Lop-sided wins last week carry Sleepy Eye VFW team into Jr. Upper Midwest Classic

Deb Moldaschel
The Sleepy Eye Herald Dispatch

Last week the Sleepy Eye VFW baseball team overpowered two opponents as they looked forward to the weekend's Jr. Upper Midwest Classic tournament in New Ulm. First up for Sleepy Eye was a road doubleheader against BOLD Jr. Legion on Tuesday, June 22.

Game One - Sleepy Eye 14  BOLD 0

Brandon Schmitz got the win in relief throwing two shutout innings with 4 strikeouts. Kaleb Butenhoff, 2IP, 2H, 3K; Spencer Osmonson, 3IP, 1H, 3K.

Jonny Petermann, 2/5, 2R, 2RBI; Owen Weiss, 3/4 with RBI triple; Austin Uecker, 2/5, 4RBI; Nolan Domeier, 2/3, 4R; Arian Saenz, 2/2, 2R, 2RBI; Butenhoff, 1/1, 1R, 1RBI; Chad Evers and Osmonson had 1RBI each.

Game Two - Sleepy Eye 23  BOLD 1, 4 innings

Pitching for Sleepy Eye: Nolan Domeier, 1IP, 1H, 1ER, 3K; Cody Schultz, 2IP, 1H, 1K.

Hitting: Talan Helget, 3/4 — double, triple, and HR with 6 RBI; Schultz, 2/4 two doubles, 4RBI; Meyer, 1/3/ 1R, 3RBI; Domeier, 3/4, 2R, 2RBI.

Sleepy Eye continued the big wins on Wednesday night, June 23 when they went to Mankato for a five inning win over East.

Sleepy Eye 13  Mankato East 0, 5 innings

Owen Weiss got the win on the mound, 3IP, 0H, 0R, 2K.

Caden Evers, 2/3, 1R, 3RBI; Austin Uecker, 2/3, 2R.

Sleepy Eye, now at 9-2 started play in the Jr. Upper Midwest Classic with games against Willmar and Harrisburg on Friday, June 25.

Jr. Upper Midwest Classic

The Sleepy Eye VFW baseball team played two games in the Jr. Upper Midwest Classic on Friday, June 25 — coming out with one win and one close loss. Play was to continue on Saturday, but the tournament was rained out.

The first game for Sleepy Eye VFW was against Willmar and a big second inning propelled Sleepy Eye past Willmar. The game was played at Mueller Park in New Ulm.

Sleepy Eye 9  Willmar 1

Coach Brandon Streich said the second inning scoring of 7 runs included 6 scored while there were already two outs. Sleepy Eye scored two more runs, one each in the 5th and 6th innings. Willmar scored their lone run in the top of 7th and that was it for the game.

Mark Anderson got the win on the mound, throwing 5 shutout innings, allowing 4 hits and striking out 6 batters. Brandon Schmitz pitched 2 innings, allowing 2 hits, 1 run and striking out 4.

Jonny Petermann led on offense going 3 for 4 with 3 RBI and 1 run scored. Nolan Domeier was 2 for 2 with 2 R scored. Also getting RBIs, one each, were Jake Price, Chad Evers, Owen Weiss, Anderson, and Spencer Osmonson. 

Sleepy Eye VFW team at the Jr. Upper Midwest Classic tournament on Friday night.

Game Two on Friday was a late inning loss to Harrisburg played at the Essig ball field.

Harrisburg 5  Sleepy Eye 4

Sleepy Eye led 4-1 going into the bottom of the 7th inning and that's when Harrisburg got their offense going, scoring 4 runs for the win.

Pitching for Sleepy Eye: Nick Mielke was charged with the loss, 0.1 IP, 3H, 3ER; Arian Saenz, 6 IP, 3H, 2ER, 3H, 5Ks.

Hitting: Evers, 1/3, 1R, 1RBI; Weiss, 1/3, 2RBI; Domeier, 1/2, 1RBI; Saenz, 2/4.

Sleepy Eye and Chaska were scheduled to play Saturday at noon, at Johnson Park in New Ulm. The game ended when the rain hit with Sleepy Eye leading Chaska 4-2 in the second inning. The remainder of the tournament was called off.

Coach Brandon Streich liked his team's in tournament.

"I was very pleased with our approach at the plate and aggressiveness on the bases," Streich said. "Once again, we got great pitching. Unfortunately, in the second game of the day we had a few bad breaks in the final inning, but the kids played their hearts out and that's all you ask, I'm very proud of the entire team with how they handled the adversity going into Chaska with a clean slate before we got rained out."

"I am very pleased with the quality of baseball we are playing this season," added Streich. "We are a very, very deep team. We have gotten great pitching, good defense, and our hitting and base running has been phenomenal. This is a great group of kids and they gel very well together. One thing I've noticed the past few games is the growing confidence—the kids individually and team wise—have started to truly realize how good they really are and where their potential can take them. As a coach that is very fun to watch develop. I encourage any baseball fan to catch a game this summer, they'll be in for a treat." 

The VFW team played Wabasso Jr. Legion at home on June 29 (story in next week's paper). Next up for them is a home game on Tuesday, July 6 at 5 p.m. against Mankato West 2. They travel to Blue Earth the following evening.