NEW ULM - Sleepy Eye VFW gave some early run support to starting pitcher Jake Meilke, then let him set down the New Ulm VFW Silver bats in a 8-1 win over New Ulm in the first game of the Junior Upper Midwest Classic at Johnson Park.
Sleepy Eye (6-4) got a single run in the top of the first and four more in the second to take a 5-1 lead. That was more than enough for Meilke.
VFW Silver committed six errors in the game, which of course didn't help the cause.
Staff photo by Steve Muscatello
New Ulm VFW Silver shortstop Matt Rowley tags out Sleepy Eye’s Lucas Heiderscheidt (3) during the opening game of the Junior Upper Midwest Classic baseball tournament Thursday at Johnson Park in New Ulm.
"I think the difference in the game was they struggled with six errors and we took advantage of it," Sleepy Eye coach Dusty Mangen said. "I think that we had two [errors] but we made a lot of plays that made up for them errors."
Meilke went the distance to earn the win. He allowed five hits and one run. He walked one and struck out three.
Andrew Stewart took the loss, pitching seven innings and allowing seven hits. He struck out two and walked three.
David Suprenant scored Sleepy Eye's first run in the first inning and Silver managed to tie it in the bottom of the first when Spencer Stark scored on Luke Irmiter's RBI double.
However, the defense bailed Sleepy Eye out in the second and third innings with double plays to help Meilke.
While the Sleepy Eye gloves were helping out Meilke, the bats weren't too shabby, either. Sleepy Eye scored four times in the second inning after Jon Kopacek, Mike Hirsch (2-for-4, two runs), Meilke (0-for-2, two runs) and Brandon Helget (2-for-4, two runs, two RBI) all scored.
Just for good measure, Post 800 tacked on three more runs in the fourth inning to grab an 8-1 lead. Hirsch, Meilke and Helget all scored to start the inning to put the game away.
Sleepy Eye plays Rochester at 3 p.m. today in Essig while Silver meets up with Hutchinson at 5 p.m. today at Johnson Park.