An early exit for Legion Gold

Staff photo by Travis Rosenau Riley Hansen dives in an attempt to tag out Worthington Post 5's Mason Ellenbecker on a close play at third in New Ulm Legion Gold's second playoff game of the day at Franklin Rogers Park in Mankato.

MANKATO — The New Ulm Legion Gold baseball team struggled to gather enough hits and runs together on Thursday at Franklin Rogers Park, leading to two costly defeats and elimination from the Legion Substate 2 playoffs as a result.

Gold first dropped a morning game to Jordan 3-1 in the winner’s bracket, leading New Ulm to a matchup with Worthington Post 5 later that afternoon. Worthington then topped Gold 3-1 to stay alive in the playoffs and send Gold home.

Gold got eight hits in their first game against Jordan, but they only collected three against Worthington for a total of 11 in two games on Thursday.

New Ulm had solid pitching in the playoffs and all summer long, but the team didn’t string enough hits together when needed on Thursday and paid for it as a result.

“Game 1, we left some guys on base with some big hits, we had an opportunity here [Game 2] to tie it in the bottom of the sixth, and we stranded two guys in scoring position,” Gold coach Chris Peters said after Gold’s final loss of the season to Worthington. “That’s the game of baseball. Worthington was prepared, they came to play and caught us on one of those days where hitting was contagious.”

Gold’s offense was kept in check against Jordan until the sixth inning, where Gold added three hits and their only run on a throwing error by the shortstop after Mark Schommer got an infield single.

Aaron Portner took the loss against Jordan, despite striking out six in three innings of work. Jordan Fischer pitched four innings of relief for Portner and managed to get two key groundballs in the fourth and sixth innings for a pair of double plays.

Fischer struck out three and allowed three hits and a run, with the run scoring after back-to-back Gold errors.

Jaden Domeier led Gold against Jordan with a 3-for-3 day the plate.

Portner also added a pair of hits for Gold in Game 1.

New Ulm then took on Worthington and the bats cooled off. Worthington went up 3-0 after a run in each of the first three innings off of Gold starter Braden Zimmerman, who was pulled after three innings of work.

Zimmerman gave up six hits and hit a batter with one strikeout. Brandon Seidl pitched four innings of relief for Zimmerman, allowing one hit with three strikeouts.

Gold’s first hit against Post 5 came in the fifth inning off the bat of Portner with one away. Back-to-back strikeouts then ended the inning.

Gold scored its lone run in the sixth inning off of an RBI single into right by Hunter Ranweiler. Jaden Domeier then added the only other hit for Gold in Game 2, a single, after Ranweiler’s base hit.

With a final record of 15-12, Peters said that it was still a solid season.

“We had a good season,” Peters said. “Played some tough teams, we had some good wins. But then again, the game of baseball, it dictates different things. When things don’t go right, they make the plays and your team doesn’t hit, you don’t win too many ballgames.”