VFW Gold tops Silver

NEW ULM – New Ulm VFW Gold put up five runs in the second inning Wednesday and finished off New Ulm VFW Silver with a six run fifth inning, which put the 10-run rule into effect and ended the game with a 12-2 score.

The scoring started when Silver pitcher Michael Skillings allowed Jack Schwartz to score on his own error when he threw the ball over his third baseman’s head, allowing Schwartz to round third for the run. Skillings fought back and retired the next three batters.

Gold extended its lead in a big way in the second inning. Jarin Spence drove in the first two runs of the inning on a single. Spence played a large role in the Gold offense, going 2 for 3 with four RBIs. Luke Irmiter blasted a triple that scored Spence and Matt Rowley to give Gold a 6-0 lead in the second inning.

“We got some runners on, had some decent hits. I guess we also hit it where they weren’t, a couple bloopers in there, but whatever gets runs across we’ll take it,” Gold manager Derek Wilfahrt said.

Skillings was pulled at the end of the inning and was given the loss. In two innings of action, Skillings allowed five hits and six runs, three of them earned.

Evan Atzenhoefer replaced him and was a bright spot for the Silver pitching staff. Atzenhoefer went two innings, allowing no runs and just two hits.

“I think that Evan did a good job of pitching,” Silver manager Bob Skillings said.

Gold used two pitchers, both of whom were very effective. Connor Forbrook got the start and the win. He pitched three scoreless innings and allowed just two hits.

Jesse Baumgartner pitched the final two innings and allowed two unearned runs on just one hit while striking out three.

“Jesse hadn’t thrown for a while, so it was nice to get him some work, and he threw well,” Wilfahrt said. “He got his fastball across, mixed in some off speed and did a good job and let the defence work for him.”

Baumgartner and Forbrook made it difficult for Silver to get hits throughout the game, limiting them to a total of three.

“It has been difficult for us to have big innings this year,” Skillings said. “It just seems like we have a tough time putting together a string of hits, and so we keep working on it.”

Silver’s two runs came with help from two Gold errors. E.J. Berdan reached when the shortstop mishandled the ball. He scored when Alex Fischer hit a slow bouncer toward first. The first baseman tossed the ball behind the pitcher who could not hang onto it. Michael Skillings hit a two out single to score Spencer Landsteiner and make the game 6-2.

New Ulm Gold more than made up for its defensive mistakes in the bottom of the inning. Remarkably, Gold’s first eight batters reached base. During that span, they hit three doubles and three singles with two walks. Brandon Beranek’s double scored the first fun on the inning. The next batter was Schwartz, who drove in two more runs with a double of his own. Spence added a two RBI single to put Gold within one run of the 10-run rule without an out. With the bases loaded and one out, Nick Vogel drew a walk to end the game.

“The guys hit the ball well in that last inning,” Wilfahrt said. “They really focused up and squared some balls up and hit ’em hard and got out of here.”

New Ulm VFW Gold (18-4) plays a doubleheader Saturday, July 6 at Minnesota Lake against Mapleton.

New Ulm VFW Silver (2-13) will play at 6 p.m. on Monday, July 8 at Fairmont.

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