Late rally falls short for VFW Silver team

NEW ULM — New Ulm VFW Silver’s run production came too late against St. James on Wednesday at Mueller Park.

St. James defeated Silver 10-5 in VFW baseball action.

Hunter Hulke took the loss for Silver, pitching 3 2/3 innings, while allowing eight runs and having six of them earned. He walked one, struck out three and allowed eight hits.

Silver allowed 12 hits and had four errors, while St. James gave up six hits and had just one error.

Silver coach Matthew Swanson talked about what he’s liked seeing from his guys so far and what he wants to see more of as the season progresses.

“We’re a .500 team right now,” Swanson said. “We’ve played some really good teams and beat some good teams and we’ve played some other teams that we’ve struggled against. Mental errors — just making sure we’re making plays in the field. We’ve been pretty smooth all year until the last game or two, so just making sure we clean those things up.”

St. James opened up a 9-0 after the top of the fifth, led by a two-run double by Parker Jones and a two-run single by Lucas Anderson. Silver took three runs back in the bottom of the fifth, led by a pair of RBI singles from Cade Bushard and Hunter Hulke.

Bushard was 2 for 2 for Silver with an RBI and two runs scored. Jackson Bode went 1 for 2 for Silver with two runs scored.

St. James added another run in the sixth inning on an RBI single from Lee Hillesheim, who led his team with a 3-for-4 day at the plate and three RBIs.

Silver started the bottom of the seventh inning off with back-to-back walks from Bode and Bushard. After a fielder’s choice RBI from Jacob Bertrang and RBI single from Will Schabert, Silver brought the deficit to five runs but were ultimately unable to pull off a comeback victory.

“I liked seeing us fight back in the last few innings there,” Swanson said. “We’ve been hitting the ball well all year, so it’s nice to see the bats come alive when they hadn’t been going so well in the first few innings.”

Silver next plays at Fairmont at 10 a.m. on Saturday.

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