SLEEPY EYE - Two games through the Substate 2 Division I tournament in Sleepy Eye, pitching has not waned for New Ulm Legion Gold.
After Tanner Kluis struck out 12 in an 8-0 win on Thursday, Chase Meyer held Fairmont to two hits in a complete-game 3-0 victory for Gold on Friday in the winner's bracket semifinals at the Sleepy Eye Baseball Park.
"He threw very, very well today," said Gold coach Jeremy Drexler of Meyer. "He was hitting his spots, getting their good hitters to pop out, ground out. We played very good defense today.
Staff photo by Steve Muscatello
New Ulm Legion Gold shortstop Judd Davis fields the ball during Gold’s playoff win against Fairmont Friday in Sleepy Eye.
For more photos of this event go to cu.nujournal.com
"And we were two or three clutch hits from having six runs."
Meyer's performance on the mound balanced out an offense that struggled against Luke Becker, who took the loss in eight innings pitched. Gold (23-7) left 12 runners on base - including three each in the third and fourth innings.
"We saw a good pitcher today in Becker," Drexler said. "He's one of their top-2 players and he did a nice job for them and kept them in the game. We're fortunate that Chase held them to two hits."
Meyer walked five, but struck eight batters out during his outing. Through two shutout games in this tournament, Kluis and Meyer have combined for 20 strikeouts.
Kluis scored the lone earned run of the game, getting driven in by a two-out RBI single by Brach Kraus in the bottom of the second inning for a 1-0 lead.
For the second game in a row, Gold's opponent had more errors than it did hits. Woodbury had seven errors and four hits on Thursday, while Fairmont (8-6) had five errors and two hits on Friday.
"We're putting the ball in play and making their defense work," Meyer said. "Make the other team make the mistakes."
Grant Kannegiesser came home on a passed ball after reaching on an error by the left fielder in the third inning before Nick Dewanz was driven in by Judd Davis with a two-out RBI single after reaching on a throwing error by the third baseman in the fifth. Both Kannegiesser and Dewanz officially went 0-for-3 in the game.
"We got a couple clutch two-out hits and that's what you've got to do to win games," Drexler said.
Wyatt Peterson went 2-for-3 and Davis went 2-for-5 for Gold.
The winner's bracket finals are set for No. 1-seed Gold to take on No. 2-seeded Mankato National at 12:30 p.m. on Saturday at Sleepy Eye. The winner will advance to Sunday's finals, while the loser will play in the consolation bracket finals at 7 p.m. on Saturday needing one win to advance to Sunday's finals.
"I want us to win the game and hopefully make it to Sunday and go to state," Meyer said.
Fairmont 000 000 000 - 0 2 5
N.U. Gold 011 010 00x - 3 7 0
Becker and Abel; Meyer and Kannegiesser.
W - Meyer (G) 9 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 5 BB, 8 K, 139 P
L - Becker (F) 8 IP, 7 H, 3 R, 1 ER, 5 BB, 5 K, 134 P
Leading hitters - Fairmont: Becker 1-3 1 BB, Lytle 1-2 1 HP 1 K; N.U. Gold: Davis 2-5 1 RBI, Kluis 1-3 1 R 1 BB, Peterson 2-3 1 BB, Kraus 1-4 1 RBI 1 K.