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Springfield holds off VFW Silver

Staff photo by Travis Rosenau Sleepy Eye VFW’s Arian Saenz delivers a pitch as Springfield Junior Legion’s Austin Johnson takes off for second during Springfield’s second game of the evening at Riverside Park in Springfield.

SPRINGFIELD — The Springfield Junior Legion Post 257 baseball team held off a late comeback by New Ulm VFW Silver on Tuesday evening, picking up a 9-7 win at Riverside Park.

Sam Rummel got the win for Springfield in five innings of work, allowing seven walks and five hits for five runs while striking out four.

Austin Johnson went 3 for 4 with three RBIs and a double to lead Springfield at the plate, while Luke Boyle and Rummel each added two hits.

Logan Kreilkamp took the no decision for Silver in one inning.

Logan Mielke led Silver with a 2-for-4 game, including a double and two RBIs, while Lucas Suess was 2 for 4 with two RBIs. Blaine Olson had two hits and two walks also for Silver, while Tyler Widmark was 2 for 3 with a walk.

Trailing by four heading into the top of the seventh inning, Silver got things going after a one-out error at short allowed Kellen Bode to reach. Widmark then singled before Olson drove in Bode to have Silver down 9-6.

Adam Wiltscheck then walked to fill the bases before Kaden Larson brought in a run on a fielder’s choice. But Springfield reliever Ethan Louwagie got Mielke to ground out to end the game.

Despite the loss, Silver head coach Mark Grossmann was happy with his team’s offense.

“We swung the bat, we bunted well when we were asked to bunt, we did hit okay, we ran bases okay,” Grossmann said. “Offensively, there’s no complaints with how we performed at all.”

Springfield ended the bottom of the first inning with a quick 3-0 lead, getting a two-run single by Jakob Nachreiner and and an RBI fielder’s choice off of the bat of Danny Rogotzke.

New Ulm got a run back in the second on an RBI groundout from Brock Wellmann and then tied it in the third after an RBI double by Mielke and an RBI groundout from Suess.

Springfield had a big bottom of the third, however, scoring five runs to take a strong 8-3 lead. The scoring started after a throwing error scored Macoy Krick from third. Then with the bases loaded and two outs, Austin Johnson cleared the bases with a double. Boyle drove in the final run of the inning on a single to put Springfield up 8-3.

Silver got RBI singles from Mielke and Suess in the sixth inning to cut the deficit to three before Springfield got a run back in the bottom half of the inning on a Kade Nachreiner single that scored Krick. Krick doubled earlier in the inning with one out.

Silver’s late push in the seventh came up short, however.

Silver will now gear up for playoffs next week, with seedings coming soon.

Grossmann said that the team’s biggest key for playoff success will be how the team’s defense performs.

“In a nutshell, we’ve got to play defense,” he said. “Got to play error-free defense and really smart defense. The error thing, you just can’t give up outs — this level of baseball, especially. At 15, 16-year-old baseball, there’s going to be a certain amount of physical errors that you can’t control, so you’ve got to keep the mental mistakes to zero if you can.”

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