NEW ULM - New Ulm Legion Gold coach Jeremy Drexler felt that his team would be in the 26-9 record that they finished with this season after going 1-2 in the Minnesota State American Legion Baseball Tournament.
"We played a fairly tough schedule outside of our league," he said. "Sometimes you do not know what kind of pitching you will see outside of your league. I think that we played up to the level of New Ulm Legion Gold and really played well, especially the last month of the year."
Two of the highlights for Gold was advancing to their 30th state tournament appearance and winning their pool in the Gopher Classic with a big win over a good Rapid City, S.D. team.
"Winning our pool in the Gopher Classic was a good confidence-builder for our team," he said.
New Ulm defeated Chaska in the first round of the state tournament before Gold lost to Hutchinson.
"The first time that we played Hutch in the regular season I knew that they were missing one of their better hitters," Drexler said. "I watched their game before ours (in the state tournament) and they really hit the ball around the park. We did not have our best pithing performance in that game. I think that hitting-wise, we were right with them. Their middle infielders made five or six very good plays that prevented us from getting those clutch hits."
Gold then saw their season end with a loss to the St. Cloud Chutes.
'They were a very good baseball team. They finished up second in the state tournament coming back through the loser's bracket."
Next year, Gold should be a favorite to win the Sub-State 2, D-I title again with nine of the 13 players back including graduating seniors Tanner Kluis, Grant Kannegiesser, Tyler Dittrich and Judd Davis.
"We will have most of our pitching staff back except for Chase Meyer. And there are some very good athletes on Legion Blue and the VFW Gold who will help for next season."'
BASEBALL STUFF: Next year, New Ulm will host the Minnesota State VFW Tournament... Kyle Fischer has made two big jumps with the Miami Marlins since being drafted on the 30th round this year. He has already been moved up to the South Atlantic League and High "A" ball with the Greensboro Grasshoppers... Several teams who played in this year's Upper Midwest Classic qualitied for regional legion tournament berths. Plover, Wisconsin won the Wisconsin State Championship and will play in the Great Lakes Regional Tournament against Terre Haute, Indiana... Creighton Prep finished second in the Nebraska State Tournament and will play the St. Cloud Chutes in the Central Plains Regional Tournament in Fargo, N.D. Rapid City, a team that Gold beat in the Gopher Classic, will also play in that regional tournament.