VFW Gold pounds Fergus Falls
WILLMAR — Thursday was the tale of two games for New Ulm VFW Gold, which turned a four-run deficit into a five-run lead.
New Ulm Gold got hot in the fourth inning, when it stringed together seven runs on eight hits en route to beating Fergus Falls 10-5 in the first round of the VFW state baseball tournament on Thursday at Baker Field at Bill Taunton Stadium in Willmar.
Gold (28-14-1) trailed 4-0 after the second inning, when Post 612 scored four runs on four hits off starting pitcher Mark Schommer, who got the no-decision in two innings pitched.
Aaron Portner replaced Schommer in the third and allowed one earned run on one hit in five innings of work to get the win.
Fergus Falls’ Christian Norby had a solid outing through three innings, but ran into trouble in the fourth when he walked Teddy Giefer and allowed three-straight singles and a two-run double by Jaden Domeier. Norby was tagged with four earned runs to get the no-decision, whereas Ashwin Stratton replaced him in the middle of Gold’s hitting streak to get tagged with the loss.
“I’d say it’s very contagious,” Portner said. “We just kept rolling the whole time.”
Alex Hillesheim and Braden Zimmerman delivered RBI singles after Domeier’s two-run shot. Mason Cox then got on with a single and scored thanks to a two-RBI double from Giefer.
Nolan Drill reached on an error in the fifth and was driven in thanks to a double by Josh Seidl in the fifth to make it 8-4. Drill was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded in the sixth to score Cox before Domeier recorded his third RBI of the game to score courtesy runner Zach Helget to make it 10-4.
Fergus Falls managed to score one run off Portner in the top of the seventh, but could not get enough of a rally going before the final out.
New Ulm advances through the winner’s bracket for a noon game on Friday at Baker Field against Monticello.
“Oh yeah, we have enough pitching to go all the way through,” Portner said.
Fergus Falls 040 000 1 — 5 7 2
NU Gold 000 712 x — 10 13 2
C Norby, Stratton (4), Ollila (6), Kotschevar (6) and Knudson; Schommer, Portner (3) and J Seidl.
W – Portner (N) 5 IP, 1 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 3 BB, 3 K, 65 pitches
L – Stratton (F) 2 IP, 6 H, 5 R, 4 ER, 1 BB, 2 K, 50 pitches
ND – C Norby (F) 3 1/3 IP, 6 H, 4 R, 4 ER, 3 BB, 4 K, 82 pitches
ND – Schommer (N) 2 IP, 6 H, 4 R, 3 ER, 1 BB, 3 K, 56 pitches
Leading hitters – Fergus Falls: Pearson 2-4 1 R 1 K, Stratton 2-3 1 RBI 1 BB, J Norby 1-3 1 RBI 1 R 1 K 2B; NU Gold: Domeier 2-5 3 RBI 1 R 2 K 2B, Hillesheim 2-3 1 RBI 1 R 1 BB, Cox 2-4 2 R, Giefer 1-1 2 RBI 1 R 3 BB 2B, Drill 2-3 1 RBI 2 R 1 HP.