SLEEPY EYE - For the second straight game, the Minnesota Valley Lutheran Chargers got a solid pitching performance.
But unlike Tuesday's heart-breaking 2-1 loss in nine innings to Sleepy Eye St. Mary's, this itme the result was a win.
Nick Dewanz held New Ulm Cathedral to just three hits and the righthander fanned seven Greyhounds as the Chargers extended their post-season with a 5-0 blanking of Cathedral in Sleepy Eye.
Photo courtesy of Mary Woitas
MVL’s Justin Bruns tags out Cathedral baserunner Jack Schwartz in their Section 2A playoff game Thursday in Sleepy Eye. The game was moved to Sleepy Eye when a heavy rain shower made New Ulm ballparks unplayable.
Dewanz dominated Greyhound hitters, allowing only singles to Josh Kienlen, Brandon Beranek and Jack Schwartz.
Collin Helget took the season-ending loss for Cathedral. He went 6 1/3 innings and allowed all five runs while striking out six.
Tyler Mielke led the eight-hit Charger attack with three hits. Ryan Grunke added two hits and drove in two runs.
MVL, now 8-9, will now play Saturday at 1:30 p,m. at Franklin Rogers Park in Mankato against a team yet to be determined.
"We did the three keys for succes in baseball tonight," said Charger coach Jeff Schoenherr. "We got an excellent pitching performance, we had a good defense behind him (no errors) and we got some clutch hitting. We have been preaching that all season long and we are finally getting that now."
For Cathedral coach Bob Weier, it was a case of one team ready and the other not.
"They came to play and I do not know if we came to play,:" he said. "We had three big errors and I think that only one of their runs was earned. But give them credit - Dewanz was hot."
MVL scored the only run that they would need in the first inning, thanks to a costly Cathedral error.
Ryan Grunke stroked a one-out single and stole second. One out later, Tyler Mielke laced a single to right. Cathedral right fielder Brandon Bernanek's throw home was in time but when Grunke got in a run down between third and home, the throw was dropped, allowing Grunke to score.
The Chargers added two big runs in the top of the fifth. Jake Mielke reached on a two base throwing error before Grant Wilson was safe on a bunt single. Kris Goetzke's base hit to right plated Mielke and a Grunke groundout allowed Wilson to score for a 3-0 lead.
"Those two runs were big," said Schoenherr. " But every run that we get is big - when it was 3-0 I told the team that we need to keep tacking on the runs. The guys kept responding."
The Chargers added single runs in the sixth on a Chad Lease RBI single with another Greyhound error in the seventh paired with a Grunke base hit making it 5-0.
"We did not execute defensively," said Weier. "They got tbe big base hit at critical situations."
Weier was also impressed by Dewanz. "He pitched against us earlier in the season but was not effective. Today he certainly came out with a lot of confidence."