Eagles sweep Cardinals in Big South baseball doubleheader
Story By Charlie Sorrells
FAIRMONT — Leadoff batter Jaden Domeier not only ignited New Ulm’s offensive performance during Tuesday night’s doubleheader at Herb Wolf Field, but the Eagle senior centerfielder stepped to the mound in the late innings to preserve a sweep of the Fairmont Cardinals.
Domeier combined to collect four hits, including a pair of doubles, and scored three runs with one RBI from the batter’s box, while pitching two scoreless and hitless innings of relief to cap wins of 9-3 and 4-3, respectively, over the Cardinals.
“We just didn’t arrive at the ballpark with much enthusiasm today,” said Fairmont co-head coach Jerry Brooks. “If you don’t play with much energy against an athletic program like New Ulm, you’ll come out on the short end of the stick, and that was the story of the first game.
“In Game 2, our pitchers helped us stay close on the scoreboard and gave us an opportunity to win, but we couldn’t come up with a big hit in key situations.”
Domeier set the early offensive tone in the opener by hammering a leadoff double in the top of the first inning before scoring on Nolan Drill’s RBI single. New Ulm then combined Cole Ranweiler’s two-out single with a Fairmont balk and two Cardinal errors to build an early 3-0 lead.
Cale Steuber, who went 4-for-7 on the two-game span, singled and later scored on Nick Eversman’s RBI single to answer in Fairmont’s home half of the first. Dustin Schultz singled and Zac Ringnell lined an RBI hit to center to plate Eversman to inch within 3-2, but Drill — New Ulm’s starting pitcher — notched two of his four strikeouts to avoid further damage.
Drill utilized stellar command of the strike zone by not issuing a walk and scattered five more hits — two more by Steuber — during the next 5 2/3 frames to earn the Game 1 win.
Domeier stepped to the mound with two out and Schultz standing on second base with a double, and recorded the final out in the seventh.
Drill assisted his own cause in the opener by going 2-for-4 with a double and a game-best three RBIs, while Ranweiler went 2-for-3 with a triple and two runs scored.
Steuber’s 3-for-4 performance with one RBI and Schultz’s 2-for-4 effort paced the Cardinals’ nine-hit attack in Game 1.
Ahead 1-0, Ranweiler legged out an infield hit to set the table for back-to-back RBI doubles by Colten Schaefer and pinch hitter Landon Depew during the bottom of the fourth in Game 2.
Ironically, Domeier lashed a leadoff double in New Ulm’s fifth at-bat and later scored the eventual decisive run on Drill’s RBI single.
Trailing 4-0, Steuber proved the perfect leadoff batter by reaching on an infield hit to trigger Fairmont’s three-run rally in the top of the sixth. Eversman walked one out later before Schultz smacked a run-scoring double and Jacob Tennyson followed with a pivotal two-run double into the left-field corner to whittle the Cardinals’ deficit to 4-3.
New Ulm coach Kevin Briggs opted to bring Domeier to the mound in place of starter Cole Backer to halt Fairmont’s late comeback bid, and the Eagles’ right-hander got a groundout and a flyout to preserve the one-run lead.
Domeier received a double play from Ranweiler at shortstop during the Cardinals’ seventh at-bat to help exit with the save.
Backer allowed three runs on six hits, struck out two and walked one in 5 1/3 innings to net the win for New Ulm.
Fairmont reliever Dalen Keltgen struck out one and allowed one hit in two shutout innings of work. Starter Jack Hested took the loss by giving up four runs — three earned — on seven hits in four-plus innings.
Fairmont (11-5) is idle until playing host to Albert Lea and Jackson County Central next Tuesday in a split doubleheader at Herb Wolf Field. The first pitch of the Cardinals-Tigers game is scheduled for 5:30 p.m.
New Ulm (8-8) plays host to St. Peter on Thursday at Johnson Park.
NU 300 023 1 — 9 11 2
FA 200 100 0 — 3 9 4
Nolan Drill (WP), Jaden Domeier (7) and Evan Wiltscheck. Joey Flohrs (LP), Dan Brummond (6), Nick Eversman (7) and Zac Ringnell.
LOB–New Ulm 8; Fairmont 7. 2B–Dustin Schultz (FA), Domeier (NU), Drill (NU). 3B–Cole Ranweiler (NU). SAC–Jack Hested (FA), Teagan Kamm (NU), Colten Schaefer (NU), Noah Hauge (NU).
FA 000 003 0 — 3 6 1
NU 010 210 x — 4 8 0
Jack Hested (LP), Dalen Keltgen (5) and Zac Ringnell. Cole Backer (WP), Jaden Domeier (6, Sv) and Evan Wiltscheck.
LOB–Fairmont 5, New Ulm 3. 2B–Nick Eversman (FA), Dustin Schultz (FA), Jacob Tennyson (FA), Domeier (NU), Colten Schaefer (NU), Landon Depew (NU).