By Jeremy Behnke
Journal Sports Editor
FAIRMONT - After struggling offensively against Sleepy Eye on Thursday, New Ulm Legion Gold had plenty of offense in its elimination bracket game against New Ulm Blue Friday.
Gold finished with 17 hits and crossed the plate 14 times as it eliminated Blue from the District 2 American Legion baseball playoffs with a 14-1, seven-inning win Friday.
Gold (20-8) will now meet up with Mankato/Worthington at 1 p.m. today in another elimination bracket contest.
While Sleepy Eye starting pitcher Adam Sellner shut the Gold bats down, holding Gold to five hits on Thursday, it was the complete opposite Friday against Dominic Comacho and Blue. Comacho gave up 13 hits and 11 runs in his 5 1/3 innings of work.
Jory Dove allowed only three hits in seven innings to pick up the win for Gold.
Gold struck first, scoring three times in the top of the first. That seemed to set the tone for the game.
Zach Hoffmann had an RBI single that scored Tim Kehren and Dan Blackstad singled to score Hoffmann. Erich Prokosch also had an RBI groundout in the inning.
"It was pretty important for us to come out and play the game of baseball like we do," said Blackstad, who finished the game with four RBI. "It was kind of frustrating coming out when we know we can get more than a few hits in a game [in Thursday's loss]. Today we just came out focused on doing what we do and got a few hits."
Gold scored four more runs in the top of the fifth. An RBI triple by Jason Shaul was followed by RBIs from Blackstad, Dylan Schreckenberg and Prokosch.
Gold scored three more times in the sixth inning, with the big hit coming off the bat of Schreckenberg, who hit a two-run double in the inning. Gold tacked on three more runs in the top of the seventh inning.
Blue's lone run came in the third inning after Jake Stadick singled and took second on Jake Gieseke's hit. Stadick moved to third and later scored on a wild pitch.
Blue finishes its season with a 4-18 record.
Kehren had three hits and scored three runs for Gold and Hoffmann had three hits and three runs along with two RBI. Shaul scored three runs and Blackstad had two hits and four RBI. Schreckenberg also had three hits and three RBI and Dove had a couple of hits.
Dove's performance on the mound was big because he went the distance, preserving the arms for later.
"It was pretty important to save some arms because we're going to need it coming down this long stretch if we're going to make it out of here," Blackstad said.