JORDAN - The New Ulm Brewers are one win away from the 2014 Minnesota State Class "C" Baseball title.
In a Sunday evening game, New Ulm scored four runs in the top of the ninth inning to erase a 3-1 Jordan lead. Reliever Mitch Kelly set down Jordan in order in the bottom of the inning as New Ulm came back for a 5-3 win.
Wade French got the win for New Ulm. French pitched eight innings allowing just three hits and striking out nine.
Staff photo by Mark Newsom
New Ulm Brewers first baseman Zach Hoffmann catches a throw and makes the out as a Winsted player attempts to slide into base in the sixth inning of the playoff game against Winsted on Sunday in Jordan. New Ulm defeated Winsted 13-1 and advanced to an evening game. The Brewers won the evening game by downing Jordan 5-3. The Brewers advance to the Class C championship today.
Scott Hollingsworth took the loss for Jordan allowing three runs in the ninth inning.
French and Judd Davis each had three hits for New Ulm. Garrett Fischer drove in two runs.
The Brewers, now 25-7, will play either Sobieski or Faribault today at approximately 1 p.m. in Jordan for the Class "C" title.
In the top of the ninth with the score 3-1 in favor of Jordan?"Garrett Fischer came into the dugout and said whatever we have to do, get the next guy up," said Brewers manager Al Flor. "That was the mentality that we went up there with. Our speed also played into that (ninth) inning."
New Ulm started the rally when Jason Shaul legged out an infield single and French followed with a double down the left field line. That ended Jordan's second pitcher Joe Lucas' night on the mound. Reliever Scott Hollingsworth then hit Landon Rewitzer to load the bases. Shaul trotted home on a Davis' base hit to cut the lead to 3-2. A fielder's choice preceded a single from Fischer that scored both Rewitzer and Davis to lift New Ulm to a 4-3 lead. Aaron Pfaff came home on a Cory Ranweiler sacrifice fly.
Kelly then took over in the ninth and fanned three batters to send New Ulm to today's championship game.
"It has been about a month since Wade pitched," said Flor. "He did very good. He has been in this position before as a drafted player for other teams."
French said that the win was all about the team.
"To be down by two runs in the ninth and score four runs is unbelievable," he said. 'This was my third start this year."
Jordan took a quick 2-0 lead in the bottom of the first inning when Steve Beckman reached on an error and Scott Hollingsworth belted a two-run home run.
Jordan then added a run in the fourth for a 3-0 lead
But after that French was dominant as he allowed just one hit in his final four innings of work.
New Ulm was its own worst enemy in the early innings as it grounded into double plays in four of the first five innings.
"I thought that we were going for a record for double play balls," said French. "But we hung in there, and with this team we are never out of a game. Everybody in the line-up can hit."
New Ulm cut into the 3-0 Jordan lead in the fifth inning when a run scored.
French said that he was "lost for words" when asked what it means to play for the state title.
When Flor was asked what it meant to him, he had a one word answer.
New Ulm advanced to the game with a 13-1 win in seven innings over Winsted earlier Sunday.