SLEEPY EYE - An unearned run was all it took to down New Ulm VFW Gold in its 1-0 loss to Dassel on Thursday at the Northwest Subdistrict VFW Tournament in Sleepy Eye.
The unearned run came in the top of the fourth inning as the result of a steal by Dassel's James Howell, causing Gold catcher Luke Irmiter to throw to second baseman Andrew Stewart. The ball sailed past the dirt, allowing Dean Kivisto to come home from third base.
"We kind of had the ball in no-man's land to get runners on first and third and then we had the correct play called for a first-and-third situation, we just had a little miscommunication," Gold coach Derek Wilfahrt said. "But we're not going to win any games scoring zero runs."
Dassel pitcher Dalton Asplin created a lot of problems for Gold, mixing his speeds en route to earning the victory. The lefty tallied eight strikeouts while walking just three walks in the victory.
Asplin managed to leave two runners stranded on base in his exits from the first, second and seventh innings.
Gabe Knowles had the best luck against Asplin, going 3-for-4. Connor Forbrook and Jarin Spence each recorded the other two hits for Gold.
Collin Helget got the loss for Gold. He had seven strikeouts and no walks while giving up four hits and one unearned run.
Gold had a chance to take the game in the bottom of the seventh after Asplin walked Forbrook with one out on the board. After a sacrifice bunt by Brandon Beranek to force the second out, Forbrook found himself, the tying run, in scoring position with a 2-for-3 Knowles approaching the plate.
A six-pitch at-bat for Knowles resulted in a shot to left field, advancing Forbrook to third. However, Alex Stark fell victim to Asplin as his eighth strikeout to end the game.
Gold will play Hutchinson at 1 p.m. on Friday in Sleepy Eye.
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