DELANO - Fairmont Martins ace right-hander Shaun McGuire held New Ulm's potent bats in check, while the Brewers' defense committed four costly errors during Saturday's first round of the Class 'C' state amateur baseball tournament in Delano.
McGuire demonstrated his usual outstanding command of the strike zone, recording four strikeouts without issuing a walk in firing a five-hit complete-game gem to pace the Martins' 6-1 victory over the Brewers at Municipal Stadium.
Fairmont (24-6), the Region 13 runner-up, advances to face Region 3 champion New Market at 1:30 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 25, in Delano.
REARING BACK — Fairmont Martins pitcher Shaun McGuire rears back while delivering a pitch to New Ulm Brewers batter Brady Ranweiler during first-round action at the Minnesota Class ‘C’ state amateur baseball tournament on Saturday at Municipal Stadium in Delano. Martins centerfielder Jon Ellis (left) looks on, while Fairmont catcher Logan Peymann awaits the delivery. (Photo courtesy of Randy Chirpich)
"He (McGuire) keeps the hitters off balance," said Martins player-coach Adam Schmidt. "He's always throwing off-speed and fastballs. He just changes it up so much - that's why he's successful.
"He's not overpowering, he's just a guy that throws strikes and he throws it where he wants it."
McGuire did just that against New Ulm, retiring the first nine batters he faced, averaging an efficient and effective 13 pitches per inning through the first three shutout frames.
With McGuire hanging up zeroes on the Brewers' side of the scoreboard, Luke Becker and the Martins' batting order broke through on New Ulm starting pitcher Wade French during the bottom of the third inning.
Becker lined a leadoff single before wheeling all the way to third base when Logan Peymann reached on an error. French then issued a walk to Jon Ellis to load the bases for Scott Chirpich and Fairmont's No. 2 batter delivered Becker with the game's initial run via an RBI fielder's choice.
McGuire, who co-led the Martins with Peymann by generating two RBIs each, then drove in Peymann via an RBI fielder's choice and ensuing Brewers' error to widen the home team's lead to 2-0 after three innings.
New Ulm finally spoiled McGuire's shutout bid by posting a solo run during the top of the fourth inning to inch within a run of Fairmont.
Aaron Pfaff, who went 2-for-4, lined a leadoff single for the Brewers, reached second base on Cory Ranweiler's sacrifice bunt and wheeled to third on Zach Hoffmann's fielder's choice.
Pfaff then scored New Ulm's only run of the state opener when Brady Ranweiler launched an RBI double into the right-center gap.
McGuire, however, limited the damage to only one run by getting Garrett Fischer to ground out, stranding two Brewer runners on base.
Across the diamond, French could not stop the Martins' bats as another Brewers' error helped lead to two more Fairmont runs during the home half of the fifth.
Ellis reached on a miscue, took second base on a wild pitch and stayed put on a walk issued to Chirpich. Both runners moved into scoring position on a wild pitch before McGuire helped his own cause with an RBI single. Max Waletich then extended Fairmont's lead to 4-1 via a run-scoring fielder's choice.
French then exited the mound in favor of Chris Carriveau, who did not allow any more runs in the fifth, but did give up two more runs in the sixth.
Tanner Nawrocki reached on a New Ulm error before taking second on Ian Bents' fielder's choice. Luke Becker lined a double before Peymann singled home both teammates for a 6-1 lead.
French allowed four runs - only one earned - on four hits, struck out three and walked two in 4 1/3 innings of work to take the loss for the Brewers.
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Wade French (LP), Chris Carriveau (5) and Brady Ranweiler. Shaun McGuire (WP) and Logan Peymann.
Winsted 1, Blue Earth 0 - Wildcats' ace hurler Tony Kley outdueled the Pirates' tandem of starter Lee Hodges and reliever Aaron Wendt in a classic down-to-the-wire pitchers' duel during opening action at the Class 'C' state amateur baseball tournament on Saturday in Maple Lake.
Kley recorded an incredible 12 strikeouts without issuing a walk in firing a four-hit shutout to engineer Winsted's 1-0 victory over Blue Earth at Irish Stadium.
Josh Anthony lined a leadoff single, moved to third base on Cullen Schultz's one-out hit, stayed put on an intentional walk to Brennan Gilyard and crossed the plate with the game-winning run on Scott Theisen's sacrifice fly to center in the bottom of the ninth inning.
Winsted, the Region 7 runner-up, advances to face Region 5 champion Waseca at 11 a.m. Sunday, Aug. 25, in Delano.
Blue Earth, the Region 4 third-place finisher, closes out its season with a 19-10 record.
T.J. Stallman, who collected two of the Pirates' four hits on the state opener, gave the visitors on the scoreboard some extra-base punch. Stallman doubled with two outs in both the third and eighth innings, but was left stranded both times.
Brandyn Olsen and Kane Malo produced the Pirates' other two hits.
Hodges allowed two hits in five shutout innings of work, striking out seven without issuing a walk.
Wendt gave up the one run on only three hits, fanned three and did not issue a walk in 3 2/3 innings of relief to absorb the tough loss.
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Winning run scored with two outs in the bottom of the ninth inning.
Lee Hodges, Aaron Wendt (6, LP) and Bobby Olson. Tony Kley (WP and Matt Wroge.