NEW ULM - Ben Schumacher killed two birds with one stone on Wednesday night,
eating up innings and getting the win on the mound for New Ulm VFW Silver in its 11-6 victory against Wells at Mueller Park.
Schumacher went 6 1/3 innings and notched six strikeouts with two walks.
Staff photo by Steve Muscatello
New Ulm VFW Silver’s Austin Thordson (11) slides under Wells catcher Kyle Brandts as he jumps for the ball during Silver’s win Wednesday at Mueller Park in New Ulm.
For more photos of this event go to cu.nujournal.com
"Schumacher came in and threw 6 1/3 innings for us when we really needed him to step up," said Silver coach Preston Cowing. "He had been at football camp so he was tired, but he was able to battle through and get us a win tonight. We really appreciate the fact that he was willing to take the baseball in a tough spot."
Schumacher's outing on Wednesday gave the top of Silver's pitching rotation rest from pitching duties in preparation of this weekend's Junior Upper Midwest Classic, which kicks off Thursday night.
The beginning of the game was not too kind to Schumacher, however, as he gave up an earned run to Wells' leadoff Grant Becker and an unearned run to Trevor Stencel, who scored on an E6 that should have recorded the final out of the inning with a 6-3 putout of Jordan Kirkeidl.
Silver's bats provided room to breathe in the bottom of the first with four runs on five hits to take a 4-2 lead.
Alex Lund and Jackson Reinarts each scored after singling in the No. 1 and 2 slots. Austin Thordson notched an RBI double before A.J. Buboltz got an RBI single that allowed him to advance to third on the throw to the infield. Mike Felber drove in Buboltz with a cleanly fielded hit to the third baseman, who could not make the throw in time.
"We've been facing some really good pitching - we were up at the Sioux Falls tournament and saw some pitching from 16 and 17-year-olds and the last couple nights we've been able to hit the ball because it's getting down to our speed that we can really handle," Cowing said. "It's playing that good competition and being used to good curveballs, good fastballs and coming back here and being able to put a good swing on it."
Silver found itself leading 6-4 going into the bottom of the sixth after allowing Wells' second two-run inning of the game. Nonetheless, Silver scored five runs for insurance to put the game out of reach for Wells thanks to an RBI double by Kasey Kuck and RBI singles from Reinarts, Jordan Hillesheim and Jordan Rummel. Buboltz also notched an RBI in that inning, reaching base on an error by the right fielder.
"We had just given up a run so it was a little bit closer than we wanted it and the guys responded," Cowing said. "The bench was fired up, everybody cheering, excited about the fact that guys were on base and everybody was contributing tonight. It was great to see."
Kuck closed out the final two outs of the top of the seventh inning to secure the victory.
Silver will play the Sleepy Eye 16s to kick off the Junior Upper Midwest Classic at 6 p.m. on Thursday at Johnson Park.
Wells 200 002 2 - 6 4 3
NU Silver 401 015 x - 11 12 3
Klund and Brandt; Schumacher, Kuck (7) and Buboltz.
W - Schumacher (S) 6 1/3 IP, 4 H, 6 R, 5 ER, 2 BB, 6 K
L - Klund (W) 6 IP, 12 H, 11 R, 7 ER, 2 BB, 4 K
Leading hitters - Wells: Becker 2-4 2 R 1 K, Stencel 1-3 1 RBI 2 R 1 HP, Harpestand 1-2 1 RBI 1 BB; NU Silver: Reinarts 2-4 1 RBI 2 R 1 K, Hillesheim 2-4 1 RBI 2 R, Thordson 1-2 1 RBI 1 R 2B, Rummel 1-2 2 RBI, Felber 2-3 2 RBI 1 R 1 K, Kuck 1-3 1 RBI 1 R 2B.