ST. CLOUD - The Fairmont Martins produced their best showing at the Minnesota State Amateur Baseball Tournament in more than half of a decade on Labor Day.
The Maple Lake Lakers rallied from deficits of 3-0 and 4-3 to squeeze past the Martins, 6-4, in the Class 'C' state championship game Monday at Dick Putz Field in St. Cloud.
Fairmont, which was making its 15th appearance in the state amateur baseball tournament, captured second place overall - the program's best finish since the 1959 Martins defeated Bloomington for the Class 'A' state crown.
STATE RUNNERS-UP — Members of the Fairmont Martins’ amateur baseball team capturing second place at the 2012 Minnesota Class ‘C’ state tournament Monday at Dick Putz Field in St. Cloud include, front row: bat boy Jon Bell. Middle row: Ian Bents, Alex Schmidt, Adam Schmidt, Tanner Nawrocki, Aaron Siefken, Scott Chirpich and Logan Peymann. Back row: Taylor Nawrocki, Fox Lake draftee Jon Traetow, Josh Petschke, Jordan Petschke, Shaun McGuire, Jon Ellis and Pipestone draftee Brandon Alfson. Not pictured: Max Waletich and Dustin Sobolik. (Photo courtesy of Jessica Schmidt)
Ace right-hander Shaun McGuire and the Martins' hard-hitting trio of Adam Schmidt, Jon Ellis and Ian Bents all were selected to the all-Class 'C' state amateur baseball tournament team for their overall performances during the 48-team, single-elimination event.
Fairmont ended its historical campaign with a 33-7 overall record.
The Martins plated three runs during the bottom of the third inning before the Lakers chipped away with a solo run in the top of the fourth and two more in the sixth to tie the game at 3-all.
Fairmont reclaimed the upperhand on the scoreboard with a solo run during the last of the sixth, but Maple Lake generated two runs in the eighth and one more in the ninth to eclipse the Martins for the state title, 6-4.
Jon Ellis, Shaun McGuire and Aaron Siefken each collected two hits to produce one RBI to top Fairmont's eight-hit performance. Ellis and Siefken each scored one run.
Ian Bents and Logan Peymann each contributed a hit to the Martins' cause, while Scott Chirpich and Tanner Nawrocki each walked and scored a run.
McGuire, who had pitched 18 scoreless innings during his previous two state tournament games, allowed three runs - two earned - on four hits, struck out two and walked two in seven innings of work to receive no decision.
Siefken gave up two runs - only one earned - on two hits, issued one walk and did not record a strikeout in two innings of relief to receive the loss.
Jordan Danielson notched the victory in relief for Maple Lake. Danielson allowed one run on three hits, fanned four and issued one walk in pitching the final 3 2/3 innings.
Grahm Brown, Luke Fobb and Chad Raiche each went 1-for-4 for the Lakers, with Fobb crossing the plate twice, while Brown and Raiche scored one run each.
Nate Johnson produced an RBI single for Maple Lake, while Bert Marsnik and Dusty Decker each collected RBIs without the benefit of a hit.
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