NEW ULM - An extra day of rest for Sleepy Eye should not have played a factor against New Ulm Gold on Monday night.
But much to Gold coach Bob Weier's chagrin, it did in Sleepy Eye's 7-3 victory against his team, which had played on Sunday in the semifinals of the Upper Midwest Classic.
"These kids are given an opportunity to play baseball and whenever that opportunity comes around, they need to take it serious," Weier said. "It doesn't make much difference what happened [Sunday]."
Staff photo by Steve Muscatello
Sleepy Eye shortstop Sean Mathiowetz puts a tag on New Ulm Legion Gold's Brach Kraus (11) after he knocked second base loose as during his slide Monday at Mueller Park in New Ulm. Kraus was safe on the play.
For more photos of this event go to cu.nujornal.com
Gold took control early against Sleepy Eye, which had lost all four of its games in the Upper Midwest Classic this past weekend. Gold stringed together three one-run innings to take an early 3-1 lead while taking advantage of Sleepy Eye pitcher Jordan Anderson's miscues.
After allowing Gold's Tim Kehren to cross the plate in the first, Anderson hit Drew Pfaff on his third pitch of the second inning before walking Jacob Gieseke in a frame that included two passed balls.
"He's been off for a while, I know he hasn't pitched for probably about two weeks," said Sleepy Eye coach Bruce Woitas of Anderson. "He did get into kind of a rough start getting behind hitters and leaving things up. I think he beaned a couple guys, which is uncharacteristic of him."
Anderson calmed down, however, and helped his cause with a 2-for-3 performance at the plate that tallied three of the team's seven runs.
The second of those three runs came in the two-run fifth inning that led to Gold pitcher Nate Palmer's exit from the mound.
"It was really nice to have insurance runs because it takes the pressure off the pitching," Anderson said. "The team just came through when we needed the hits."
Palmer got the loss, having allowed four runs in five innings of work.
"We played uninspired baseball, made a lot of little mistakes, gave extra bases and just did not play very sharp," Weier said.
Wyatt Peterson took over for Palmer on the mound after the fifth inning with hopes of stopping the bleeding. However, Brandon Helget hammered the nail in the coffin for Sleepy Eye with a two-RBI?double that sailed over Gold second baseman Tanner Kluis' head.
Helget himself crossed home plate thanks to a two-out gap shot by Mitch Neid to widen the lead 7-3.
"Sleepy Eye's got an awfully good team,"?Weier said. "They're a good representative of their city and they play good baseball. "It's a challenge for us and tonight we were not up to it. We've got one last shot at them and that's playoff time. Hopefully by then, we can compete with them."
Sleepy Eye will travel to Fairmont on Thursday for an 8 p.m. game.
Gold will begin play at the Gopher Classic on Friday.