Kupfer walk-off keeps NY Mills win streak alive
Saturday night's game was postponed due to severe weather in the Fergus Falls area. Play will resume at M-State (MSCTC) field at 10 a.m., Sunday. Legion Field at DeLagoon Park is under water. The score in the fifth inning was 10-5 in favor of Pearl Lake.
New York Mills staved off elimination again handing a 4-3 comeback defeat to Litchfield at the In-Tact State Babe Ruth tournament in Fergus Falls. The loss was only Litchfield's third of the season.
"We continue to fight," Head Coach Tim Kupfer said. "We battled back and kept pecking away."
Through four innings of play, NY Mills managed one hit against Litchfield starter Trent Kreckelberg. Meanwhile, Litchfield took advantage of three Mills fielding errors to put up a 3-0 lead.
But Austin Erickson would rear back and shut down Litchfield from the mound. He allowed two hits to the final 11 batters on way to a complete game win. Litchfield base runners never passed first base in the final three frames.
"Austin pitched an awesome game," Kupfer said.
Adam Patron led off the fifth with a walk and came around on a double by Max Carlson. Both teams generated offense from the bottom of the order and Carlson, in the nine spot, had a big game, going 1-2 with a RBI and two runs scored.
Carlson would come around on an RBI single by Erickson on a controversial play. Erickson hit a nubber up the first base line and met Kreckelberg midway up the first base line. Erickson ran through Kreckelberg reaching first base. A call for interference was denied. Erickson would round the bags and tie the game on an errant throw from third to first. Kreckelberg would not recover and was pulled after facing Brandon Kupfer after 4 and 2/3 innings of work. He would not factor in the decision.
The game remained tied to the last inning, the seventh. In the top half, Erickson got two quick outs before a single from Litchfield lead off hitter Kaleb Kadelbach, who would remain stranded there when Dylan Koll lined a hard shot snagged by Nick Kupfer at second.
Carlson would prove a hero again reaching first with a lead off walk. He would be lifted for a pinch runner. Coach Kupfer called for the sacrifice from Taylor Ericksrud, who laid a bunt down that was bobbled by relief pitcher Zach Kinny. With runners on first and second, Kupfer again called for the sacrifice, this time, from Erickson. He popped a bunt up midway between the mound and home plate. Kinny dove but was unable to make the grab and the bases were loaded for Brandon Kupfer.
Kupfer battled Kinny to two strikes and checked his swing on a judgment call from the umpire. Both the home plate umpire and field umpire ruled Kupfer did not go around. With new life, he launched a single over the heads of a drawn in outfield for the walk-off game winner.
After a 1-0 opening round loss to Browerville, the NY Mills 13-15 Babe Ruth team had their backs against the wall facing elimination for the remainder of the In-Tact state tournament.
Their second round foe was a familiar team in Park Rapids, who jumped out to a 4-0 lead in the third inning. Mills would answer with a pair in the bottom half but remained behind 4-2 going into the fifth, where they exploded for seven runs on four consecutive hits from Brandon Kupfer, Tyler Patron, Daniel Kraft and Nick Bahls. The teams remained scoreless for the remainder concluding with a 9-4 final.
In the bottom quarter of the loser's bracket Ada-Borup eliminated Fosston 8-5 to move on and face NY Mills in the nightcap at M-State field.
NY Mills got up early and put the game away scoring thrice in the first and four times in the second leading to a 15-2 thumping. The game was shortened to five innings due to the 10-run mercy rule. NY Mills scored in every inning but the third.
Austin Erickson and Brandon Kupfer had three RBI. CJ Mulcahy pitched a complete game allowing only two runs on four hits.
NY Mills next scheduled game is 10 a.m., at Legion Field in DeLagoon Park in Fergus Falls.
Runs were at a premium in second round play at the In-Tact State Babe Ruth tournament in Fergus Falls. NY Mills ended up on the short end of a 1-0 pitcher's duel against Browerville. Brandon Kupfer took the loss pitching a complete game. He fanned eight and surrendered only three hits.
NY Mills outhit Browerville 5-3.
"We just couldn't put the hits together," said Head Coach Tim Kupfer. "We did face a very good pitcher as well."
Browerville scored in the first inning. Browerville's leadoff hitter sent a high flare over third base and it caromed off the third baseman's glove.
Brandon Kupfer had two strikes on the number three hitter and threw a low, outside pitch. The pitch struck a slapped bat and hit right on the right field line leading to an RBI triple. End of scoring.
"We had a couple scoring opportunities and just couldn't come up with the big hit," said Kupfer
NY Mills plays today (Thursday, August 6) at noon against Park Rapids. A loss will end the season. A win and Mills plays again at 5:30 p.m. Both games will be at M State Field in Fergus Falls.
Bob Williams is on the fly with these updates. Occasionally, updating from the front seat of his Camry when swiping an available wi-fi signal. While I do my best to keep it typo free, I beg your indulgence in the live proofreading and thanks for reading!