NEW ULM - On Friday afternoon, New Ulm VFW Gold sent Dassel to the loser's bracket in the Second District VFW Baseball Tournament with a 12-2 win.
Just over 24 hours later, Dassel sent New Ulm home for the season.
Trent Krekelberg drilled a 1-1 offering from Connor Forbrook to center field to score Ethan Niemela from first to lift Dassel to a 6-5 win over New Ulm in an elimination game on Saturday.
Staff photo by Mark Newsom
New Ulm Gold catcher Grant Kannegiesser attempts to get a tag on a Shakopee player during 2nd District VFW Baseball Tournament play at Johnson Park in New Ulm on Saturday afternoon.
Dassel will now meet Shakopee at noon today at Johnson Park to play for the championship.
Tom Halonen, the third pitcher used by Dassel, got the win. He went the final two innings.
Forbrook took the loss for New Ulm, also going two innings.
Halonen had two of Dassel's seven hits and had two RBI.
Jackson Yackley led New Ulm - who out-hit Dassel 10-7 - with three hits. Brach Kraus and Tanner Kluis each had two hits.
New Ulm stranded 11 men on base in the game, six of them in scoring position.
"It was a well-played game," said New Ulm coach Dave Shoen, who saw his team end with a 26-7 record. "They got a clutch hit in the third inning (when they scored three runs) and got a nice lead. We battled back and came up clutch ourselves when we got a 5-4 lead (in the fifth inning)."
But New Ulm wasted too many scoring chances in the game.
In the first, Judd Davis got to second with one out but was stranded there. That trend continued in the third, Brach Kraus reached third with two outs but remained there.
New Ulm scored a run in the fourth when Tyler Dittrich walked with the bases loaded, but Gold left the bases jammed at the end of the inning.
"We needed another hit here or there," Shoen said. "That was the way it was in our first game (a 11-1 loss to Shakopee earlier on Saturday) where we stranded (seven runners, five in scoring position)."
Dassel took a 3-0 lead in the third on a two-run single from Halonen and a Dalton Asplin RBI single.
New Ulm cut the lead to 3-1 in the top of the fourth. Singles from Yackley and Kluis and an error loaded the bases for VFW Gold with one out. Dittrich walked to force in a run, but Wyatt Peterson struck out and Davis flew out to left to end the threat of a potential big inning.
It was also the inning where New Ulm lost a baserunner at third attempting to go to third on a pitch in the dirt.
"It was unfortunate," Shoen said. "That would have given us another run. But it is what it is. When you leave 11 men on base - that could have at least doubled our score."
Dassel countered that with a run in the bottom of the inning on two errors.
But in the fifth, New Ulm took its only lead of the gane when it scored four runs. A Yackley RBI double, A Kluis RBI single, an error and a Peterson run-scoring single gave New Ulm a 5-4 lead.
Dassel knotted the game in the bottom of the sixth on a Halonen double.
New Ulm threatened in the top of the seventh when Grant Kannegiesser was hit by a pitch and Peterson drew a two-out walk, but Davis flew out to left to end the threat.
"This was a fantastic group of kids to coach," Shoen said. "I could not have asked for a better group of kids to coach."