FAIRMONT - Jordan Guggisberg helped keep New Ulm Gold's season alive by throwing a two-hit shutout in a 10-0 win over Fairmont Saturday in the District 2 Amateur Baseball Tournament.
Kevin Larson started New Ulm's half of the first inning with a walk. He stole second base, advanced to third on a passed ball and scored on a groundout by Tim Kehren. Zach Hoffmann followed with a home run to left field to give New Ulm an early 2-0 lead.
Guggisberg surrendered a one-out double to Luke Becker in the third inning, but was able to retire the next two hitters and leave Becker at third base.
The double by Becker was the last hit allowed by Guggisberg.
With one out in the third inning, Kehren reached on a bunt single, Hoffmann walked and Jason Shaul crushed a three-run home run over the right-center field fence to give New Ulm a 5-0 lead after three innings of play.
Erich Prokosch led off the fourth inning with a walk and came around to score on a single from Larson to give New Ulm a comfortable six-run lead after four innings.
"We had a couple of home runs and some really good clutch hitting," Guggisberg said. "In the end, we got a really nice output of runs."
After Larson, Kehren and Shaul drew walks in the sixth inning, Matt Bergmann delivered a two-out, bases-clearing double to the left field wall. Bergmann scored on single from Dan Blackstad to give New Ulm a 10-0 lead.
"Two things really helped us out today," New Ulm Gold head coach Bob Weier said. "One was the weather - it was not too hot, so we were able to stay cool. The other was our offense. We were able to score some runs and save a couple of innings. We want to save all the energy we can for tomorrow."
Guggisberg retired the side in order in the seventh to end the game due to the 10-run rule.
"Any time we can get a complete game from one of our pitchers it is a tremendous help to us," Weier said.
He allowed just two walks to go with the two hits, while striking out three in the complete game shutout.
"I just wanted to come out, hit my spots, and let my defense make some plays," Guggisberg said. "That is exactly what they did today."
Larson, Kehren, Hoffmann and Shaul all scored two runs for New Ulm.
With the win, New Ulm will advance to the championship game against Sleepy Eye today. Because Sleepy Eye defeated New Ulm 1-0 earlier in the tournament, New Ulm will have to beat Sleepy Eye twice to take the title.
"I really cannot say enough about these guys," Weier said. "They don't quit, they battle, they stick together, and they pick each other up. It is a real joy to be with these guys. [Today] we are going to come back here and put a close to this situation. The chips will fall where they may."
The first game is scheduled for 1 p.m. in Fairmont. The second game (if necessary) is scheduled to start at 4 p.m.
"The train is coming and we will see where it takes us," Guggisberg said.