Kluis solid for Gold
NEW ULM – New Ulm Gold’s Tanner Kluis allowed just two hits – a first-inning RBI double to Frankie Hanson and a sixth-inning base hit to Noah Tapper to lead Gold to a 6-1 win against Duluth Lakeview on Friday nigbt in the Upper Midwest Classic at Johnson Park.
Kluis fanned seven and issued just two walks in his 95-pitch performance.
Wyatt Irwin took the loss for Lakeview. He was charged with six runs in his five innings of work.
Chase Meyer and Jacob Gieseke each had two hits for New Ulm with Gieseke collecting a double and triple for his two hits.
For Gold and coach Bob Weier, the performance by the righthanded Kluis was especially beneficial for the remainder of the Gold pitching staff.
“It really helps in a tournament like this that you can get a complete game out of one of your starting pitchers,” Weier said. “He struggled a little bit in the first inning [when Lakeview scored its only run] but he seemed to be in command the rest of the game.”
Kluis permitted just three more Duluth baserunners in the game. One reached on an error, the second on a single and the final runner on his second walk of the game in the seventh inning.
“He said that he was a little tired in the seventh inning but he wanted to finish and his pitch count was favorable,” Weier said. “He realized that at that point in the game with the lead all that he needed to worry about was pitches and not worry about outs at that point. And he understood that.”
After Lakeview scored what would be its only run of the game in the first inning to tie Gold at 1-1, Kluis went to work on the Duluth batters and the New Ulm offense scored runs in the first four innings.
Gold, which had taken a 1-0 lead in the top of the first on a Grant Kannegiesser sacrifice fly, plated two runs in the second inning.
Brach Kraus coaxed a one-out walk, stole second and raced to third on a wild pitch. Gieseke laced an RBI double to left field before he scored on base hit by a Jordan Guggisberg.
Gold added a solo run in the third inning when Chase Meyer doubled and Kluis helped his own cause with a run-scoring single for a 4-1 New Ulm lead.
Gold then plated two more runs in the top of the fourth.
Tim Kehren singled and took second base on a wild pitch.
Judd Davis beat out a bunt single before Duluth shortstop Wes Anderson misplayed a Kannegiesser ground ball into a run-scoring error and a 5-1 lead.
A double steal and a Meyer sacrifice fly made it a 6-1 Gold cushion.
Weier said that putting runs on the board early in the game in the fashion that his team did was important.
“When you do not bave the big inning, then you need to score runs each inning,” Weier said. “When you do that and the other team looks up at the scoreboard and it is the fourth inning and they are down by five runs, you have quietly gotten the lead and you have taken everything away from them offensively. Now they cannot hit or steal anymore.
“Percentages are in your favor when teams cannot do that.”
Gold returns to action today in the Classic. They play Roseville at 4:30 p.m. before meeting Sioux Falls East at 7 p.m. Both games are at Johnson Park.