Big plays bode well for Blue in sweep

NEW ULM – A walkoff RBI single by Matt Rowley and a base-clearing triple by Andrew Stewart propeled New Ulm Legion Blue to a doubleheader sweep of Gibbon-Fairfax-Winthrop on Tuesday.

Rowley struck in the bottom of the eighth inning of Game 1 to drive home Alex Stark for the 5-4 eight-inning victory. Blue overcame six errors in Game 2 to complete the sweep with another 5-4 victory.

“It’s a gutsy performance, the kids don’t quit,” said Blue coach Mike Munce. “We were down both games and they came back. We coach them to play to the end and they did that in both games today.”

Blue overcame a 3-0 deficit with a three-run inning of its own in the fourth off starter Tanner Wenninger, who was perfect through 3 1/3.

“We had a couple bad errors on the field; games go that way,” said GFW coach Todd Huiras. “You have some good games, you have some bad games. We just had a couple bad falls and it goes either way.”

Wenninger got the no-decision in lieu of Nolan Huiras, who allowed the game-deciding run in the eighth.

Rowley finished 1-for-4 with a team-high three RBIs total.

Howe also had three RBIs on a 2-for-4 performance for GFW.

Holding onto a 4-3 lead, Jarrin Spence gave up the tying run as Alex Howe batted in Gustavo Munoz on a sacrifice fly to right field that recorded the second out of the inning.

Spence shut down GFW in the eighth and got the win, having allowed four runs on nine hits in eight innings of work.

Blue committed six errors in Game 2, but was held intact by Connor Forbrook on the mound. The lefty gave up one unearned run on eight hits with two strikeouts and no walks.

GFW struck early again, garnering a 3-1 lead by the end of the fourth. In the bottom of the fifth, however, Stewart struck near the right-field fence with the bases loaded to turn the tide.

“You could really see their bench go down and ours came up,” Munce said of Stewart’s triple. “It was a big swing.”

Stewart was later driven in by Jesse Baumgartner, who reached on an error by the second baseman to give Blue a 5-3 lead.

GFW scored a run in the sixth, but was unable to mount the comeback.

Howe went 2-for-3, this time with one run scored for GFW.

Stewart was 2-for-3, Baumgartner was 1-for-3 with an RBI and Brandon Beranek was 1-for-2 with an RBI.

Game 1

GFW 210 000 10 – 4 9 1

N.U. Blue 000 301 01 – 5 7 2

Wenninger, N Huiras (6) and Pingeon; Spence and Vogel.

W – Spence (B) 8 IP, 9 H, 4 R, 3 ER, 2 BB, 2 K

L – N Huiras (G) 2 1/3 IP, 3 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 0 BB, 0 K

ND – Wenninger (G) 5 1/3 IP, 4 H, 4 R, 2 ER, 3 BB, 4 K

Leading hitters – GFW: Katzenmeyer 1-3 1 R 1 BB, Pingeon 2-4 1 RBI 1 R, Howe 2-4 3 RBI, Schuette 2-3 1 R 1 BB; N.U. Blue: Stark 2-3 3 R 1 BB 2B, Spence 2-4 1 RBI 1 R 1 K, Beranek 1-4 1 RBI 2B, Rowley 1-4 3 RBI (GW).

Game 2

GFW 001 201 0 – 4 8 2

N.U. Blue 100 040 x – 5 8 6

Klabunde, N Huiras (5) and Munoz; Forbrook and Schwartz.

W – Forbrook (B) 7 IP, 8 H, 4 R, 1 ER, 0 BB, 2 K

L – Klabunde (G) 4 2/3 IP, 7 H, 5 R, 2 ER, 1 BB, 1 K

Leading hitters – GFW: Pingeon 1-3, Howe 2-3 1 R, Kienlen 1-3 1 R 1 K, Schuette 1-3 1 R, N Huiras 2-3 1 RBI 1 R; N.U. Blue: Stark 1-4 1 R, Spence 1-3 1 R, Beranek 1-2 1 RBI, Stewart 2-3 3 RBI 1 R 3B, Baumgartner 1-3 1 RBI, Batt 1-2.

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