MANKATO — Few teams have found sustained success against BOLD pitcher Logan Sandgren. On Thursday, New Ulm fared no different.
Leaning on their lefty ace for every inning the senior was allowed to pitch, the Warriors, forced to win two straight in the double-elimination Section 2A title game, defeated New Ulm 11-4 and 8-6 to repeat as section champs at Franklin Rogers Park.
In a span of about 48 hours, Sandgren managed to win two games and close out another pair of wins.
It was a marathon day at Franklin Rogers Park. It began with a rain delay, pushing the 5 p.m. first pitch back by 30 minutes. But after more than three hours of high-intensity baseball (and a 40-minute break between games) the grandstands were still packed when Sandgren threw a final strike to New Ulm’s Mike Skillings to notch the save and the title for the defending state champs.
In their first elimination game, the Warriors scored five runs in the first three innings to take a 5-2 lead. That was all the cushion the lanky Sandgren would need. After allowing a run in the first, he rebounded to strike out the side in the second; working his off-speed pitches to stifling effect, he fanned two more in his fifth and final inning to finish with ten strikeouts.
New Ulm played sloppy defense in the first game, marked by four fielding and throwing errors. Sophomore outfielder Gabe Knowles had two hits and scored two runs for the Greyhounds in Game 1.
In the second game, BOLD again secured a first-inning lead when a leadoff walk and a pair of RBI hits led to a 2-0 lead against Cathedral starter Knowles. In the bottom of the fourth, the Greyhounds, sensing their season was on the ropes, saw an opening and seized it.