Junior Legion Gold falls twice on Saturday, finishes 3rd at state

BLOOMINGTON — Saturday saw New Ulm Junior Legion Gold suffer two unfortunate comeback losses in the 2019 Minnesota State Junior American Legion Baseball Tournament at Red Haddox Field.

In Jr. Gold’s first game against Hopkins, a single by Sam Harris in the bottom of the ninth inning scored the winning run as Hopkins edged Jr. Gold 4-3 in the winner’s bracket of the state tournament. That loss dropped Jr. Gold to an elimination game with Excelsior later in the day, where Jr. Gold watched Excelsior come from down 2-0 to take the lead in the seventh and pull out a 4-2 win.

The win advanced Excelsior to tomorrow’s championship game against Hopkins.

Nolan Drill took the loss for Jr. Gold in the first game. He pitched into the ninth inning and was charged with four runs on six hits. He struck out three.

Hunter Sehr had two of New Ulm’s seven hits.

New Um stranded 15 runners on base in the game.

New Ulm scored three runs in the third inning when Evan Wiltscheck was hit by a pitch. Nolan Drill and Cade Bushard each followed with singles to load the bases.

A walk to Tony Geiger scored a run before Sam Keckeisen delivered a two-run single.

But Hopkins (27-14-1) clawed back with a run in the sixth and two in the bottom of the seventh to tie the game before winning it in the ninth.

Jr. Gold then took on Excelsior and took an early 1-0 lead in the bottom of the second after an RBI bloop single by Sehr. A suicide squeeze by Sehr in the fourth scored Cade Bushard and put Jr. Gold up 2-0. Bushard had two hits in the game.

Tony Geiger pitched 5 2/3 innings and struck out 10 while allowing two runs. He didn’t give up a hit until the fifth inning and was relieved by Teagan Kamm, who took the loss after giving up two runs in the seventh. Geiger also had two hits for New Ulm.

Excelsior then got a two-run single by Daniel Davis in the sixth to tie it at 2-2 before taking a 4-2 lead in the seventh after a two-run single by Walter Johnson, Excelsior’s complete-game winning pitcher.