FAIRMONT - The Fairmont American Legion Post 36 baseball team scored four runs in the bottom of the fourth inning to break a 3-all tie to help top the Mankato National Legion Post 11 in an 8-6 victory on Thursday night at Herb Wolf Field in Fairmont.
Mankato grabbed the early lead by scoring three runs in the top of the first inning off of Fairmont starting pitcher Levi Becker.
Becker then pitched three scoreless innings after allowing the first three runs, giving his Post 36 teammates a chance to get back into the game.
TAKING A?CUT — Fairmont American Legion Post 36 batter Jon Ellis hammers a pitch for a base hit against the Mankato National Legion Post 11 team during baseball action Thursday night at Herb Wolf Field in Fairmont. Fairmont went on to win, 8-6.
Fairmont's Mitch Pfingsten started the rally in the bottom of the second inning with a base hit to right field before Andy Reiter delivered a base hit to center to put runners on first and second.
Back-to-back walks to designated hitter Sean Klein and Ben Gratz allowed Pfingsten to cross the plate with the home team's first run.
Luke Becker and Levi Becker each generated singles to score Reiter and Gratz, respectively, knotting the game at 3-3 after two innings.
Fairmont took the lead in the bottom of the fourth inning when Levi Becker hit a double off the left-field fence to score two runs. Reiter, who walked, and Luke Becker, who had singled, scored on Levi Becker's extra-base hit.
Waletich then hit a screaming double to right field to score Levi Becker from second.
Jon Ellis drove in the final Fairmont run in the fourth inning with a base hit, plating Waletich to make it 7-3 in Post 36's favor.
"We gave up three runs early, but came back and responded well," said Fairmont head coach Scott Chirpich.
Fairmont reliever Tanner Nawrocki gave up a lead-off triple to Mankato's Adam Geiger to start a three-run inning for the Nationals in the top of the sixth.
Ellis later scored in the bottom of the sixth for Fairmont on a passed ball to increase the lead to 8-6. After Ellis was hit by a pitch, Pfingsten and Reiter each walked to load the bases.
Fairmont's Max Waletich struck out the side in the bottom of the seventh inning to earn the save.
Levi Becker earned the win for Fairmont, pitching four innings and allowing three runs on seven hits. Nawrocki pitched 1 2/3 innings of relief, allowing three runs on two hits and striking out one.
Waletich pitched 1 1/3 innings, allowing one hit and striking out three. He also led Fairmont at the plate, going 3-for-4 with two doubles, a run scored and collected one RBI.
Levi Becker went 2-for-4 with a double, collecting three RBIs and scoring a run for Fairmont, while Luke Becker and Jon Ellis each went 1-for-3, each collecting an RBI and adding a run scored.
Fairmont (8-8) travels to New Ulm on Monday night for an 8 p.m. game against New Ulm Blue.
Kato 300 003 0 - 6 10 0
Fmt. 030 401 x - 8 10 1
Charlie Sorenson (LP), Brandon Adems (4), Brandon Kowalski (6) and Shane Sellner. Levi Becker (WP), Tanner Nawrocki (5), Max Waletich (6) and Andy Reiter.
2B-Max Waletich (F) 2 and Levi Becker (F). 3B-Adam Geiger (Mankato).