ESSIG - The New Ulm Brewers improved to 6-2 with an 8-4 victory Sunday over the Essig Bluejays after stringing together some hits and scoring at least one run in each of their last four innings.
The game looked like it would be a high scoring shootout after the first inning. The big bat of Cory Ranweiler got things going in the top of the first for the Brewers. He took Colton Petron's pitch to deep left field for a two-run home run, scoring Aaron Pfaff who reached on a walk.
"I just got a good pitch and was happy to do something with it," Ranweiler said.
The Bluejays looked like they would answer in the bottom of the inning. Tim Kehren reached on a single and Ryan Weier got hit by a pitch, putting runners on first and second for Kyle Helget with no outs. Helget connected for a double, but a base-running error by Kehren cost the Bluejays a run. Kehren slowed rounding third before getting trapped off base with Weier reaching third and got tagged out.
Brewers' pitcher Chris Cariveau retired the next two batters.
The game turned defensive after the first inning, and both starting pitchers seemed to find their groove. Petron went the next four innings without allowing a hit and struck out six in the first five innings. Meanwhile, Cariveau only allowed one hit in his next three innings.
Cariveau struggled in the bottom of the fifth. With one out, Nate Roeder, Jordan Guggisberg, and Kehren strung together back-to-back hits with Kehren's single scoring Roeder. Helget singled two batters later and drive in Guggisberg and Kehren giving the Bluejays a 3-2 lead.
The Brewers exclaimed the lead in the top of the sixth. They took advantage of two Bluejay errors and two passed balls by catcher Helget. The Brewers scored two runs despite only recording two hits in the inning.
The inning took its toll on Essig pitcher Petron. He was pulled in the seventh inning after giving up back-to-back doubles to Judd Davis and Aaron Pfaff. Davis scored on Pfaff's double.
Petron suffered the loss and finished with 6 1/3 innings. He finished with five strikeouts, three walks, and one hit batter. He allowed five hits and five runs, but only three were earned.
Ted Mohr relieved Patron and escaped the inning by striking out the final two batters after walking his first batter.
Essig battled back in the bottom of the seventh. Roeder began with a single and would later be driven in by Kehren's single. A sacrifice bunt by Weier advanced runners to second and third. The Brewers did not let Helget hurt them again, and, with first base open, elected to walk him. It paid off as Mitch Stueber grounded to the pitcher, Cariveau, who got the force at home. Cariveau then got Dusty Fleck to fly out to left field, leaving the bases full.
Cariveau did not give the Bluejays any more opportunities in the final two innings. He finished the game, striking out six and only walking one. He allowed 10 hits and four runs, all of them earned.
"[Cariveau] got better towards the end and finished it up strong, so that was good," Ranweiler said.
The Brewers' bats remained hot. In the final two innings, they recorded three more runs and seven more hits, including a solo home run from Wade French.
"I guess it helps that we finally got the starting pitcher out of there. He was doing really good," Ranweiler said. "But other than that, they finally finished hitting the ball."
New Ulm hosts Leavenworth at 8 p.m. on Wednesday, June 19. Essig will travel to Springfield on Wednesday, June 19 for an 8 p.m. game.