Excelsior flies by VFW Gold in Gold’s final game of JUMC action

Staff photo by Steve Muscatello New Ulm VFW Gold first baseman Teddy Giefer stretches to catch the ball for an out during Gold’s loss to Excelsior in the Junior Upper Midwest Classic Saturday at Johnson Park in New Ulm.

NEW ULM — Sometimes the difference between a Junior Legion team and a VFW team can be very apparent.

Saturday afternoon in New Ulm VFW Gold’s contest against the Excelsior Junior Legion team, that difference showed.

After seeing scoring threats go by the wayside in the first two innings, the Mudhens scored seven runs in the third inning and used that as a springboard for a 12-1 win at Johnson Park.

Garrett Syntelien got the win for the Mudhens. He allowed just seven hits.

Nolan Drill took the loss for VFW Gold. Drill was charged with seven runs in his 2 1/3 innings on the mound.

Justin Carter and Thomas Gross each had three hits for Excelsior. Liam Worms and Sam Karrick each had two hits for the Mudhens. Carter also had three RBIs.

Excelsior now plays today at Johnson Park.

“They are a Junior Legion team, and we gave them seven runs in the third inning and you cannot do that against a team like this,” Gold coach Mike Munce said. “Their kids were all older than us and they play in a different league than us. Without that (third) inning, it is a closer game.”

New Ulm did take a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the first when Cole Ranweiler walked and scored on a Drill double to center.

But in the third inning, things started off on the wrong foot for Gold when Karrick reached on a two-base throwing error — one of five errors in the game for New Ulm — followed by a walk to Justin Carter. Thomas Gross’ single loaded the bases.

After Drill retired Evan Arndt on an infield fly, Dylan Hawley singled in the first run to tie the game.

A walk to Evan Stienga, another infield error and a Liam Worms’ single made it 5-1. That ended Drill’s day. Ethan Stade came in and walked Austin Roberts and then permitted a two-out, two-run double to Justin Carter that moved Excelsior into a 7-1 lead.

“We lost focus for one inning and it cost us,” Munce said.

Gold did mount a threat in the bottom of the third on three singles but left the bases loaded. A threat in the fifth inning was erased by a double play.

The Mudhens added three more runs in the fifth on doubles from Karrick, Carter and Gross. Two more Gold errors in the seventh allowed the final two runs to score.

Munce said that he is not worried about his team that dropped their second straight game in the Junior Classic to fall to 14-5 on the year.

“We will be OK,” he said.