By Jake Calhoun
Journal Sports Writer
NEW ULM - Mueller Park experienced its first VFW action of the season on Wednesday, when New Ulm Gold defeated New Ulm Silver 6-3 in a season-opening game.
Staff photo by Steve Muscatello
New Ulm VFW Gold’s Nick Fischer drives a pitch during Gold’s game against New Ulm VFW Silver on Wednesday at Mueller Park in New Ulm.
For more photos of this event go to cu.nujournal.com
Gold (1-0) was able to break a 3-3 tie in the fifth inning, when consecutive no-out singles from Nick Fischer, A.J. Lassas and Alex Fischer were followed by two walks and a sacrifice double-play putout in the following plate appearances to drive them all in.
"The pitchers pitched well, threw a lot of strikes - I don't think we had many walks - the defense played pretty well; we had only one error, which is pretty good for the first time out there," said Gold coach Derek Wilfahrt. "We did the little things right, got some sacrifice bunts down when we needed to. So those are all good things to see."
Gold was playing without Michael Skillings, who will be playing for New Ulm Cathedral in its Section 2A playoff game against Sleepy Eye St. Mary's at 5 p.m. on Thursday at Johnson Park.
Silver (0-1) used seven different pitchers - one for each inning - and regularly moved players around the lineup to gauge how they would fare in a game situation.
"We wanted to be able to see how those guys would react having the chance to spend an inning on the mound, spend an inning in different positions to get their feet wet," said Silver coach Preston Cowing. "It gave us a lot of information on what the kids can do as well."
Of the seven pitchers who saw the mound for Silver, Cowing said Kasey Kuck (second inning), A.J. Buboltz (sixth) and Jordan Rummel (seventh) were a few who impressed him. Those three combined to give up two hits and one walk with Buboltz notching a strikeout.
Silver struck early with a two-out RBI double in the first inning from Jacob Neumann that scored Alex Lund from second base to give the team a 1-0 lead.
Neumann later had a two-RBI single in the third inning that drove in Mike Felber and Lund to give Silver a 3-1 lead.
"Jake is batting No. 4 for us, he's our catcher so we expect a lot out of him," Cowing said. "He stepped up and did what we expect of him today."
Gold tied the game in the fourth inning, when Cooper Yackley drove in Brandon Mehlhop while reaching on an error before J.T. Hoffman drove in E.J. Berdan with a sacrifice fly that recorded the second out.
But the three-run third inning gave Gold the lead for good, as well as handing the loss on the mound to Jackson Reinarts, who gave up three earned runs on three hits with two walks.
Cooper Forbrook had a game-high four strikeouts in his two innings of work for Gold and Nick Fischer got the save.
Gold 001 230 0 - 6 8 1
Silver 102 000 0 - 3 4 1
Landsteiner, Lassas (3), Forbrook (5), N Fischer (7) and Wellmann, A Fischer (5); Felber, Kuck (2), Wacker (3), Lund (4), Reinarts (5), Buboltz (6), Rummel (7) and Neumann, Wacker (4).
W - Lassas (G) 2 IP, 2 H, 2 R, 1 ER, 2 BB, 2 K
L - Reinarts (S) 1 IP, 3 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 2 BB, 0 K
Sv - N Fischer (G) 1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 2 K
ND - Landsteiner (G) 2 IP, 2 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 0 BB, 1 K
ND - Felber (S) 1 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 0 K
Hitting leaders - Gold: Forbrook 1-4 2B, N Fischer 2-3 1 RBI 1 R 1 BB, Lassas 2-4 1 R 1 K, A Fischer 1-2 1 R, Berdan 1-1 1 RBI 1 R 1 BB; Silver: Felber 1-3 1 R 1 K, Neumann 2-2 3 RBI 2B, Thordson 1-2.