Gold hammers Luverne

NEW ULM Scoring runs in bunches has been something that the New Ulm VFW Gold has done in the 2013 Junior Upper Midwest Classic.

Saturday night was no exception as they plated five runs in the bottom of the first and then sent 14 batters to the plate in an eight-run fourth inning as Gold raced into Sunday’s championship play with a 13-3 win over Luverne.

The game was stopped after 4 1/2 innings because of the 10-run lead rule. The victory over Luverne was also New Ulm’s third straight win in the tournament by the 10-run rule.

Brandon Beranek got the win for New Ulm. Beranek went into the fifth inning before control trouble forced him out of the game. Connor Forbrook came in and got the final three outs of the contest.

Connor Hoffmann took the loss for Luverne. He was charged with all 13 runs.

Gabe Knowles led the 13-hit New Ulm attack with three hits. Collin Helget, Forbrook and Jesse Baumgartner each had two hits for Gold. Knowles, Helget, Forbrook and Nick Vogel all had two RBIs for New Ulm.

New Ulm, the champion of Pool “A” will play Pool “B” runner-up, Hutchinson, at 9 a.m. at Johnson Park.

At noon, the Tonka Mudhens, the Pool “A” runner-up, will play Mankato, the Pool “B” champions.

Winners will then meet at approximately 2:30 p.m. for the championship game.

For VFW Gold coach Derek Wilfahrt, it has been a case of responding each game.

“This whole tournament we have answered teams very well,” Wilfahrt said. “That is big they (Luverne) put up two runs in the first and we came back with five runs of our own. It gives momentum back to us everyone gets more into the game. Defense comes alive and then we put up a big eight spot in the fourth.”

Down 2-0 to Luverne, Gold quickly erased that deficit.

Knowles singled, took second on a wild pitch and then scored on an Alex Stark single. Stark swiped second before he went to third on a Jarin Spence groundout. Helget’s RBI base hit knocked in Stark and tied the game at 2-2.

A walk and a base hit by Forbrook loaded the bases for Vogel, who coaxed a walk for a 3-2 New Ulm lead.

Beranek’s potential inning-ending fly ball was dropped by Luverne shorstop, Andrew Verhey, allowing two more runs to score.

Luverne plated a run in the second to cut the New Ulm lead to 5-3.

But in the fourth, Gold scored eight runs to take complete command of the game.

It was an inning that New Ulm came away with seven hits.

“We are all hitting the ball,” Wilfahrt said. “We are focused and loose.”

A Knowles’ base hit preceeded a walk to Spence and a Helget single. Jack Schwarrz walked before Forbrook and Vogel singled and Baumgartner doubled for a 10-3 lead.

Knowles’ two-run single made it 12-3 before a Spence base hit uped the lead to 13-3.

“It is great to be playing on Sunday,” Wilfahrt said. “That was goal number one. We are going to come out strong.”

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