New Ulm VFW Gold goes 1-1 in District 2 playoffs

ARLINGTON – On Thursday, New?Ulm VFW Gold was the beneficiary of 12 first-inning runs, cruising to an easy 20-2 win.

But on Friday, it was a reversal of fortunes as one big inning ending up hurting VFW Gold.

Gold, which led 5-0 heading into the bottom of the fifth inning against Hutchinson, watched as Hutchinson scored eight times in the fifth and two more times in the sixth as the Hutchinson sent New Ulm to the elimination bracket with a 10-5 victory.

“That was too bad,” New Ulm Gold coach Derek Wilfahrt said. “They got a couple guys on and then [had some] seeing eye base hits and they had a big two-RBI hit in there. They hit the ball and we didn’t make the plays like we usually do. We had a comfortable lead, probably too comfortable.”

Gold bounced back and defeated Dassel 8-4 to advance to Saturday’s action. Gold (26-6) will play Fairmont at 4 p.m. Saturday in Arlington.

Against Hutchinson, Collin Helget took the loss. He went 4 1/3 innings, allowing 11 hits and eight runs.

New Ulm looked like it was going to carry the offense over from the first day after scoring two runs in the first on some aggressive baserunning and some big hits. After Gabe Knowles stole home for the first run, Helget delivered an RBI single that scored Alex Stark.

Gold then scored three more runs in the top of third. Knowles singled to lead off the inning and stole second. Jarin Spence drove him home on a double and Helget followed with an RBI double to make it 4-0. Helget later scored for Gold’s fifth run, and Helget was cruising along.

But like New Ulm did to Blue Earth the previous day, Hutchinson’s bats got hot it put together a big rally to end Helget’s day and New Ulm’s lead.

Sam Ellefson, Cory Rosales and Will Kuball all singled to load the bases. Jake Arlt, Jaden Fleck, Sawyer Witt all followed with RBIs and Cody Rosales and Nate Ostlund each drove in two runs as Hutchinson went up 8-5. Hutchinson added two more in the sixth for some insurance.

Knowles collected three hits in the first game and scored two runs. He also had two stolen bases. Spence had two hits and Helget was 3-for-4 with two RBIs. Jack Schwartz also had two hits.

New Ulm trailed 4-3 in the second game before scoing twice in the bottom of the fifth to grab a 5-4 lead. New Ulm then scored three more times in the sixth to hang on for the win.

Knowles pitched 5 1/3 innings for the win and Andrew Stewart pitched the final 1 2/3 innings.

Spence was 2-for-3 with three runs and an RBI and Connor Forbrook was 2-for-3 with a run scored. Schwartz was 2-for-2 with two RBIs and Knowles scored two runs.

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