Brewers clinch state berth
NEW ULM – The New Ulm Brewers are in the Minnesota State Class C Baseball Tournament.
New Ulm scored four runs in the bottom of the second inning and pitchers Zach More and Andy Cook made it hold up as the Brewers improved to 3-0 in the Region 2C Tournament with a 4-1 win over Stark Tuesday night at Johnson Park.
More got the win for the Brewers going into the sixth inning. Cook took over for More and put out a threat when the Longhorns scored a run and loaded the bases with no outs.
Caleb Hillesheim took the loss for Stark (0-3). Hillesheim deserved a better fate as he allowed just four New Ulm hits and struck out 13 Brewer batters.
Adam Sellner had three hits for the Longhorns who will play Essig at 8 p.m. Wednesday at Johnson Park. It will be Essig’s home game.
New Ulm will travel to Lamberton at 8 p.m. Wednesday before hosting Hanska at 8 p.m. Friday.
It is rare when a team is out-hit in a game and has 13 strikeouts against it and still comes away with a win.
“Caleb (Hillesheim) is a good pitcher,” Brewers manager Al Flor said. “We came with a game plan to make him work. We got him a little bit frustrated in the second inning when we got our runs on him. We put no errors on the board and we had good pitching.”
The Brewers scored all of their runs in the bottom of that second inning when Matt Suess drew a lead-off walk. Landon Rewitzer followed with a bunt near the mound that Hillesheim slipped when trying to field it putting runners on first and second with no outs. Both runners moved up on a Judd Davis sacrifice bunt.
Aaron Pfaff followed with a big two-run single to left field. Pfaff came all the way around to score when Hillesheim threw away a Garrett Fischer groundsill with Fischer taking second.
A Cory Ranweiler groundball moved Fischer to third before Hillesheim uncorked a wild pitch, bringing in Fischer for a 4-0 New Ulm lead.
“We were trying to bunt runners around,” said Flor about the second inning. “They misplayed the ball on Rewitzer’s bunt. We had one key hit there and that is all it took.”
Other than that inning, Hillesheim was dominant. He allowed just one hit the rest of the way, that a single from Davis in the seventh.
Meanwhile, Zach More had held Longhorns’ bats to just two hits through five innings.
But in the sixth, More ran into trouble. He walked Dusty Mangen and Brandon Helget before Joey Wahl singled in Mangen to cut the lead to 4-1. Adam Sellner followed with a bloop single to left field to load the bases with no outs and end More’s night.
Enter Andy Cook, who fanned both Jake Mangen and Nate Kral before getting John Kopacek to ground into the final out.
“We figured that we would start Zach and get as much as we could out of him,” Flor said. “Zach did a nice job and Andy came in and closed the door for us.
‘We wand to win both tonight and Friday,” said Flor about the final two games in the Region 2C tournament. “Our team is highly competitive.”