SHAKOPEE - The second chance against Shakopee was not as grim for New Ulm VFW Gold.
Gold notched four runs on nine hits against Shakopee but fell 7-4 in the championship round of the Southeast Subdistrict VFW baseball tournament on Sunday at Joe Schleper Stadium in Shakopee.
Gold (17-8) needed to defeat Shakopee twice to advance to the District 2 tournament.
Staff photo by Steve Muscatello
New Ulm VFW Gold’s E.J. Berdan drives in a couple of runs with a base hit during Gold’s playoff loss to Shakopee Sunday in Shakopee.
For more photos of this event go to cu.nujournal.com
"We just knew we had to play better," said Gold coach Derek Wilfahrt. "We hit the ball better, but this pitcher was decent. This is a good team; they play good defense. We hit the ball. We were just two or three hits away again."
Despite being held hitless until the fifth inning in Sunday's game, Gold struck in the top of the first with an RBI single by A.J. Lassas that drove in J.T. Hoffmann, who reached base on a speedy bunt single with one out.
Gold scored another run to take a 2-0 lead in that inning, which held through the first 2 1/2.
"We hit the ball a lot better, made a lot better plays," said Nick Fischer, who went 1-for-2 with one run scored.
The bottom of the third inning was trouble for starting pitcher Spencer Landsteiner, who allowed five runs on three hits after yielding two-straight leadoff walks after pitching two shutout innings. He was pulled in favor of Michael Skillings, who closed out the final 3 2/3 innings on the mound for Gold.
"He did real well for not having pitched for most of all this year," Fischer said of Skillings.
Gold tallied two runs in the top of the fifth with a two-RBI single by E.J. Berdan to diminish the lead to 7-4. However, Matt Heiling finished his start in solid fashion in his final few innings.
Heiling got the complete-game win with four strikeouts and two walks on 117 pitches.
Lassas went 2-for-4 with one RBI and one run scored, while Berdan went 2-for-3 with two RBIs.
Gold finished its season at 17-8.
"The kids played well," Wilfahrt said. "They were clicking at the end of the year here, so that was nice to see.
"We're young, we should have a nice, mature 16-year-old squad next year."
N.U. Gold 200 020 0 4 9 1
Shakopee 005 200 x 7 7 0
Landsteiner, Skillings (3) and Wellmann; Heiling and Theis.
W Heiling (S) 7 IP, 9 H, 4 R, 3 ER, 2 BB, 4 K, 117 P
L Landsteiner (G) 2 1/3 IP, 4 H, 5 R, 3 ER, 4 BB, 1 K, 61 P
Leading hitters N.U. Gold: Lassas 2-4 1 RBI 1 R 1 K, N Fischer 1-2 1 R 1 BB 1 HP 1 K, Berdan 2-3 2 RBI, Mehlhop 1-3 1 R;
Shakopee: Theis 2-3 2 R 1 HP, Heiling 1-2 2 RBI 2 R 1 BB 2B, Hanbury 1-3 1 RBI 1 BB, Becker 2-3 2 RBI 1 R, Handt 1-3 1 R.