Sleepy Eye VFW holds off Silver

Staff photo by Steve Muscatello Sleepy Eye baserunner Kegan Heidersheidt (9) as well as New Ulm VFW Silver’s Mitch Ulrich and Brayden Geariety (11) look to see what the umpire’s call will be after a close play at third base Tuesday in Sleepy Eye. Heiderscheidt was safe on the play.

SLEEPY EYE — Down 5-0 after the bottom of the first inning, Sleepy Eye VFW coach Brandon Streich told his team not to panic and get back into the game one run at a time.

But Sleepy Eye scored five times in the second inning and took advantage of seven New Ulm VFW Silver errors and won 13-9 in the District 2, Southwest Subdistrict playoffs.

Kyle Goblirsch earned the win for Sleepy Eye. He was the third of four pitchers used by Sleepy Eye and he went 1 1/3 innings, allowing one run.

“Right away, I said we gotta hold them here and we gotta have a good inning,” Streich said. “One run at a time, we just gotta chip away and we just busted it open with five runs there. Throughout the entire game, we were resilient, and I think we should’ve been even better. I think we left 10 or 11 runners on base, but we took care of things when we needed to.”

New Ulm looked like it was going to win for the second time in two days after it defeated Mankato on Monday 3-2. Silver scored five times in the bottom of the first inning off Sleepy Eye starter Carson Domeier, who gave up five runs on four hits in two innings.

Aiden Eckstein had a two-run single to put New Ulm up 2-0 and Julian Hernandez had a suicide squeeze bunt that scored Eckstein for the 3-0 lead. Later, an error at first allowed two more New Ulm runs to score.

Sleepy Eye turned that deficit into a tie game in the second, taking advantage of two New Ulm errors in the inning. Jack Nelson drew a bases-loaded walk and a couple of errors led to two more runs as Sleepy Eye eventually tied the game.

Sleepy Eye grabbed the lead in the top of the fifth, scoring four times in that inning. Jake Lux drove in two runs with a single and Kadon Strong also scored on a double steal from third base.

Down 9-5, New Ulm scored three times in the bottom of the fifth. Jaden Drill drew a bases-loaded walk to score Josh Giefer, and Carson Helget doubled to the gap in left-center, scoring Maddox Mortenson and Carter Lang to make it 9-8.

Sleepy Eye added a run in the sixth thanks to an RBI single by Nelson and it added two more runs in the seventh with RBIs coming from Domeier and Nelson.

Down 13-9, New Ulm loaded the bases with nobody out in the bottom of the seventh, but Jacob Stevens retired the side to end the game.

Sleepy Eye plays Hutchinson at 7:30 p.m. on Wednesday and Silver looks to bounce back, playing the winner of Mankato and St. James at 5:15 p.m. Mankato and St. James will play at 3 p.m. in Sleepy Eye.