A frustrating finish for Eagles
NEW ULM – An influx of mistakes could not have come at a worse time for the New Ulm baseball team.
Needing one out in the top of the seventh inning while trailing by two runs, No. 6 New Ulm allowed 11 runs in falling 14-3 to No. 8 Fairmont in a South Central Conference baseball game on Monday.
Eight of the 11 runs allowed by Eagles (10-2, 3-1 South Central) in the seventh were unearned thanks to a dropped foul ball by Chase Meyer that would have recorded the final out of the inning.
“The flood gates opened,” said New Ulm coach Jay Backer. “They hit the ball, put the ball in play and we, unfortunately, didn’t make some plays and had a bad inning there.”
Meyer, who started the game on the mound for the Eagles, got Ben Abel to fly out to left field and struck out Cole Emler for the first two outs of the inning after giving up a leadoff double to designated hitter Parker Monsen.
With his pitch count eclipsing 100, Meyer was pulled for Tyler Dittrich after giving up an RBI single to Spencer Chirpich that drove in pinch runner Matt Lytle from second base.
“Chase threw a lot of pitches and I probably, looking back at it, should have just started a different pitcher in the seventh,” Backer said. “You’ve got to be concerned for a kid’s arm and I didn’t know when it was going to stop, so we wanted to get him out of there. We’re going to need Chase for the playoffs, he’s still a very good pitcher for us.”
Having tallied 113 pitches in 6 2/3 innings of work, Meyer got the loss with five of his six allowed runs marked as earned.
Dittrich’s shift from first base to the mound only made things easier for the Cardinals (11-1, 4-1). After walking Jack Waletich to put runners on first and second, Dittrich gave up a two-run double to Luke Becker to start the scoring frenzy.
“It just got contagious from that point on,” said Fairmont coach Todd Sukalski. “Sometimes in baseball, momentum can really carry you. We were fortunate, we strung all our hits together in the same innings. … That’s the way you’d like to set it up, but it doesn’t always work that way.”
All eight runs given up by Dittrich were unearned because of Meyer’s error on the dropped foul ball.
For Fairmont, nine different players scored the 11 runs – Lytle scored as a pinch runner for Monsen and later after getting hit by a pitch at the plate, while Chirpich scored twice from his only two hits of the game.
Becker, who got the win on the mound in a complete-game effort, ended the Cardinals’ hitless streak in the fourth with a leadoff triple off the right-center fence that incited a three-run inning that gave them a 3-1 lead.
“Luke’s our leader, he’s our best player and we count on him to come through for us,” Sukalski said. “The first run is always the hardest and once we broke the ice, things snowballed from there.”
Becker, Chirpich, Waletich, Jay Ruen and Tyler Tennyson all recorded two hits each and combined for eight RBIs.
Two of New Ulm’s four errors were tagged with runs and another error – Meyer’s dropped foul ball – allowed Fairmont to score eight more runs.
“We’re not this much better than New Ulm, things just went our way today,” Sukalski said. “[The Eagles are] tired, they’ve played a lot of ball over the weekend. We’re going to see them again and it’s going to be another tight game – that’s the way it usually is.”
New Ulm continues its conference slate at 7:30 p.m. on Tuesday, when it plays at Waseca.
Fairmont 000 300 11 – 14 13 0
New Ulm 100 000 2 – 3 7 4
Becker and Abel; Meyer, Dittrich (7), Yackley (7) and Kannegiesser.
W – Becker (F) 7 IP, 7 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 2 BB, 4 K
L – Meyer (N) 6 2/3 IP, 7 H, 6 R, 5 ER, 1 BB, 3 K
Leading hitters – Fairmont: Chirpich 2-5 3 RBI 2 R 2B, Waletich 2-4 1 RBI 1 R 1 BB 2B, Becker 2-5 2 RBI 2 R 2B 3B, Ruen 2-4 1 RBI 2 R 2B, Tennyson 2-4 1 RBI 2 R; New Ulm: Davis 1-2 1 RBI 2 R 2 BB 2B, Kannegiesser 1-4 1 RBI, Meyer 1-3 1 RBI.