Palmer helps Gold hold on for 6-5 win
NEW ULM – New Ulm Legion Gold scored two runs each in the second, third and fourth innings and used a strong relief pitching performance from Nate Palmer to top Mankato National 6-5 on Tuesday night at Mueller Park.
Palmer picked up the win, tossing four innings of shutout ball in relief of starter Nick Dewanz. Palmer fanned four and allowed two hits.
Ben Kleist took the loss for Mankato.
Collin Helget and Jake Gieseke each had two hits for New Ulm with Chase Meyer driving in three runs and Tyler Dittrich collecting two RBIs.
Ryan Theissen had two hits for Mankato.
“I do not think that we were overly sharp but I thought that we showed the ability to come back being down 3-0 at one time,” said Gold coach Jeremy Drexler, whose team broke a two-game losing streak. “We were able to score some runs and Nate did a nice job in relief.”
Mankato took a 3-0 lead in the top of the second off of Dewanz on singles from Alex Gottel and Conor Wollerien. A Jayme Munsterman groundout brought in the first Post 11 run and a Ryan Theissen single added the second run of the inning.
An RBI single by Devin Reis made it a 3-0 lead.
Gold (10-3) came back with two runs in the bottom of the second when Tanner Kluis reached on a fielder’s choice and Jake Gieseke singled. Tyler Dittrich followed with a two-run triple to center field.
But Mankato countered with two runs of its own in the top of the third. Gottel and Wollerien coaxed walks off of Dewanz. A Theissen base hit brought in Gottel before a base hit and a bases loaded walk to Ben Kleist brought in a run.
“Nick was not overly sharp tonight,” Drexler said. “Those walks hurt us for a couple of runs in the last inning that he threw.”
But those were the last runs that Post 11 scored as Palmer shut down Mankato’s offense and Post 132 was able to jump-start its own offense.
Gold, who hosts Las Vegas at 7 p.m. on Wednesday at Mueller Park, cut the lead to 5-4 in the bottom of the third.
Judd Davis singled and stole second before he took third on a wild pitch. Gabe Knowles’ infield single preceded a sacrifice fly from Meyer. Helget singled to centerfield and took second on an error on the play. Knowles came home on a Gieseke suicide squeeze bunt.
New Ulm took a lead that it kept with two more runs in the fourth.
Gieseke led off with a double and two outs later, Davis was hit by a pitch. Gieseke stole third before Knowles walked to load the bases.
Meyer then delivered the big blow with a two-run single for a 6-5 New Ulm lead.
“I thought our bats were much bettter than they had been in our last two games,” Drexler said. “We were not having good at-bats then but tonight we were sitting back and our swings looked good.”
Drexler said that Wednesday’s game against Las Vegas will be a chance to get some players some extra work on the mound.
“Overall we know that it is going to be a tough game but in the end it does not mean anything,” Drexler said. “We need to have a solid aproach to carry us over to the classic.”