Class C roundup Sunday in Waconia: Altermatt’s three-hitter leads New Ulm past Spring Hill

By Dana Melius

ScoreMonster Contributor

news@mnbaseball.org

Lamberton draftee Nick Altermatt helped his New Ulm Brewers teammates break a nine-game Region 2 losing streak en route to a  2-1 victory over the Spring Hill Chargers in Sunday’s finale in Waconia.

Andrew Peters’ key two-run single in the fourth inning drove home Hunter Ranweiler and Wade French, who had both singled, as the Brewers also benefitted from an outfield error by the Chargers.

Spring Hill got on the board in the sixth. It was the only blemish against Altermatt and the Brew crew. But it was an ugly one. The Chargers’ Nathan Terres reached when Brewers center fielder Justin Hoffmann struggled with a fly in the night sky for an error. After a ground out by Eric Terres, two Altermatt wild pitches brought home pinch runner Dylan Gertken for Spring Hill’s lone run. 

New Ulm threatened again in the eighth inning, loading the bases. Judd Davis walked and Hoffmann singled. Ranweiler’s ground out moved both up a base. Following an intentional walk to French, Cole Ranweiler lined out to right field to end the threat.

Spring Hill put a runner on first in the 9th on an infield single by Jamie Terres. But the Brewers got a game-ending short-to-second-to-first double play to win 2-1.

Altermatt controlled things most of the way. He finished with a three-hitter and 12 strikeouts, 11 coming in the first five innings. The Chargers’ lone run was unearned.

The right-hander was matched much of the way be another draftee pitcher, Payton VanBeck (Elrosa). The lefty struck out five, walked just one, giving up seven hits and two runs over eight innings.

Peters’ two RBIs and French’s two hits paced the Brewers offense.

New Ulm moves on to face the Milroy Yankees in a 7 p.m., Saturday, Sept. 4 third-round game in Chaska.

Sartell 4, Wanamingo 1

David Deminsky put in another pitching gem for Sartell, leading the Muskies to a tough 4-1 victory over Region 5 champion Wanamingo Jacks.

The Jacks actually out-hit the Muskies by a 6-to-4 margin but Sartell took advantage of four Wanamingo errors and Deminsky’s workmanship effort. The veteran lefty struck out 16 and didn’t walk a batter, using only 96 pitches in the complete-game victory, 78 of them strikes.

Sartell took advantage of three of those Jacks errors in the third inning, scoring twice without the benefit of a hit. Jace Otto’s infield force out earned the Muskies RBI.

There was no RBI for Sartell’s single run in the fourth inning. Jake Sweeter walked and moved to second on a Brian Schellinger bunt, who reached first. After Jack Greenlun reached on a fielder’s choice, putting runners on first and third. When Greenlun broke for second on an attempted steal, Jacks pitcher Alex Roosen turned to run down Greenlun, but Sweeter was able to break for the plate and stole home.

Wanamingo did make it interesting in the sixth and seventh, putting runners on first and second both times. Brady Anfinson and Peder Sviggum both singled in the sixth but Deminsky got out of that jam. In the seventh, Wanamingo finally broke through. Alex Roosen singled and moved to second on the lone Sartell error in the game. After an Aaron Bauer sacrifice bunt, Anfinson’s eight-foot swinging bunt eluded Deminsky and catcher Cody Partch for an RBI.

But that was it for the Jacks. The Muskies added one more on Riley Arndt’s ninth-inning solo homer for the 4-1 finale.

Roosen pitched well for Wanamingo, going the distance while striking out seven, walking two and giving up only two earned runs on four hits. He also paced the Jacks offense, going 2-for-4 and scoring the lone Wanamingo run. Player-manager Brady Anfinson was also 2-for-4 with an RBI.

Sartell leadoff hitter Andrew Deters led the Muskies with a 2-for-4 effort.

The Muskies move on for a third-round game with the Bluffton Braves, a 3-1 winner over Carver. Sartell plays Bluffton at 7:30 p.m. Friday, Sept. 3 in Waconia.

