NEW ULM - It was not the kind of performance that the Sleepy Eye VFW baseball team wanted in its opening round game of the Second District VFW Baseball Tournament against Shakopee.
Shakopee jumped out to a 13-0 lead after three innings before exploding for seven runs in the fourth.
In the end, it was too much to overcome as Shakopee topped Sleepy Eye 20-9 Thursday morning at Johnson Park.
Staff photo by Steve Muscatello
Sleepy Eye second baseman John Mangen waits for the ball as Austin Leadstrom slides safely into second during the opening round of the 2nd District VFW Tournament Thursday in New Ulm.
The game ended after 4 1/2 innings because of the 10-run rule.
Chad Sorenson was the winning pitcher for Shakopee. He went three innings and did not allow a run while allowing one hit.
John Mangen took the loss for Sleepy Eye. He was charged with eight runs in his two innings of work.
Sheldon Miks led the Shakopee attack with four hits. Shakopee finished with 15 hits in the game.
Dom Schlepper, Henry Henk, Sorenson and Justin Nicho all had two hits. Nicho drove in six runs while Sorenson had four RBI.
Lucas Heiderscheidt and Jon Kopacek each had two hits for Sleepy Eye, with Carter Krzmarzick driving in three runs.
Sleepy Eye now plays Fairmont in an elimination game at 1 p.m. today at Mueller Park.
"We had a rough start today," Post 800 coach Dusty Mangen said. "For some reason, we have not played well in our opening playoff games - we pretty much did the same thing on our sub-districts where we got down early. It is tough to come back from that."
Sleepy Eye put itself behind the eight-ball in the opening inning when Shakopee sent 11 men to the plate and scored five times.
An RBI double from Schlepper coupled with run-scoring singles courtesy of Henk and Sorenson, a groundout and a hit batsman put Sleepy Eye in a hole right away.
That deficit became bigger when Post 4046 added three more runs in the second and then scored five more in the third for a 13-0 lead.
"John [Mangen] had a tough time throwing strikes today," Dusty Mangen said. "And when he did get ahead in the count at 0-2, he threw too good of a pitch. They have good hitters."
While Shakopee was piling on the runs, Sleepy Eye was struggling offensively thanks to Sorenson, who allowed only a one-out single to Kopacek in the second.
But in the fourth, Sleepy Eye's bats came alive off of reliever Alex Haller, who was pounded for nine runs and six hits in his 2/3 of an inning of work.
A groundout, a Kopacek double, a two-run triple from Krzmarzick and an Elliot Braun single cut the lead to 13-6.
David Suprenant's two-run double and a Heiderscheidt double pulled Post 800 to within 13-9.
But Shakopee countered that with seven runs in the bottom of the inning for a 20-9 lead.
"We can build off of that nine-run inning for today," coach Mangen said. "We had the same thing happen to us in the sub-district and we came out and hit the ball well to get us here. Hopefully that continues and we are positive."