VFW Silver dominates Fridley, wins their final game in JUMC

File photo by Steve Muscatello New Ulm VFW Silver’s Ethan Mixdorf throws the ball during an earlier Junior Upper Midwest Classic game at Johnson Park.

ESSIG — New Ulm VFW Silver wasn’t going to allow themselves to finish up their time in the Junior Upper Midwest Classic empty-handed on Saturday, defeating Fridley 12-2 in VFW baseball action at the Essig ballpark.

Both teams finished fourth in their respective pools, but Silver played anything like a fourth-place team against Fridley. With both squads at 0-3 heading into Saturday, Silver got a solid pitching performance on the mound from starter Will Schabert and got hits in every inning but the second and third.

Schabert got the win in six innings of work, allowing one earned run, two hits and a walk.

Silver head coach Bob Weier was happy with Schabert’s performance, especially with Schabert’s lack of pitching experience.

“Our pitcher — it all keys off that pitcher,” Weier said. “He was throwing strikes and not walking batters. He worked through some situations in the beginning of the game due to some errors on our part, but he didn’t let it bother him.

“[Will’s] a kid who doesn’t have a lot of pitching experience,” Weier added.

“A couple of years ago, but the last year or so, he hasn’t really pitched a whole lot. He didn’t pitch at all in school ball, but we talked to him when the summer season started and told him we’d probably need him on the mound, and he was more than willing. Every outing, he’s gotten just a little bit better and a little bit better. Hopefully, today’s a big confidence booster for him.”

Silver got on the board right away in the first for two runs after a pair of RBI singles by Isaiah Miller and Chris Swantz. Fridley tied it up in the third inning after an error allowed Cameron Scott to score and a passed ball let Micha Niewald come in to score from third.

Silver then took a 4-2 lead in the fourth after a fielder’s choice from Schabert scored Wayne Roberts and a groundout by Miller scored Brayden Geariety. Silver added another three runs to lead 7-2 in the fifth inning, led by RBI singles from Geariety and Carson Helget.

Finally, Silver tacked on five more runs in the seventh inning, led by RBI singles from Miller, Evan Wiltscheck and Cade Bushard. Sam Keckeisen walked in Silver’s final run.

Geariety, Swantz and Wiltscheck each had two hits and an RBI, while Miller led Silver with two hits and three RBIs. Silver finished with 11 total hits, improving from their previous three-hit effort against a tough Wayzata squad on Friday.

“It was a new day and our kids understand,” Weier said. “We talked about it — the competition. It was quite challenging for us. We played a good game against Sleepy Eye [early Friday], that’s our caliber … but it was nice to see them come back today. We had some kids that have had a rough weekend, and today those kids had really nice days.”

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