By Jeff Arenz
MARSHALL - Pitching was the difference as New Ulm dropped a 5-1 non-conference baseball decision against Marshall on Saturday at Legion Field.
The Eagles (1-1 overall), who employed juniors Jarin Spence, Jesse Baumgartner and Wyatt Peterson on the mound, combined for a pair of strikeouts and allowed only five hits, but issued 10 walks.
Four of those walks were converted into runs before a hit batsman in the fifth inning came around to score the Tigers' fifth run.
"We hit the ball well and played good defense, but we issued way too many free passes to Marshall," New Ulm coach Jay Backer said.
Tigers starter Carl Douglas (1-0) was much more efficient in his first outing of the season. He threw 68 pitches, scattered nine hits, struck out one and issued no walks to become the winning pitcher after tossing a complete game.
Spence loaded the bases with walks in the first before Noah Winkelman's sacrifice fly plated Marshall's first run. After another walk, Douglas drove in the Tigers' second tally with the second sacrifice fly of the inning.
Despite Douglas and his effort, New Ulm had its chances.
Trailing 2-0, the Eagles scored their only run in the second inning on a bases-loaded, RBI single from Tyler Dittrich, whose sinking liner fell into right field and plated Grant Kannegiesser. The bases remained loaded, but Douglas forced Brach Kraus to hit a foul pop up to catcher Walker Werpy and Judd Davis grounded out to end the threat.
New Ulm, which left nine baserunners stranded, had Jackson Yackley at third and Tanner Kluis at first after both hit back-to-back singles to begin the third. But Douglas and Marshall's defense prevented the Eagles from scoring by retiring Kluis on a fielder's choice as Kannegiesser reached before Peterson grounded into a 6-4-3 inning-ending double play.
Brad Bahlmann's third-inning double chased home Winkelman all the way from first for a 3-1 Marshall lead. The Tigers added single tallies in the fourth and fifth, picked up RBI singles from Winkelman and Bryce Johnson.
New Ulm, which placed runners on base with two outs in each of the fourth, fifth and sixth innings, failed to execute a rally each time.
"I was really pleased with our hitters because we were aggressive in the strike zone," Backer said. "We didn't get the timely hits and we outhit (Marshall). There were a lot of two-out hits that we just couldn't capitalize upon."
Trailing 5-1 through six innings, the Eagles' ninth hit of the game was lead-off single from leadoff hitter Judd Davis. After a fly out and a fielder's choice, Kannegiesser pop up to second base ended the game.
New Ulm's game at Marshall on Saturday was the first game of a split doubleheader for the Tigers (2-0 overall), who rallied to defeat Waseca 5-4 on Hoeft's walk-off single in the seventh.