New Ulm defeats St. James in SCC battle
NEW ULM – In a game where errors played a part in all of the runs scored, it was a walk and two hit batters that determined the outcome.
The New Ulm Eagles scored four runs on just two hits in the bottom of the fifth inning but were aided by two hit batters and a walk from St. James’ pitching as they ran by the Saints 5-3 Thursday afternoon in South Central Conference action at Mueller Park.
Tanner Kluis got the win for New Ulm (3-0; 6-0) as he scattered five hits. He fanned five and walked two.
Sam Carlson was tagged with the loss for the Saints (0-1; 0-1), Carlson went 4 1/3 innings and was charged with four runs while striking out five.
Chase Meyer had two hits for New Ulm.
Ryan Menssen collected two hits for the Saints.
“We were fortunate to come away with a win today,” said New Ulm coach Jay Backer whose team was guilty of two errors that led to all three St. James’ runs. “This was the second game in a row where we have not come ready to play.”
St. James plated two runs in the first when Zack Gleiter doubled and Walker Froehling singled. Gleiter scored on an error by New Ulm shortstop Judd Davis while Froehling came home on a fielder’s choice.
The Eagles cut the lead to 2-1 in the bottom of the inning when Judd Davis led off with a walk. He took second on a Meyer groundout and scored on throwing error by St. James’ third baseman Nick Beckius.
St. James regained that two-run lead in the top of the third when Menssen reached second on an error and Sam Carlson walked. Kyle Pinke’s single to centerfield brought in Menssen.
But the Eagles, who were held to three hits through four innings, broke lose for four runs in the fifth with some help from the Saints.
Collin Kral’s fly ball to centerfield was dropped by Gleiter for a two-base error. A passed ball moved Kral to third before Davis singled him in. Davis took second on a Brach Kraus sacrifice bunt. Meyer followed with a base hit to end Carlson’s day. Reliever Kyle Pinke hit Grant Kannegiesser to load the bases. He then walked Blake Neumann to force in a run to tie the game.
Pinke plunked Jackson Yackley to give New Ulm a 4-3 lead before a throwing error scored the fifth run of the game for the Eagles.
Kluis then worked out of a bases loaded jam in the top of the seventh when he coaxed Pinke into a game-ending fly out.