Milroy 6, Bemidji 5

Lefty Nathan Deutz tossed 4 2/3 innings of scoreless relief to lead the Milroy Yankees to a 6-5 comeback victory over the Bemidji Blue Ox in Sunday Game 2 at Lions Field in Waconia.

Deutz allowed four hits and struck out just two, but used his fastball to hit spots and a slow curve to keep Blue Ox hitters off balance.

Bemidji opened the game with a two-run first inning and led 5-2 after five innings. But a key two-run bottom of the fifth inning, despite having two runners thrown out at second and home, gave the Yankees momentum.

Milroy finally chased Blue Ox starting pitcher Andrew Pugliano in the seventh. With one out, a Bemidji error put Andy Schmidt on first base and a single by David Schmidt put runners at first and third. A Matt Bauer RBI single tied things up at 5-5.

That brought in Bemidji right-hander Brenden Gillies. A walk to Aaron Mathiowetz loaded the bases and a hard grounder to third base by Derek Rasmussen allowed for only a force out at third and turned into a game-winning RBI.

Deutz did the rest, finishing with two scoreless innings for the victory.

Aaron Mathiowetz paced the Milroy offense with a 2-for-3 game, a run scored and RBI. Bauer went 2-for-4 with two RBI and a run scored. David Schmidt went 2-for-5 and scored twice. Rasmussen finished the game 1-for-4 but drove in two RBI.

Catcher Caleb Manecke’s two-run homer and 2-for-4 game led Bemidji. Collin Rutledge added three RBI on a 2-for-4 afternoon. Cody Rutlidege and Zuehlke added 2-for-4 games.

The Milroy Yankees move on to the third round for a 7 p.m., Saturday, Sept. 4 contest to meet the winner of the New Ulm Brewers and Spring Hill Chargers, which was rained out Saturday night and is the finale Sunday.

Luxemburg 13, Ada 7

Region 10 champion Ada Athletics were cruising through six innings with a 6-1 lead and pitcher Ethan Opsahl on a three-hitter. Then the wheels fell off for Ada and a 10-run Luxemburg Brewers seventh inning did the A’s in.

The Brewers scored 10 times on eight hits and benefitted from two Ada errors in that breakthrough seventh. And with relief pitcher Reed Pfannenstein taking over with one out in the third inning, Luxemburg moved on with a wild 13-7 victory.

It was a team effort for the Brewers after a shaky start in the field and quiet bats through the first six innings. Brewers starting lefty pitcher JT Harren was victimized by three infield errors and left after just one out in the third. 

Ada put up three runs in the first and two more in the second before Pfannenstein took over mound duties for Luxemburg. Harren left giving up just two earned runs. 

Luxemburg finally got on the scoreboard with a single run in the fifth inning, but Ada came back to match that with one in the bottom of the sixth. Then the seventh.

Luxemburg bats erupted. Sam Iten produced two RBI singles alone in the inning. But it just might have been Ethyn Fruth’s successful suicide squeeze bunt that scored Dean Kron from third to tie things up 6-6 that really turned the momentum around for the Brewers.

Still, it was Pfannenstein’s work on the mound that stymied the Athletics over the final 6 2/3 innings. He struck out nine while walking just one, giving up two runs on six hits to earn the win. Opsahl took the loss for Ada.

There were plenty of heroes at the plate for the Brewers. Derrick Orth went 2-for-5 with four RBI. Noah Grove went 3-for-5 and scored twice. Luke Harren was 2-for-5 with two runs. Connor Clark had a 2-for-4 day with two RBI and a run. And Sam Iten went 2-for-5 with two RBI and a run scored.

Opsahl did his best at the plate, too, with a 3-for-5 and one RBI performance. Blake Fettig went 2-for-5 with a run scored and RBI.

Next up for the Brewers is hometown favorite and top-rated Class C team Waconia Lakers. It’ll be Friday, Sept.3 at 7:30 p.m. in Chaska.

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