FAIRMONT - Spencer Chirpich achieved a rarity.
Chirpich became the first-ever freshman in Fairmont High School baseball history to earn selection to the Class AA state baseball all-tournament team.
The hard-throwing right-hander hurled a five-hit complete game to engineer the Cardinals' 3-2 victory over Roseau during state quarterfinal diamond action Thursday at Dick Putz Field in St. Cloud.
Unfortunately, Fairmont lost a 3-0 semifinal decision to eventual state champion Holy Family Catholic on Friday before falling to Proctor in the third-place game, 6-0. HFC dethroned 2011 Class AA state champion St. Cloud Cathedral, 5-0, Monday at Target Field.
Chirpich completed his first varsity campaign as the Cardinals' leader in pitching victories (8) to complement a miniscule ERA of 1.67 in 54 1/3 innings of work. The freshman phenom also topped the team in runs scored (26) to go with a .330 batting average and 18 RBIs.
Unfortunately, Chirpich did not get to enjoy the fruits of his labor for very long as he suffered a fracture of the orbital socket while tracking down a flyball in a VFW baseball game Saturday at Herb Wolf Field in Fairmont.
"I was going for a blooper just over third (base) and lost track of the ball in the sun for a second. It was a freak accident," Chirpich said.
Chirpich said he has to put drops in his eyes on a daily basis and has to sleep upright in a chair due to the injury. The doctors also told him no physical activities for two weeks or possibly longer, and he cannot wear contacts for a month or so.
"The doctors told me that if I hadn't been wearing sunglasses, the injury could have been a lot worse and that I probably would have had to have surgery on my eye," said a grateful Chirpich.
Chirpich, along with teammates Levi Becker, Mitch Pfingsten, Michael Forster and Ben Kain, earned five of the 20 spots on the all-Section 3 baseball team.
Kain, a senior right-hander, hurled a pivotal seven-hit complete game to pilot Fairmont to a key elimination-game victory over Morris Area on June 5 in Marshall.
Pfingsten, a sophomore catcher, delivered two RBIs on two hits to help fuel the offense.
Kain then produced a total of four hits to help the Cardinals sweep two games from New Ulm in the sectional championship round June 7 in Marshall.
Forster, a senior first baseman, delivered an RBI single and a sacrifice fly to ignite Fairmont's 3-2, eight-inning Game 1 victory over New Ulm.
Levi Becker, a junior jack-of-all-trades, and Luke Becker, a sophomore infielder/pitcher, contributed solid defense and offense throughout the postseason to round out the Cardinals' all-section selections.
Junior right-hander/outfielder Bryce Holm joined Levi Becker, Luke Becker and Chirpich as members of the all-South Central Conference baseball team this spring.
Holm produced a 3-1 pitching record and 1.58 ERA against SCC foes in 2012, while Luke Becker compiled a 4-0 mound mark with an incredible 0.55 ERA.
Chirpich netted a 2-0 pitching mark and 1.91 ERA against league rivals to merit selection, while Levi Becker pounded the baseball at a staggering .517 clip against SCC pitchers.
Junior catcher Carter Hanson, junior outfielder/ pitcher Brandyn Olsen and sophomore shortstop David Franta represented Blue Earth Area on the all-SCC baseball team.
Hanson hit at a .333 clip against league pitching, Franta posted a .340 batting mark, while Olsen drilled the baseball at a .370 pace.
Senior outfielder Rachel Tschumperlin, senior catcher Kayla Schmidt and junior second baseman Courtney Whitmore represented Fairmont, while junior catcher Janessa Jahnke represented Blue Earth Area on the 2011 all-SCC softball lineup.
Tschumperlin blistered pitches at an incredible .562 clip to earn all-SCC honors, while teammates Schmidt and Whitmore posted respective batting averages of .314 and .414.
Jahnke hit at a .242 clip, along with playing stellar defense behind the plate, to net a spot on the team.