Sleepy Eye stumbles in loss

NEW ULM – Wayzata’s Nick Olmanson threw a one-hitter as numerous Sleepy Eye errors led to a 6-0 Wayzata victory in pool play action of the Upper Midwest Classic.

“[Olmanson] threw well,” said Sleepy Eye coach Bruce Woitas. “He changed speeds well, had a nice curveball and worked ahead of the hitters. Anytime a pitcher does that, it’s going to be tough on the hitter. And then their defense made some nice plays.”

Friday’s game was scoreless and hitless going into the second inning, but Sleepy Eye’s defense lost its focus in the third to allow Wayzata on the board. It was an error by shortstop Brandon Hleget that allowed Matt Blanchard to reach base. Michael Fecho scored Blanchard on a fielder’s choice and later scored himself on a wild pitch.

In the fourth inning, John Mangen broke up Olmanson’s no-hitter with a single – Sleepy Eye’s only hit of the game.

“There were several innings where we hit the ball pretty hard, I thought, but right at guys,” Woitas said. “But it was nice to get that first hit. They made some nice plays.”

Wayzata added two more runs in the fifth inning with help from another Sleepy Eye mistake. This time, second baseman Mitch Neid committed a two-base error when Christian Linhardt struck the ball. The ball took a wild bounce off of Neid’s foot.

Olmanson hit a single to score Linhardt from second. With two outs, Jack Sorenson hit a triple deep to right field to score Olmanson.

Sleepy Eye’s best chance to score came in the bottom of the fifth. Sam Hirschboek reached on an error, and Brady Hanson drew a walk. The runners advanced to second and third on a wild pitch, but Olmanson was able to retire Sean Mathiowetz to end the inning and the threat.

Wayzata started off the sixth inning with back-to-back singles by Blanchard and Connor Olson. They were both able to score despite Mathiowetz not allowing another hit in the inning.

Wayzata finished off the final two innings without allowing another hit or scoring threat. Olmanson was the winning pitcher with a one-hit shutout and some great plays from his defense. He struck out five and walked two.

Mathiowetz pitched well for Sleepy Eye, but still got the loss. He pitched six innings and allowed six runs, but only one was earned. Mathiowetz recorded six strike outs and did not walk a batter. He gave up seven hits.

“He pitched really well,” Woitas said. “We had a situation in a couple innings where we didn’t make some plays for him, and if you do that against a good team, it’s going to be difficult. They took advantage of those extra outs. It was unfortunate that we could not make the plays for Sean tonight.”

Sleepy Eye Post 7 lost its first game 12-2 to Renner in five innings. David Suprenant went 1-for-2 and had both of Sleepy Eye’s RBIs. Mike Hirsch, Mangen and Helget all went 1-for-2 from the plate. Mike Zinniel suffered the loss, pitching four innings. He had one strikeout and one walk, allowing seven hits.

Sleepy Eye will play two more games Saturday as part of the Upper Midwest Classic. It will face Pierre at 11 a.m. and Eastview at 1:30 p.m. with both games being played at Sleepy Eye Park.

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