Cadwell Park’s right field was owned by the Ulmer’s on Tuesday.
Brothers Brad (Garretson) and Cody (Menno) played against each other for the first time, with each gracing right field and batting second for their respective team. Their parents, aunts and uncles were in the stands as Brad hit a single to Cody, driving home the game-winning run in the seventh inning of Garretson’s 2-1 win to advance to the Class B amateur baseball quarterfinals.
“I wasn’t even thinking about that,” Brad Ulmer said. “I was just trying to put the ball in play.”
When the state tournament bracket was released, neither brother realized a face-off was a possibility. However, a day prior to Garretson’s 15-0 first-round win over Groton Locke Electric, Brad called his older brother.
“I didn’t see that right away until we were going to play the first game,” Brad said. “Then I called him and told him, ‘Why don’t you win so we can play you.’ He said, ‘We should shoot for that.’ ”
Cody held up his end of the bargain, with Menno defeating Clear Lake, 10-0. The showdown was set after spending the last four seasons next to each other in the Menno outfield -- Brad in center and Cody in right.
The Yankton natives, whose parents are from Menno -- Brad joined Garretson this year after moving to Sioux Falls -- didn’t talk before the game. Although, that didn’t mean they didn’t root for each other at the plate.
“I wanted him to hit me one to rob him,” the Menno right fielder said. “But I’m sure he was rooting for the same thing.”
Neither had the opportunity to rob a base hit. But their father, Bruce, was still happy the matchup happened, despite being left without a team to root for as he donned a Menno Mad Frogs shirt.
“I don’t have a Garretson one,” Bruce said laughing.
Their mother, Bev, showed more neutrality, wearing a black Yankton jacket as she watched the “nerve-wracking” matchup unfold.
“I wish it was a game later,” Bev said. “... But it was fun to watch them. They both had a great game, but it’s just too bad someone had to lose.”
Between the nerves and excitement of numerous family members in attendance and the rest listening on the radio, they both went 1-for-4. Cody singled in the fourth inning, though was stranded at third base.
It was a weird and fun experience, as described by the brothers, after they grew up practicing with each other but never playing on the same team until their amateur baseball careers.
“Either way, we knew we were coming back Friday,” Bruce said.
And thanks to Brad’s seventh-inning heroics, it’ll be to watch Garretson against the winner of Clark and Northville.
“Tip my hat to him,” Cody said. “He hit the ball hard and we really didn’t.”