By Jeff Meder
Journal Sports Writer
MANKATO — New Ulm Gold came from behind to defeat Mankato American 8-3 on Tuesday in the Division 1 Sub-State 2 Senior Legion Baseball Tournament.
Gold had a big fifth inning in its comeback. Mankato had its chances leaving the bases loaded in the top of the fifth and sixth innings.
Defense was another area where Gold shined. It pulled off a crucial double play the first.
In the fourth inning, it caught balls that were hit hard by American, with two of them being line drives.
Riston Wojcik stepped to the plate with two outs and the bases loaded. Wojcik hit the baseball hard, but Maddox Mortenson made a running shoestring catch on a fly ball in the sixth inning.
In the top of the third inning, Nicholas Werk singled. He went to second on Matthew Werk’s single. Cael Willaert’s single scored Nicholas Werk and Matthew Werk to give Mankato an early 2-0 lead.
With one out in the bottom of the fourth inning, Evan Wiltscheck singled. He scored on Isaiah Rieser’s triple to left field.
Rieser tried to stretch it into an inside-the-park home run, but he was thrown out at the plate. Mankato led 2-1.
Mankato answered in the top of the fifth inning when Nicholas Werk reached on an error. He scored later a single by Willaert. It was 3-1 for Mankato.
The roof caved in on Mankato in the bottom of the fifth inning. Gold scored seven runs on four hits and took advantage of two Mankato errors. A batter hit by a pitch and a walk also contributed to Mankato’s woes.
Jaden Drill’s triple hit the top of the fence in left-center field in that inning near the 360-foot sign. That big hit cleared the bases for three runs.
Jace Schaefer’s hit brought in two more runs for Gold. It was 8-3 for Gold.
“We were able to get the win,” Gold head coach Chris Peters said. “[Drill’s] triple was a big hit for us.”
Peters also had high praise for Gold’s execution in both its hitting and defense.
“Our defense made the plays, that gave our pitcher [Drill] confidence, and we were able to get the win.”
Peters was also pleased with Gold’s ability to get key hits when it needed to.
Gold now plays at 1 p.m. on Wednesday against top-seeded Mankato National at ISG Field. National defeated Fairmont 3-1 on Tuesday night.