Legion Gold wins in walk-off

NEW?ULM?- Maybe it was a return of the Johnson Park magic.

Chase Meyer’s groundball with two outs in the bottom of the ninth inning snuck under the glove of Woodbury secondbaseman Alex Busch to allow both Jordan Guggisberg and Tim Kehren to score and lift New Ulm Gold to a 3-2 win against Woodbury on Thursday night in the Substate 2 American Legion baseball tournament in New Ulm.

Meyer got the win for Gold and is now 21-7. He struck out eight and gave up two runs in his nine-inning performance.

John Horner took the loss for Woodbury (3-13). He also fanned eight and gave up seven hits.

Tim Kehren had three hits for Gold.

Sam Horner had two of Post 501’s five hits.

“Seedings do not make much difference in tournaments,” said New Ulm coach Bob Weier, whose team is seeded No. 1 in the Substate 2 tournament. “They were an unknown team coming in – we did not know a thing about them. Their pitcher was awfully tough – the kids said that he hit the corners.”

The righthanded Horner also frustrated New Ulm batters all game as he worked out of threats in the in the second and third innings when he left two runners on base in each inning.

Horner worked out of a bases-loaded jam in the sixth when Meyer, Tanner Kluis and Drew Pfaff all reached to start the inning. But he set down Jacob Gieseke, Nate Palmer and Jordan Guggisberg to end the threat.

And in the seventh, Kehren led off with a triple but spoiled there as Horner fanned Nick Dewanz and Grant Kannegiesser before getting Meyer on a pop-out to end the inning.

“There was some frustration in our dugout,” Weier said. “But we tried to keep it to a minimum. You get 27 outs in a game and tonight we used 26 of them.”

Gold trailed eighth-seeded Woodbury 2-1 going into the bottom of the ninth thanks to its nine runners left on base.

But in the bottom of the ninth, Guggisberg coaxed a one-out walk and Kehren followed with a base hit to right field. Nick Dewanz drew a walk from Horner to load the bases. But Horner whiffed Kannegiesser for the second out.

Meyer followed by slapping a hard groundball to Busch, who watched the ball roll between his legs and into right field as Gold celebrated.

“Give credit to our kids,”?Weier said. “They never quit in this game.”

Woodbury took a 1-0 lead in the top of the first on an RBI single from Sam Horner.

That lead grew to 2-0 in the fourth on a Sam Kileen base hit.

Gold cut the lead to 2-1 in the bottom of the inning on a suicide squeeze bunt from Nate Palmer.

“Give credit to Chase Meyer,” said Weier. “He battled tonight and after the third inning he really setttled into a rythmn.”

Meyer allowed just two hits in the final six innings.

New Ulm will now play Mankato National at 2 p.m. on Friday at Johnson Park. Woodbury will face Fairmont at 12:30 p.m. at Mueller Park in an elimination game.

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