NEW ULM - In every baseball game, there is an inning that changes the momentum.
Saturday afternoon, it was a three-run third inning by the New Ulm Brewers that jump-started them to a 9-4 win against the Loretto Larks in the Minnesota Class C Amateur Baseball Tournament..
"That was the key to the game," said Brewers manager Al Flor.
The inning started off with an error by Larks shortstop Ryan Tapani on a Matt Suess groundball. Flor then called for a sacrifice bunt from No. 9 hitter Judd Davis.
Davis got the bunt down but Loretto pitcher Jordan Flick casually threw the ball to first base. That casual throw allowed Davis to beat it out and put Brewers on first and second with no outs.
Aaron Pfaff then moved both runners into scoring position with a bunt to set the stage for four-straight singles off Flick, ending his pitching stint.
"I thought that [Flick] did a pretty good job of mixing up his pitches," Flor said. "His curveball was pretty good. But we started to prove that we could hit him and that deflated them. You could tell the change of momentum at that point."
Big momentum continued for the Brewers in the fifth inning when Cory Ranweiler blasted a solo home run over the fence in leftfield - his third home run of the season - for a 4-2 lead before they tacked on another run in the sixth when Jason Shaul was plunked by a pitch, took second on a passed ball and then scored on a Davis base hit.
"[Davis] is not an easy out at the No. 9 spot in the lineup," Flor said. "He runs well, he can slap the ball, drag bunt and do everything. He is a quality baseball player - he would be batting leadoff for most teams."
The Brewers also saw good hitting from their No. 3-4-5 hitters in the lineup in Cory Ranweiler, Brady Ranweiler and Zach Hoffmann who went a combined 7-for-11 in the game.
The Brewers will now play the defending Class C champion Sartell Muskies at 11 a.m. on Saturday in Belle Plaine. The Muskies defeated Belle Plaine 4-0 Saturday morning.
New Ulm will probably face Adam Wenker who is now 8-1. If the Brewers should win on Saturday, they would play again at 11 a.m. on Sunday in Jordan.
Flor said Mitch Kelly would start against Sartell.
LOCAL BASEBALL: Former New Ulm High School and Kaiserhoff player Nate VanRoekel is playing shortstop for Dundas in the Class B State Amateur Baseball Tournament.
Former Minnesota Valley Lutheran pitcher Ryan Sander is 7-0 for the Bemidji Blue Ox with Matt Baier from Springfield at shortstop on the team. Phil Holz of MVL is on the Faribault Lakers team.
GREYHOUNDS, EAGLES SCRIMMAGE: Both the New Ulm Catehdral Greyhounds and the New Ulm Eagles had football scrimmages Saturday. Minnesota Valley Lutheran's scrimmage was called because of rain and lighting in Mapleton.
For Cathedral and coach Denny Lux, the scrimmage was used to find positions for some players because of the depth his team has.
"We moved some players around to give us more depth in some spots," Lux said. "We are pretty solid two deep at every position."
Lux said that the intra-team scrimmage was more for the newer guys.
"We have taken some players who were at fullback in the past and put them at an offensive guard," Lux said. "We moved Evan Atzenhoefer from fullback to guard because we wanted to get four-deep at the guard spot - we use our guards out in the open. We have taken Jacob Gangelhoff from halfback and put him at wingback and we moved Gabe Knowles to a wide receiver. So this was their chance to get some live action and get a feel."
Lux also said that the defense played well.
"Our linebackers were flowing to the ball and our secondary was playing smart," Lux said.
He also said that moving Knowles to wide receiver with Gangeloff as the other wingback with Tyler Franta in the middle as a tight end will make some matchup problems for defenses.
NUHS had a three-team scrimmage with Gibbon-Fairfax-Winthrop and Windom Area.
Eagles coach Tony Ortmann said his kids competed well.
"We are still working on the tackling, we are working on keeping our eyes on the thighs," Ortmann said. "Right now some of our guys are tackling a little bit high so that is something that we are working on. It comes down to the proper execution of tackling."
Ortmann felt that offensively his team moved the ball well.
"We need to get our No. 2s on the same page as our No. 1s," Ortmann said. "That is the biggest thing on offense right now."
Cooper Yackley is the starting quarterback and will be backed up by senior Connor Forbrook.
"Connor is taking reps at both quarterback and tight end," Ortmann said. "So we have a righthanded quarterback in Cooper and a lefty in Connor."
Yackley managed to hit Matt Rowley several times in the scrimmage for yardage.
"Matt does have good hands and is also a good threat for the running game," Ortmann said. "We are happy where he is at right now."
He was also pleased with the play of Lorenzo Herandez and Rowley along with Jordan Hillesheim at fullback.
Football numbers are also an issue in Windom Area, which has 33 players in grades 9-12.