Gold pulls off improbable victory to open UMC

NEW ULM – When a team’s pitching staff allows eight walks and hits two batters and its defense is guilty of five errors, it usually does not win that game.

Usually.

Tanner Kluis’ steal of home on a missed squeeze bunt by Wyatt Peterson in the bottom of the seventh inning lifted New Ulm Legion Gold to a 6-5 win against Post 307 of Rennner, South Dakota, on Thursday night in the first night of the Upper Midwest Classic.

Chase Meyer – one of three pitchers used by Gold in the game – got the win.

Gabe Wieckowek took the loss for Post 307.

Judd Davis led Gold’s offense with two hits.

“This was by far not our sharpest game,” said Gold coach Jeremy Drexler. “The first two innings we were just ugly in the field [three errors in three innings] and Collin [Helget] was struggling to find the strike zone.”

Helget, the starter for Gold, issued four walks and hit two batters in his three innings, where he threw 69 pitches.

Gold trailed Post 307 5-4 going into the bottom of the seventh. Helget led off the comeback with a single to center field and stole second. Grant Kannegiesser’s sacrifice bunt put Helget on third. Kluis then reached base on a throwing error that allowed Helget to score the tying run.

Jake Gieseke followed with a bunt single bedore a passed ball moved both runners up a base. Renner then intentionally walked pinch-hitter Nick Dewanz to load the bases.

On a 1-0 count, Drexler called for the squeeze that Peterson missed but Kluis was able to get under the tag of catcher Chandler Schaefbauer for the improbable win.

New Ulm had taken a 2-0 lead in the first on a Gabe Knowles’ RBI triple and a Helget sacrifice fly. Renner used wildness and errors to take a 4-2 lead before Gold plated runs in the third and fourth on a Kannegiesser RBI single and a Peterson RBI double.

Renner then took a 5-4 lead in the top of the seventh on a squeeze bunt before Gold rallied,

Drexler said that he will start Tanner Kluis against Chaska at 8 p.m. Friday at Johnson Park.

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