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Brewers hammer Long Sox, clinch Class C state berth

Staff photo by Travis Rosenau New Ulm Brewers’ Trevor Nissen circles the bases after a home run during a Region 2C playoff game with Lamberton on Tuesday night at Eagles Park in Sleepy Eye.

SLEEPY EYE — The New Ulm Brewers punched their ticket to the 2022 Minnesota State Class C Amateur Baseball Tournament Tuesday night.

And they did it in a dominating fashion.

The Brewers plated five runs in the bottom of the third inning and then added four more runs in the fourth inning as they went on to top Lamberton 13-1.

The game was stopped after seven innings because of the 10-run lead rule.

Wade French got the win for the Brewers, who improved to 29-3 on the season.

French went six innings and threw 93 pitches. He struck out four, walking one and hitting two batters.

Adam Nilson closed out the seventh inning for the Brewers.

Brady Bierl took the loss for Lamberton, going 3 1/3 innings and allowing six runs.

Lamberton now plays in an elimination game Saturday at 1 p.m. in Fairfax against the wnner of the Springfield-Stark game that will be played Friday at 7:30 p.m. in Sleepy Eye.

The Brewers play Saturday at 4 p.m. in Fairfax against the winner of Friday’s game.

J. T. Hoffmann and Cole Ranweiler each had two hits for the Brewers, with Trevor Nissen belting a two-run home run in the five-run third inning.

French had three RBIs.

For the Brewers and manager Al Flor, it was a game where they were sluggish early but gained momentum.

“We started slow, but we found our bats,” he said. “We are pretty familiar with (Lamberton).”

After being held to one hit through the first two innings, the Brewers broke open the game with five runs in the third inning off of the left-hander Bierl.

Hunter Ranweiler was hit by a pitch and Hoffmann legged out a bunt single.

Hunter Ranweiler scored on Cole Ranweiler’s single before French helped his own cause with a two-run single.

Nissen, who Bierl struck out in the first, got some big payback when he hammered Bierl’s first offering over the fence in left for a 5-0 cushion.

“He (Nissen) is swinging the bat well for us,” Flor said. “He is a threat and he protects players in our lineup — he makes us all the more dangerous.”

Lamberton then mounted a big threat in the top of the fifth when they loaded the bases with no outs but managed only one run off of French.

“I think that definitely swung the game in our favor,” Flor said. “It gave us some momentum coming into the bottom of the (fifth) inning.”

The Brewers used the momentum swing to push four runs across.

Jason Seidl walked and Hunter Ranweiler beat out an infield single. Cole Ranweiler was hit by reliever Cade Schiller’s pitch to load the bases.

A French groundout scored Seidl.

Lamberton then elected to walk Nissen intentionally to load the bases. That strategy backfired as Jaden Domeier singled in two runs before Andrew Peters laced an RBI single for a 9-1 lead.

The Brewers then tacked on two more runs in the fifth and two more in the sixth on two hits and an error.

Meanwhile, French was in command all game, working out of jams in that fourth inning with just one run and again in the sixth when Lamberton loaded the bases but failed to score.

“Wade came to play tonight,” Flor said. “That rainout on Saturday in the regional (that pushed games back a day) benefited us because it allowed Wade to get back from vacation. He threw really well.”

Flor admitted there was more pressure on his team as the season went on.

“There was some pressure to win this game and get to the state,” Flor said. “As the season went on and the expectations grew, there was some pressure to win.”

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