Brewers carry momentum into round two of state tourney

NEW ULM – The Faribault Lakers stand in the way of the New Ulm Brewers Sunday at 4:30 in Delano in the second round of the Class C Minnesota State Amateur Baseball Tournament.

The Brewers downed Waterville 5-0 last week in their first round game while Faribault, the champions of Region 3, got a first round bye.

“We are 24-11,” said Lakers manager Charlie Lechtenberg. “This is our first time in the state tournament since 2019.”

Lechtenberg said the Lakers are a well-balanced squad.

“We have had had good pitching and defense — we have hit the ball a lot better,” he said. “In the last five years we have lost in the game to qualify for the state tournament, so we have been close.”

Lechtenberg said Faribault have several very good pitchers on the team.

“Jake Petricka [who played college baseball at Indiana and had professional stints with the Chicago White Sox, Toronto Blue Jays, and Milwaukee Brewers MLB organizations], Joe Grote [Wartburg College] and Danny Bomsta has been good for us, as has Egan Bonde,” he said. “And we have some good draft picks from Montgomery in Johnny Krocak — he has been one of the best in the DRS League, so it was big getting him in our draft. That was huge.”

Lechtenberg said that he did not know who he would send to the mound against the Brewers.

Offensively, Lechtenberg said that his team has hit the ball well.

“We have about six players who are hitting over .300. It is everybody hitting the ball — Matt Lane, Nick and Nate Ross.”

Lechtenberg said that having that bye in the first week as regional champions can be a blessing or a curse.

“We have had it before — we had a first round bye in 2014 and we took third in the state and in 2015 we had that bye and lost in the first round. So it can definitely bite you in the butt.”

New Ulm Brewers manager Al Flor said that Faribault would be a tough team to beat.

“We know that they are the number one team in their region,” Flor said. “They have a good pitcher — they are a good team.”

Flor said that the Brewers, who are coming off a 5-0 shutout win behind Mitch Bockenstedt, would put out the same lineup as last weekend, but he is not sure who he will send to the mound on Sunday.

“The game intensity is the same as last weekend — I think that the intensity builds up come the third weekend,” Flor said. “There is a different feel from the first two weekends versus the third weekend.”

Flor said that it is big if the Brewers can get that first run on Sunday.

“But this year that has not been our forte,” Flor said. “We have never been a jump-out-early team.”

A win Sunday would move them to next Saturday against the winner of the Nisswa Lightning-Cannon Falls Bears game at 4:30 in Litchfield.


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