectively to leave the Mils trailing 14-5 after the seventh inning stretch.
For the second straight contest, Nik Pagan hit a home run, and veteran Marshall McPherson notched his first round tripper of the campaign. McPherson also knocked in three runs in going two-for-five in the contest.
Returnee Keaton Sullivan also had a solid night at the dish for the Millionaires, recording two base hits in four trips to the plate.
Bryan Benz and Bo McClintock were swinging the big bats for the 57s, as each player drove in four runs with McClintock drilling a homer of his own.
Yorkton Cardinals 2 at Melville Millionaires 7 (June 3)
After a couple of days of rain, the Western Major Baseball League's Melville Millionaires kicked off their season with a 7-2 victory over the Yorkton Cardinals.
The Mils scored twice in the first inning and tacked on four more runs in the fourth before adding one more in the eighth to conclude their scoring.
Leadoff hitter Chandler Hughes and number 9 in the lineup, Kole Kaler, led the Blue and White with a pair of base hits apiece. The big blow for the Mils came in the first inning as Pagan launched a no-doubter over the right field fence and through the poplars to get the home side on the scoreboard.
Alex DeBell got the start on the mound for Melville and responded by tossing five innings of shutout baseball.
DeBell allowed five hits and issued one walk while fanning three Cardinals.
Zach Diaz came on in relief and gave up two runs on a hit and two bases on balls during his three innings of work. Diaz also registered three strikeouts.
Landon DeLozier was on mop up duty, allowing one hit and no runs in an inning of work.
The Millionaires are back at Pirie Field on June 8 when they entertain the Weyburn Beavers in a 7:05 p.m. tilt.
After road games in Weyburn, Moose Jaw and Yorkton, the Mils are back to the friendly confines for another game with the Yorkton Cardinals at 7:05 p.m. on June 12.

>>photos property of Grasslands News. Photo credit George Brown, Darcy Gross

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Former Millionaire's milestone >> posted May 27, 2018

Melville native and Millionaires alumnus Albert Phillips will celebrate his 100th birthday this year.  Albert was born in Melville, Saskatchewan on May 30, 1918 to Frederick and Amelia Phillips.  He grew up in Melville, with his father working as a switchman for the CN Railway.  Albert has always been proud of his roots.

Al lived in Melville until 1942 when he left to serve in the army during World War II.  While stationed overseas near London he became ill and was sent to Vancouver to convalesce in 1944.    Here he met the love of his life, Lillian Robb, a nurse at Shaughnessy Hospital.  They were married for 47 years, until her death in 1994.  

Some of his happiest times were spent on the baseball field and he has fond memories of his time playing for the Millionaires, alongside his best friend, hockey hall-of-famer Sid Abel.  Al still has his old uniform, although he has a little more difficulty getting into his shortstop crouch!

In 1938 the team travelled to Regina to participate in the Saskatchewan Junior Baseball Championships.  Al recalls that they didn’t have a team name at the time and assumed the name “Millionaires”. 

He recalls the names of most of his teammates:

Fred Jackie C  ♦  Randy Anweiler 1B ♦  Alfie Andres 2B ♦  Judd Litke 3B ♦  Al Phillips SS

Sid Abel OF ♦  Rusty Earhart OF ♦  Merv Carlton P ♦  Louis Oppenheimer Coach

Albert still lives in Vancouver and has one daughter, one son, two grandchildren and five great grandchildren who adore him and look forward to celebrating his milestone 100th birthday with him.