FAIRMONT - Fairmont Martins' Max Waletich came up in the bottom of the 11th with no outs and delivered the game-winning single to right field, giving the Martins the 9-8 extra-inning victory over the Pipestone A's in the third round of Region 13C amateur baseball playoffs on Wednesday night.
Jon Ellis led off the 11th with a double to right field. Aaron Siefken laid down a bunt and reached first to move Ellis to third base. The Pipestone A's intentionally walked Shaun McGuire to load the bases, leaving Waletich at the plate.
Fairmont (26-6) travels to Pipestone for Game 2 of the best-of-three series at 7:30 p.m. Friday.
REACHING HOME SAFELY — Fairmont Martins runner Adam Schmidt slides around Pipestone A’s catcher Brandon Alfson to score a run during a third-round Region 13C amateur baseball playoff game Wednesday night at Herb Wolf Field in Fairmont. Photo by Kjestine Steinbring
Pipestone struck first in the game, scoring two runs in the second inning when Danny Moffitt hit a single through the left side of the infield. Moffit scored from first on a double to centerfield by Jordan Karels.
Karels then scored from second on a shallow single to center by Brady Legler, making it 2-0.
Fairmont tied it up in the bottom of the second. Waletich started the rally with a single and wheeled to third on Adam Schmidt's base hit.
Dustin Sobolik hit a sacrifice fly to center field to plate Waletich for the first Fairmont run. Schmidt reached third on a towering double by Taylor Nawrocki and then scored to tie the game on a sacrifice fly by Ian Bents.
Pipestone added a run in the third and two in the fourth to get the lead back to 5-2.
A's starter Mitch Jensen held Fairmont scoreless through six innings.
The A's Greg Quist increased the Pipestone lead in the sixth with a two-run home run, scoring Colin Taubert, who walked, and made it 7-2.
Another Pipestone run in the seventh made it 8-2.
Fairmont responded in the seventh inning with its own scoring rally when McGuire hit a three-run home run. Bents walked to start the inning for Fairmont and then took second on Tanner Nawrocki's single before scoring on McGuire's home-run, making it 8-5.
Fairmont continued scoring in the eighth, plating three runs to tie the game.
Schmidt hit a single to start the rally, then took third on Sobolik's double to right field. Taylor Nawrocki hit a slow roller to the Pipestone hurler to reach first and load the bases.
Bents stepped up and hit into a fielder's choice to score Schmidt, moving Sobolik to third. Tanner Nawrocki hit a grounder to second base to force Bents out at second, but scored Sobolik from third for an RBI.
Tanner Nawrocki took second on a throwing error before Ellis hit his first double of the night to score Nawrocki from second base to tie the game.
Fairmont reliever Taylor Nawrocki came in and pitched the final 4 2/3 innings, allowing three hits and striking out six to take the win. Siefken started on the mound for Fairmont and pitched six innings, allowing seven runs on 10 hits, striking out six and walking four to take the no-decision.
Pipestone's Mitch Jensen pitched 7 1/3 innings and gave up eight runs on 11 hits, striking out two and walking three in his no-decision.
A's reliever Sam Schneider pitched the final 3 innings, allowing one run on four hits and walking two to take the loss.
P 021 202 100 00 - 8 13 1
F 020 000 330 01 - 9 15 2
Mitch Jensen, Sam Schneider (8, LP) and Brandon Alfson. Aaron Siefken, Jon Traetow (7), Taylor Nawrocki (7, WP) and Dustin Sobolik.