Mankato Maroon defeats NU Silver

Staff photo by Steve Muscatello New Ulm VFW Silver’s Wayne Roberts lays down a punt during Silver’s game against Mankato Monday at Mueller Park in New Ulm.

NEW ULM — When a team surrenders both double-digit walks and hits in a game, the final result is bound to not be pretty for that team.

New Ulm VFW Silver found that out on Monday, falling to Mankato Maroon 13-2 in six innings of VFW baseball action at Mueller Park. Silver allowed 12 hits and 11 walks.

Silver had eight hits of their own, but suffered from not getting enough two-out clutch hitting. Head coach Bob Weier said that throwing strikes has also been a problem all season long for the team, and after not drawing a single walk of their own on Monday, New Ulm paid for it.

“It’s been kind of our Achilles’ heel all summer and our inability to throw strikes,” Weier said about allowing walks. “And long counts, too. Even if you don’t walk the batter and you still go 2-2 and 3-2 and a couple foul balls, your defense falls asleep. We had a pretty good roll there the last seven games [went 4-3, 3-0 coming into Monday] and found some kids that were able to throw strikes, and tonight we were not able to throw strikes consistently.”

Mankato jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the first inning, led by an RBI single from starting pitcher Ben Ellingworth. Ellingworth allowed eight hits, no walks, two earned runs and struck out four in the win.

Carson Helget led off the bottom of the first with a base hit and was later driven in after an RBI single by Cade Bushard to cut the Silver deficit to 3-1.

Bushard led Silver with a 3-for-3 day at the plate. Will Schabert also went 2 for 3 with an RBI for Silver.

Mankato added another two runs in the third and four more in a fourth inning that saw Maroon bat around. Maroon added another four runs in the sixth inning, an inning where they again batted around. Matthew Salzle went 3 for 4 with an RBI and two runs scored for Maroon, while Matthew Kujawa went 3 for 3 with an RBI and a run scored.

Schabert drove in the Wayne Roberts in the bottom of the sixth inning for the final run of the game.

Ethan Mixdorf got the loss in 2 2/3 innings of work, allowing four earned runs on five hits and five walks. Caleb Arndt pitched 2 2/3 innings of relief for Mixdorf and allowed four earned runs on five hits and four walks.

Bushard pitched 2/3 innings, allowing two hits, two walks and one earned run with a strikeout.

With playoffs approaching, Weier said that getting his pitchers under control will be a key issue.

“Playoffs are a week away, we have two games this week yet, so hopefully we can patch things together and our pitchers can start throwing strikes,” Weier said.