St. Mary’s wins sloppy game with New Ulm Cathedral

Staff photo by Steve Muscatello Sleepy Eye St. Mary’s Nick Labat slides past the tag attempt of New Ulm Cathedral catcher Josh Seidl during the Knights’ win Monday at Mueller Park in New Ulm. For more photos of this event go to

By Jim Bastian

Journal Sports Writer

NEW ULM — High school baseball coaches are usually happy for one reason after their first game of the season.

That it is over.

Sleepy Eye St. Mary’s survived four errors by its defense and New Ulm Cathedral has work to do as the Knights opened the Tomahawk Conference season with a 4-3 win over the Greyhounds Monday afternoon at Mueller Park.

Nick Strate got the opening day win for St. Mary’s. He went four innings and allowed just one hit while striking out two. Kyle Windschitl pitched the final three innings, permitting one run on two hits — that coming in the Cathedral sixth inning that saw a Greyhound batter reach base and also lose a runner at home.

Kasey Kuck took the loss for the Greyhounds. He went 3 1/3 innings and was charged with three runs on two hits. He walked six and fanned five.

Ben Schumacher went 2 2/3 innings and allowed the final run.

Nathan Schroepfer, Caleb Berg, Cole Owens and Nick Labat had the hits for the Knights. Alex Woitas, Schroepfer and Owens had the RBI for the Knights.

Kuck, Schumacher and Kraus had the hits for the Greyhounds. Kuck and Aaron Portner had an RBI for Cathedral.

“It is quite obvious that we have some things to work on” Catheral coach Bob Weier said. “I thought that after we got into the game a little bit we settled down and played a little bit better. But we are a young team — play some games and get some experience.”

St. Mary’s coach Bruce Woitas said the errors were tough on his team.

“We had four errors on the board and they all kind of hurt us,” Knights coach Bruce Woitas said. “Both teams’ starters struggled in the first inning — we did not take advantage of it and they got two (runs) across in that inning.”

The Knights threatened in the top of the first when a hit batter and two walks from Kuck loaded the bases with one out. But a 6-4-3 double play ended the threat.

Cathedral took advantage of its scoring chance in the bottom of the inning. Nate Hauser walked and Josh Seidl reached on an error. A wild pitch from Strate moved both runners up. A Kuck double scored Hauser and an Aaron Portner sacrifice fly scored Seidl.

But that was the last threat for the Greyhounds until they scored their last run in the sixth.

St. Marys cut the lead to 2-1 in the third on a walk to Alex Woitas and an infield single from Schroepfer. Two wild pitches from Kuck scored Woitas.

The Knights scored twice in the fourth. Strate reached on an error and Caleb Berg walked. A Cole Owens single tied the game before Kuck walked Nick Helget to load the bases. It was Kuck’s sixth walk of the game and ended his day on the mound.

“We needed a little bit better performance out of Kasey and he knows that,” Weier said. “He has to be our leader.”

St. Mary’s added a run in the sixth when Labat doubled and eventually scored on a Schroepfer sacrifice fly.

“I am glad that we got this game in today,” Weier said. “Now we know where we are at — we know what we need to work on and things we need to talk about.”

Woitas was happy to escape with a win.

“This was a nice win for us to start the year,” Woitas said. “We don’t play again until next week so hopefully we can come back and pick up from here.”