Sleepy Eye defeats New Ulm Blue, 5-2

NEW ULM – Sleepy Eye pieced together good pitching with key hits and the ability to steal bases as it topped New Ulm Legion Blue 5-2 Monday night at Mueller Park.

Mike Hirsch got the win for Post 7. He went four innings and allowed no runs on just one hit. Elliot Braun tossed two innings and permitted two runs on two hits with Jake Mielke finishing up a scoreless seventh.

Bailey Batt took the loss for Blue. He also went four innings and was charged with four runs on four hits. Andy Stewart finished the final three innings and allowed the final run.

David Surprenant led Sleepy Eye with two hits.

Connor Forbrook had a triple for New Ulm.

Sleepy Eye out-hit New Ulm 6-3.

“We only had three hits and they stole six bases (five of which scored),” said New Ulm Blue coach Mike Munce. “And we had some errors that cost us the game.”

While the errors played a big part in the loss for New Ulm, it was the inability to hit the ball that also was key.

New Ulm had only one hit through five innings – that a two-out single by Jack Schwartz in the second.

“Our pitchers threw well,’ said Sleepy Eye coach Scott Salfer. “We threw a lot of strikes and our defense played well behind them. New Ulm put a lot of balls in play.”

Sleepy Eye took a 1-0 lead in the top of the first when Surprenant singled and stole second. Brandon Helget’s base hit scored Surprenant.

Post 7 broke the game open with three runs in the third using three stolen bases including a steal of third and an error.

Matt Berkner was hit by a pitch and promptly swiped second. Surprenant followed with a base hit that moved Berkner to third. Surprenant stole second before a throwing error by New Ulm second baseman Matt Rowley on a Helget groundball allowed two runs to score.

Helget then stole third and trotted home on a Jon Kopacek RBI single.

Post 7 then added a solo run in the fifth when Surprenant reached on an error by shortstop Alex Guggisberg and stole second. He came home on a Sam Hirschboek single.

Meanwhile, Hirsch who went four innings, and Elliot Braun had New Ulm hitters contained until the sixth when Blue woke up with two hits and their only two runs.

Forbrook led off with a triple to centerfield and scored on a Nick Vogel groundout. Alex Stark singled to right field and went to second on an error on the play. He moved to third on a Jarin Spence groundout and came home on a Braun wild pitch.

Munce said that his team’s pitching overall “was not bad. They had a few bloopers at the right time. We do have to clean up the stolen bases.”

Salfer said that the win was a good win going into this weekend’s Upper Midwest Classic.

“Hopefully it jump-starts us into the weekend.”

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