SHAKOPEE - The bats were almost completely silent for New Ulm VFW Gold.
Shakopee pitcher Drew Hanbury struck out nine batters and allowed one hit en route to helping beat Gold 8-0 in the first round of the VFW Southeast Subdistrict tournament on Thursday at Stemmer Field in Shakopee.
"It didn't seem like [Hanbury] had his curveball across too much, I think he just located his fastball and he was ahead in the count a lot," said Gold coach Derek Wilfahrt. "A lot of guys were 0-1, 0-2 and then were up swinging defensively."
Staff photo by Steve Muscatello
New Ulm VFW Gold second baseman Michael Skillings makes a throw to first after getting the force out during Golds’ loss to Shakopee Thursday in Shakopee.
For more photos of this event go to cu.nujournal.com
The third inning provided Gold its best chance to stage a comeback.
Trailing 6-0 after the top of the third, Hanbury loaded the bases with walks to Cooper Yackley and A.J. Lassas as well as a catcher's interference call during J.T. Hoffmann's plate appearance all with two outs.
Nick Fischer came up to the plate and nearly drove in those runs with a deep ball to right field that fell foul by just a couple feet, sinking the count to 1-2. Hanbury caught Fischer swinging with his next pitch to leave the bases loaded and get out of the jam.
Gold did not get a hit until the fifth inning, when Hoffmann just barely beat the throw from the second baseman with two outs. Lassas was then caught looking to end the inning.
Logan Backer had a game-high four RBIs in his 2-for-4 performance at the plate. Hanbury and Matt Heiling each scored three runs for the Sabers.
Cooper Forbrook got the loss for Gold on the mound. He gave up four runs in the first inning and two in the third - four of which were earned - with three walks and one strikeout in his three-inning start.
"Cooper's been our best pitcher all year, usually he doesn't walk anybody but he walked a few guys," Wilfahrt said. "We're just in a funk."
Spencer Landsteiner came in and gave up two runs, one earned and one hit in four relief innings.
Gold will play Arlington at 2:30 p.m. on Friday at Stemmer Field in Shakopee. Because Gold and Shakopee were the two higher-seeded teams coming into the tournament, Gold stays in the winner's bracket and will have a chance to advance to play either Shakopee or Mankato White if it wins on Friday.
When asked what his expectations were for Friday's game, Wilfahrt simply said, "the opposite of what just happened."
"We'll come back sharper," Wilfahrt said. "I think we'll be ready to go."
Shakopee 402 020 0 8 8 0
N.U. Gold 000 000 0 0 1 2
Hanbury and Theis; Forbrook, Landsteiner (4) and Wellmann.
W Hanbury (S) 7 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 3 BB, 9 K, 117 P
L Forbrook (G) 3 IP, 7 H, 6 R, 4 ER, 3 BB, 1 K, 58 P
Leading hitters Shakopee: Heiling 1-3 1 RBI 3 R 1 BB, Hanbury 0-2 3 R 2 BB, Becker 2-4 4 RBI 1 K, Coplin 1-4 1 RBI 1 K 2B, Triplett 1-3 2 RBI 1 HP, Nicholas 1-3 2B; N.U. Gold: Hoffmann 1-1 1 BB.