NEW ULM - For six innings, Springfield's Shawn Anderson held Minnesota Valley Lutheran scoreless on just three hits.
And the Tigers' offense aided by three MVL errors had mounted a 6-0 lead going into the Chargers' home half of the seventh.
But a string of wildness by Tigers' reliever Jordan Vogel and two hits off of Springfield's Isaac Kirschstein pulled the Chargers to within 6-5.
Staff photo by Steve Muscatello
Springfield’s Cooper Scheffler slides safely into second as Minnesota Valley Lutheran second baseman Jake Mielke looks the ball into his glove during the Tigers’ win Monday at MVL.
But hopes of a come-from-behind win were stopped when Kirschner got Nick Dewanz to ground into a 1-2-3 game-ending double play as the Tigers won 6-5 at the MVL baseball field.
Anderson got the win for Springfield. He struck out nine in his six innings of work.
Richard Jensen took the loss for MVL. He went five innings and allowed five hits and all six runs, throwing 89 pitches.
Zach Mickelson and Cole Milbrath each had two hits for Springfield, with Mickelson driving in two runs.
Kris Goetzke and Ryan Grunke each had two hits for the Chargers.
"It was very interesting at the end," Springfield coach Bob Fink said. "We played excellent baseball for six innings - small ball and aggressive ball. We did the little things right."
"It was obviously the first game of the season," MVL coach Jeff Schoenherr said. "We have some things we need to work on, but there were bright spots in the game."
One of those came in the bottom of the seventh inning when the Chargers scored all of their runs.
One-out walks by Vogel to four straight MVL hitters cut the lead to 6-1, ending his day. Kirschstein took over and was greeted by singles from Goetzke and Grunke.
A wild pitch made it 6-5 before the game-ending double play.
Springfield had taken a 1-0 lead in the first inning on a Jake Menage squeeze bunt before the Tigers added four runs in the third inning.
A walk and an error preceeded a two-run double by Mickelson. The second error of the inning and a Cole Milbrath double made it 5-0.
The fourth error of the game by MVL and three walks by Justin Bruns upped the Tigers' lead to 6-0, more than enough for Anderson.
"He pitched like a veteran today," Fink said. "He was very in control of the game."
Schoenherr said that he was not upset with the physical errors by his team as much as the mental errors.
"Early on we were not strong mentally," he said. "We were not thinking ahead or planning ahead and that led to the physical errors."