Sleepy Eye VFW slips by Hutch

NEW ULM — Sleepy Eye VFW Post 800 collected hits in every inning but the second, but it was a costly wild pitch that gave them the key run in a 2-1 win over Hutchinson VFW 15 on Thursday at Johnson Park.

With the Northwest Sub-District playoff win, Post 800 plays at 7 p.m. Friday against Dassel at Johnson Park.

“I’ve been kind of preaching all year, put the ball in play and good things are going to happen,” Post 800 coach Brandon Streich said. “You’ve seen that. We had 10 hits, but early on we really had some baserunning mistakes and couldn’t put anything together. But we ended up making it work in the end. When you put guys on base, things happen.”

Hutchinson was on the board right away in the first after a Sleepy Eye error at first base allowed Ciaran McGraw to reach safely. John Kuttner later scored McGraw on a sac-fly to center to give Hutchinson the early 1-0 lead.

Sleepy Eye struck back in the fifth after a throwing error to second base bounced in to center, allowing Landon Strong to score and tie the game up at 1-1. Nick Labat, who went 2 for 4, began the seventh inning with a lead-off double.

Strong then reached and advanced Labat on a bunt single. Jacob Berg filled the bases after taking a walk and Henry Scheitel watched a wild pitch bounce by him, allowing Labat to score from third.

Berg and Nathan Walter both went 2 for 3 on the day for Post 800.

After a 1-2-3 bottom of the seventh, capped off with a leaping grab by Kyle Domeier at second, Sleepy Eye fans went home happy.

Jace Marotz received the win for Sleepy Eye, with one unearned run allowed on just two hits and four walks. He struck out five and also went 2 for 4 from the plate.

Post 800 had more than enough hits in the game, but they also left 11 men on base. That’s something that Streich wants to see improved on for Friday’s game.

“We need to capitalize on guys on base,” Streich said. “Take advantage of the opportunities rather than have the opponent hand them to you and go and get them.”