Prep baseball: New Ulm dumps Worthington 11-0
WORTHINGTON — The New Ulm Eagles are flying high. The Worthington Trojans are in a funk.
Four WHS pitchers issued a combined five walks and three hit batsmen. The Trojans (4-4) collected just three hits offensively off New Ulm starting pitcher Tanner Kluis, who struck out 13.
Trojans head coach Stacy Sauerbrei summed up the contest succinctly.
“You can’t strike out 13 times and make a game of it,” he said.
On Thursday, Worthington was one out away from securing a win on the road against Adrian, finally losing it in the ninth on an error.
On Friday, New Ulm broke the game open with a five-run third inning on a combination of walks and timely hits. Another five-run inning in the sixth finished things.
“We need to have a better approach at the plate,” said Sauerbrei. “We need to regain our confidence in all facets of the game. There’s a lot of season left. We can do that.”
Carson Hagen started on the mound for WHS but was lifted in the third inning while New Ulm was in the midst of its first five-run inning. Roque Soto took over but failed to finish the inning after hitting a batter to force in one run and walking another to force in another.
Nate Russell, a lanky right-handed sophomore, stopped the bleeding in the third and pitched well in the fourth and fifth, where he faced the minium number of batters.
But the Eagles kicked up their heels again in the sixth. Russell was lifted for Nathan Braaksma during the onslaught, which wasn’t entirely the fault of the pitchers. New Ulm scored two runs on a double-play ball that was thrown wildly past second base.
Meanwhile, Kluis put on a pitching clinic for New Ulm, which improved to 6-1 with the victory.
“He threw strikes. He was around the plate. We always know that when he’s around the plate he can win games for us,” said New Ulm head coach Jay Backer, who said Kluis’ strikeout total was a little on the unusual side.
“He’s not a strikeout pitcher,” Backer said.
Worthington got a leadoff single through the middle of the infield from junior Blake Fauske in the third inning, but he was left stranded at first. The fourth and fifth innings went by quickly, as both teams sent the minimum number of batters to the plate.
The first two batters for the Eagles hit their way on in the sixth to set up their second big inning. Worthington went down meekly in the sixth.
Sauerbrei hinted that the result was not indicative of what he expects to see in the future.
“We’re capable of more than what we showed today,” he said.
R H E
NUlm 015 005 — 11 8 0
WHS 000 000 — 0 3 3