NEW ULM - Saturday night, the New Ulm Brewers took the fifth against Stark in the start of the Region 2C playoffs.
The Brewers broke open a close 2-1 game with six runs in the bottom of the fifth inning and then added three more in the home half of the seventh to down the Longhorns 11-1 at Johnson Park.
The game was stopped in the bottom of the seventh because of the 10-run rule.
Staff photo by Steve Muscatello
Stark second baseman Tim Seifert jumps to catch the ball as Brewers base runner Aaron Pfaff (9) slides safely back to second during the Brewers playoff win Saturday at Johnson Park in New Ulm.
For more photos of this event go to cu.nujournal.com
Chris Cariveau got the win for New Ulm, going seven innings. He did not strike out a batter but scattered seven hits with the Longhorms' only blip on the scoreboard coming in the top of the fourth when Brady Hanson scored on a groundout by Nathan Kral.
Zach Hoffmann missed hitting for the cycle for the Brewers by just a single as he collected a solo home run, a triple and a double in his four plate appearances. He also drove in three runs. Jason Shaul, back from his season in Thunder Bay, had two hits, as did Cory Ranweiler.
Brandon Helget had two of Stark's seven hits.
Both the Longhorns and the Brewers continue play Sunday with Stark hosting Springfield at 2 p.m. and the Brewers playing at Sleepy Eye in a 7:30 p.m. clash.
"We know that we can score runs," said Brewers manager Al Flor. "I was not concerned [when New Ulm held a slim 2-1 lead]. It was still a long game at that point."
But it became a short game very quickly.
The Brewers held that one-run lead going into that fifth inning thanks to a Longhorns' error in the second inning and a one-out solo home run over the left-field fence by Hoffmann.
New Ulm began the dismantling when Shaul singled, went to second on a wild pitch and scored on a double by Aaron Pfaff.
Cory Ranweiler's base hit plated Pfaff for a 4-1 lead.
A walk to Brady Ranweiler and an RBI single from Chris Peters increased the lead to 5-1. Hoffmann folllowed with a two-run triple that ended Stark starting pitcher Craig Fischer's night as New Ulm moved into a 7-1 cushion.
Landon Zinniel was greeted by a sacrifice fly from Zach More.
"All year long we have been patient and have scored runs at the end of the game," Flor said.
New Ulm then ended the contest in the bottom of the seventh on a fielder's choice, an Aaron Pfaff sacrifice fly and a Cory Ranweiler base hit.
Flor said he will send Zach More to the mound against the Indians.