NEW ULM — One big inning offensively by New Ulm and seven strong innings by Gold left-hander Ethan Stade produced a 9-2 win over the Mankato Nationals on Saturday night in the pool play finals of the Upper Midwest Classic at Johnson Park.
Stade got the complete game win for New Ulm. He held the Nationals to one hit through five innings before Mankato scored their only two runs of the game in the sixth inning.
Stade fanned eight and allowed six hits.
Riley Bersaw took the loss for Mankato, allowing seven runs in 1 2/3 innings.
Jaden Drill had three hits for New Ulm, with Hunter Sehr adding two hits. Carter Lang drove in three runs with Sehr and Isaiah Rieser each driving in two runs.
Gold will now play Omaha Gross, a 13-0 winner over Rosetown at 9:30 a.m. Sunday morning at Johnson Park in a semifinal game.
Mankato American will play Eastview at noon at Johnson Park.
If New Ulm wins, they will play for the title Sunday afternoon at 2:45 p.m.
“Our bats came alive in that (second) inning and score seven runs and put the pressure on,” Gold coach Chris Peters said. “And Ethan did a nice job — when he is on the mound, we have the best chance to win. He is our ace.”
And Saturday night Stade was dominant against a good Mankato squad.
Stade struck out the first batter of the game before allowing two Nationals runners to reach on a single and an error. Stade fanned the next two batters to end the inning. He set down the next nine Mankato batters in a row before a runner reached on an error.
“Everything was working for me today,” Stade said. “Mankato West is a good team — they have some real nice hitters — but everything was working for me. My curveball was working and I was able to spot the corners.”
New Ulm would realistically end the game in the second inning with seven runs. A two-run single from Isaiah Rieser and a bases-loaded walk to Sehr preceded a three-run double off of the bat of Carter Lang that made it 6-0. Lang came home on a Jaden Drill single to make it 7-0.
“One through nine — whoever I have in there — they all hit the ball well,” Peters said about his team that has now scored 43 runs in four games. “I can count on everyone of them.”
Gold added two more runs in the fifth on a fielder’s choice and a Sehr single.
Peters said that he is sending left-hander Hunter Sehr to the mound in the 9:30 a.m. game.