NEW ULM - The New Ulm Cathedral baseball team won both games of a doubleheader against crosstown rival Minnesota Valley Lutheran by vastly different means on Tuesday at Johnson Park.
The No. 3 Greyhounds (13-2, 11-2 Tomahawk) patched together strings of hits and runs in a Game 1 17-5 victory before overcoming a two-run deficit in Game 2 to win 4-2.
Senior Nate Palmer held the Chargers (5-9, 5-8) hitless in the first three innings in Game 1 before he began to have a few hiccups here or there. However, the offensive production behind him mitigated the pressure.
Staff photo by Steve Muscatello
New Ulm Cathedral’s Collin Helget (5) slides into the tag of Minnesota Valley Lutheran third baseman Eric Westphal during the second game of a doubleheader Tuesday at Johnson Park in New Ulm.
For more photos of this event go to cu.nujournal.com
"He had one or two innings where he pitched very well and the other innings, he kind of struggled," said Cathedral coach Bob Weier of Palmer. "But he battled and that's what you have to do - get outs, get outs. We scored enough runs to be able to maybe make a couple mistakes here or there."
After allowing one run from one hit and three walks in the fourth, Palmer got the outs he needed before Alex Guggisberg came in in relief. The Chargers tallied four runs on four hits off Guggisberg in the bottom of the seventh, having entered the inning trailing 17-1.
Russ Hoffman and Jack Schwartz were hot at the plate for the Greyhounds. Hoffman went 4-for-5 with four RBIs and two runs scored, while Schwartz went 4-for-4 with three RBIs and was walked once.
MVL came alive for Game 2, during which it got a promising performance from junior Jacob Mielke on the mound.
"Jacob Mielke does a nice of keeping his pitches low," said MVL coach Jeff Schoenherr. "He locates pitches really well and uses his defense."
Mielke allowed one earned run - an RBI single from Brandon Beranek that drove in Michael Skillings in the bottom of the fourth - on three hits in his four innings of work.
Nick Fischer was poised for the save having come in in the fifth inning with a 2-1 lead. However, a one-out double by Gabe Knowles was followed by a two-out single by Collin Helget that drove him in to stamp Mielke with a no-decision.
Russ Hoffman was also handed a no-decision, having allowed two runs - one earned - on seven hits with five strikeouts and no walks in five innings of work.
After allowing a leadoff single by DeAndre Parker in the top of the sixth, Hoffman gave the ball to Helget, who erased the loss for Hoffman with a sacrifice 1-3 putout and two consecutive strikeouts to strand the potential run at second.
Hoffman broke the tie by scoring from third on a failed suicide bunt by Guggisberg in the bottom of the sixth. Beranek scored an insurance run one at-bat later after an erratic third strike sent James Herzog to first base.
Weier said Game 2 was a contest that benefitted his team the most.
"The second game, those are the kinds of games we're looking to play," Weier said. "They're close games where every little thing counts. Little things win ballgames and we were able to get some clutch hits."
MVL outhit Cathedral 8-5 in Game 2 after getting outhit 17-5 in Game 1.
"Every game, you treat it as a practice and just keep getting better and better," Schoenherr said. "We hit the ball well, so there's positives to keep building on."
NUC 410 023 7 - 17 17 3
MVL 000 100 4 - 5 5 1
Palmer, Guggisberg (7) and Schwartz; Westphal, Lease (7), Gratz (7), Mielke (7) and Parker.
W - Palmer (C) 6 IP, 1 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 6 BB, 2 K
L - Westphal (M) 6 IP, 15 H, 10 R, 7 ER, 3 BB, 0 K
Leading hitters - NUC: Knowles 2-5 1 RBI 2 R 1 BB 3B, Palmer 2-4 1 RBI 2 R 1 BB, Hoffman 4-5 4 RBI 2 R, Beranek 2-4 2 RBI 3 R 1 BB 2B, Schwartz 4-4 3 RBI 1 BB; MVL: Lease 1-3 1 R 1 HBP, DeWanz 1-3 2 RBI 1 BB 2B, Westphal 2-3 1 RBI 1 HBP.
MVL 000 200 0 - 2 8 0
NUC 000 112 x - 4 5 1
Mielke, Fischer (5) and Parker, Lease (4); Hoffman, Helget (6) and Schwartz.
W - Helget (C) 2 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 3 K
L - Fischer (M) 2 IP, 2 H, 3 R, 2 ER, 2 BB, 4 K
ND - Hoffman (C) 5 IP, 7 H, 2 R, 1 ER, 0 BB, 5 K
ND - Mielke (M) 4 IP, 3 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 3 BB, 1 K
Leading hitters - MVL: Lease 2-4 1 K, Fischer 1-3 1 R 1 K, DeWanz 1-2 1 RBI 1 HP, Westphal 1-3 1 RBI 1 K; NUC: Knowles 1-4 1 R 1 K 2B, Helget 2-3 1 RBI, Beranek 1-2 1 RBI 1 R 1 K.