By Jim Bastian
Journal Sports Writer
NEW ULM - Going into the bottom of the fifth inning Monday night at Mueller Park, New Ulm Legion Blue was trailing Mankato National 6-1 and National righthander Arlen Nett had held New Ulm bats hitless.
Staff photo by Steve Muscatello
New Ulm starting pitcher Dominic Camacho winds up to toss a pitch during Legion Blue’s game against Mankato Monday at Mueller Park in New Ulm.
But Blue was able to break up Nett's attempted no-hitter when Jim Holstein singled with one out in the inning.
Blue then used three consecutive walks from Nett, a walk and a two-run double by Jake Stadick off of reliever Andrew Sweere to cut the lead to 6-5.
Kyle Reynolds, the third Mankato pitcher in the inning, tossed a run-scoring wild pitch and a run-scoring fielder's choice.
But in the end, Mankato scored three runs in the top of the sixth inning to come away with a wild 9-7 win over New Ulm Blue.
Brandon Kowalski - the fourth pitcher used by Mankato - got the win was National improved to 2-6 on the year.
Dominic Comacho took the loss for New Ulm Blue, now 4-5.
Comacho went 6 1/3 innings and allowed all nine runs. He gave up 14 hits as Blue was out-hit in the game 14-5.
Jake Stadick had two of the hits for New Ulm Blue and drove in two runs.
"We played hard and played some good defense," New Ulm coach Mike Munce said. "Mankato had some trouble with their pitching and we were able to take advantage of that by taking some walks and getting some timely hits."
Each team scored a run in the first inning with the Nationals scoring on a groundout. New Ulm Blue, who will play at Lamberton tonight, knotted the contest on a fielder's choice.
National took a 2-1 lead in the second when Blake Matuska doubled in a run before pushing across four runs in the top of the fourth.
An RBI single from Konar Severns, two sacrifice flies and an Adam Geiger base hit gave Mankato a 6-1 lead and in control.
Arlen Nett held New Ulm hitless going into the fifth inning when he retired Cole Wilfahrt on a fly ball for the first out.
But before Mankato could record the second out, New Ulm Blue sent seven men to the plate to tie the game.
Jake Gieseke, Javen Munce Cole Dulas and Luke Cihak all walked before Jake Stadick doubled in two runs.
An Andy DeRock sacrifice fly gave Blue a 7-6 lead.
"I always tell the kids to put the ball in play," Munce said. "We played a good game."
But Mankato put the game away in the sixth with three runs, two of them coming on a Ryan Ohme double.
"I am happy with the way that the kids battled for seven innings," Munce said.