NEW ULM - In the second and fourth innings in its game with Lakevillle South Thursday night, New Ulm Legion Gold saw a lead-off triple and a two-out double by Jason Shaul, respectively, go to waste as the team failed to get him home.
But in the bottom of the seventh, Gold got the key hit that it lacked in both earlier failed scoring attempts.
Zach Hoffmann drove a 3-2 fastball by Lakeville South's Tyler Schumacher deep over the fence in left field for a two-run home run to lift New Ulm Gold to a 5-3 win over Lakeville in the Upper Midwest Classic.
Staff photo by Steve Muscatello
New Ulm Legion Gold’s Tim Kehren jumps to catch the ball as Lakeville South’s Luke Sather (20) slides safely into second during the two teams’ Upper Midwest Classic game Thursday at Johnson Park in New Ulm.
Matt Bergmann got the win for New Ulm. He came in relief of starter Jordan Guggisberg. Guggisberg went five innings and allowed all three runs, striking out four. Bergmann allowed just one walk in two innings.
Will Lundquist started for Lakeville. He went six innings and was charged with three runs.
Nick Pecho had two hits for Lakeville.
Shaul had three hits for Gold, with Kevin Larson and Hoffmann each collecting two hits.
New Ulm and Lakeville were knotted 3-3 in the bottom of the seventh after Gold overcame a 3-0 deficit.
Lakeville pushed across solo runs in the first three innings on a wild pitch, a Schumacher double and a Hunter Harnisch sacrifice fly, respectively.
While Lakeville was able to push across runs in the early innings, Gold was not.
In the second, Shaul led off with a double but was left there as Lundquist retired Drew Pfaff and Dan Blackstad on strikes before ending the threat by getting Erich Prokosch to ground out.
In the fourth, Shaul laced a two-out triple, but was stranded there when Lundquist fanned Pfaff to end the threat.
"That was frustrating," said Hoffmann about the failed scoring attempts. "We knew that we were facing a good pitcher and each run was valuable. We did not get the job done."
But Gold did manage to cut the lead to 3-1 in the bottom of the fifth.
Blackstad reached on an error by Lakeville second baseman Pecho. A Prokosch groundout moved him to second before Jory Dove singled in Blackstad.
Gold then knotted the game in the sixth thanks to three hits and three untimely Lakeville errors.
Hoffmann led off with a single to left and took second on an error on the play. Shaul then dribbled a slow roller to first baseman Jake Miller, who fielded the ball cleanly. However, his throw to Lundquist covering first sailed behind him, allowing Hoffmann to score.
A Pfaff sacrifice bunt moved Shaul to second and a Bergmann single scored him to tie the game at 3-3.
Then in the seventh, Gold got the hit that it was missing all game.
Larson led off by driving a Schumacher pitch to right field for a lead-off double.
Tim Kehren's sacrifice bunt placed Larson 90 feet away with the winning run.
Schumacher then worked Hoffmann to a 3-2 count before Hoffmann drove the next pitch over the fence in left field.
"I just wanted to get the ball deep enough in the outfield to let Kevin have a chance to tag up," Hoffmann said. "Luckily I put a good swing on it - I was able to fight a few pitches off and did the job. This is a big comeback win for us - we battled hard, we faced a very good pitcher and we fought them to the end."