VFW?Gold surges momentum, advances to title game

SLEEPY EYE?- Momentum can make or break any team come playoff time.

For New Ulm VFW?Gold, momentum “made” it, so to speak, in its two victories on Saturday at the Northwest Subdistrict in Sleepy Eye.

After its 1-0 loss to Dassel on Thursday, Gold carried its success from its five-inning 13-0 win against Hutchinson on Friday over to Saturday, when it defeated Glencoe 11-6 in the morning and Mankato Maroon 6-4 that afternoon.

“We just had a lot of confidence,”?said Gold coach Derek Wilfahrt. “We knew we could hit the ball, we’ve got a lot of pitching left. We just can’t make the game more complicated than it is.”

In the first game, Gold struck early with two runs in the first inning and four runs in the second.

Jarin Spence was the driving force with his one-RBI?triple in the first and his double in the second that knocked in three runs.

Gabe Knowles started the game for Gold, but was pulled after 28 pitches in three innings without conceding a hit. Wilfahrt said Knowles was pulled to be saved for later games in the tournament.

Spence was put in on short notice, causing a few problems with his delivery.

“I?should be prepared,”?Spence said. “It was rough out of the stretch, but we came through.”

Spence gave Gold a scare, allowing all six of Glencoe’s runs off five hits in 3 1/3 innings pitched. Spence did have six strikeouts while walking just four.

However, with Glencoe’s surgeance in the third inning to close the scoring gap to 6-3 after the third inning, Gold patched two more runs to stretch its lead to 8-3.

By the time Glencoe put up three more runs in the top of the seventh, it still found itself trailing 11-6 before Gold’s Bailey Batt closed the game to seal the victory.

Knowles officially got the win since Gold had a 6-0 lead at the time of his exit from the mound.

The second game saw a solid defensive effort en route to a 6-4 victory against Mankato Maroon.

Connor Forbrook made a run-saving diving catch in the fourth inning with the bases loaded. At the plate, Forbrook went 3-for-4 with four RBIs including the go-ahead two-run score in the top of the seventh.

The other marquee defensive stop came from Jesse Baumgartner, who nabbed a diving catch with the bases loaded to end the fifth inning.

Knowles got the victory in game two with his second-inning entrance.

Gold will now play Dassel, which it lost to 1-0 in the first game of the tournament, for the Northwest Subdistrict title.

First pitch is set for noon on Sunday in Sleepy Eye.

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