NEW ULM - New Ulm Legion Gold scored four runs in the bottom of the first inning before tacking on three more runs in the third as it cruised to a 7-1 win over Fairmont Monday night at Mueller Park.
Gabe Knowles got the win for Gold, now 9-1. Knowles went 6 2/3 innings before yielding two of his five hits in the game. He was replaced by Tyler Dittrich who recorded the final out of the game with the bases loaded.
Matt Lytle took the mound loss for Fairmont. He was tagged with all seven New Ulm runs in his four innings on the mound.
Staff photo by Steve Muscatello
New Ulm Legion Gold starting pitcher Gabe Knowles tosses a pitch against Fairmont Monday at Mueller Park in New Ulm.
For more photos of this event go to cu.nujournal.com
Parker Munson had three hits for Fairmont.
Knowles and Grant Kannegiesser each had two hits for New Ulm with Jake Gieseke driving in two runs.
For Gold and coach Jeremy Drexler, Monday's contest was a chance to give the righthanded Knowles some much-needed work.
"We wanted to get Gabe some time because he has not thrown a lot in the last couple of weeks," said Drexler. "We probably went a little over on his pitch count tonight. He battled through but got in some trouble. But overall he did well."
New Ulm gave Knowles a cushion when it scored four runs in the bottom of the first inning.
Judd Davis and Knowles each singled to start the inning before Kannegiesser doubled home Davis. Chase Meyer's infield single brought in Knowles before a stolen base and ensuing error allowed Kannegiesser to score.
Meyer then scored on a Gieseke squeeze bunt.
Gold added three more runs in the third when Kannegiesser sliced a one-out single and Meyer walked. Tanner Kluis reached on an error to load the bases before Gieseke coaxed an RBI walk.
But after that Lytle and reliever Nate Johnson shut down New Ulm's offense which Drexler attributed to a loss of focus.
"We jumped on them early but we need to do a better job of staying focused when we get those leads," he said. "We need to score more runs. We left seven runners on base tonight."
Fairmont tallied its only run off of Knowles in the fourth on a Nate Gillis groundout.
New Ulm will host Waconia at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday at Johnson Park.