FAIRMONT - Fairmont utilized a potent long-ball offensive attack, in conjunction with solid pitching, to overpower St. Peter, 10-2, during South Central Conference baseball action Monday at Herb Wolf Field.
Trailing 2-0, Luke Becker delivered a pivotal RBI triple with two out during the bottom of the third inning to eventually draw the hometown Cardinals even on the scoreboard.
Matt Lytle, who had drawn a leadoff walk, circled the bases when Becker drilled his extra-base hit to the right-center gap. Becker then aggressively timed a low delivery in the dirt that skipped only a few feet from the plate and hook-slid around St. Peter catcher Brett Zallek's diving tag to knot the game at 2-all.
EXTRA-BASE POWER — Fairmont’s Luke Becker (right) slides safely into third base with one of the Cardinals’ six extra-base hits during a 10-2 South Central Conference baseball victory over St. Peter on Monday at Herb Wolf Field in Fairmont. Saints third baseman Alex Hoehn leaps to snag the high throw. (Photo by Leanna Becker)
"We took advantage of the wind (blowing out) today, but I also thought we hit the ball hard," said Cardinal head coach Todd Sukalski. "(Saints' starting pitcher Tommy) Steidler throws hard and was tough to hit today, but we were fortunate to get to their bullpen."
Unfortunately for St. Peter, Steidler experienced some arm problems two batters into the bottom of the fourth and exited the mound.
Ironically, Fairmont broke open the SCC clash by manufacturing five runs in the fourth frame behind RBI singles from Jay Ruen and Jack Waletich, Cole Emler's sacrifice bunt, two St. Peter errors, a bases-loaded walk to Tyler Tennyson and one hit batter.
The Cardinals' batting order then erupted for six of its 11 hits, including three for extra bases, during the fifth and sixth innings to put the game out of reach.
Nathan Gillis lined a leadoff single to center in the Fairmont fifth and took second base when Emler legged out a bunt hit. St. Peter reliever Caleb Ebeling nearly escaped unscatched when Zallek threw out the lead runner and Ebeling registered a strikeout.
Starting pitcher Spencer Chirpich, however, assisted his own cause by lining an RBI double into right to extend the Cardinals' margin to 8-2.
Becker, who went 2-for-4, produced his second RBI of the game when he hammered a jetstream-finding home run to deep center field to lead off the bottom of the sixth.
Ruen, who went 2-for-4, singled and circled the bases when Waletich unleashed his game-leading third hit - an RBI double - off the left-field fence. Waletich went 3-for-4 with a pair of two-baggers and two RBIs.
Meanwhile, the hard-throwing Chirpich allowed only one earned run on six hits in six innings of work to earn the pitching victory. Chirpich struck out five and walked three, and triggered one of the Cardinal defense's two double plays on the day.
Chirpich worked his way out of a bases-loaded, no outs jam in the top of the fifth. The junior right-hander notched a pivotal strikeout before gloving a comebacker to trigger a 1-2-3 twin killing.
Fairmont first baseman Tyler Tennyson, who doubled in the first inning, displayed his defensive prowess in the sixth by gloving a one-hopper, stepped on first and pegged a strike to second for the inning-ending double play.
Matt Lytle worked a 1-2-3 top of the seventh inning to preserve the Cardinals' victory. Lytle struck out one in one scoreless and hitless relief frame.
Sam Wenner and Steidler each went 2-for-3 to top St. Peter, with Steidler collecting an RBI. Alex Hoehn went 1-for-2 with a walk and scored twice for the Saints.
Steidler gave up three runs - one earned - on three hits, fanned four and walked one in 3 1/3 innings to take the loss. Ebeling gave up seven runs - three earned - on eight hits, walked one, hit one and struck out one in 2 2/3 innings of relief.
Fairmont (4-1, 2-1 SCC) travels to Blue Earth Area on Thursday, while St. Peter (2-2, 1-1) plays host to Sibley East today.
STP 101 000 0 - 2 5 5
FMT 002 512 x - 10 11 2
Spencer Chirpich (WP), Matt Lytle (7) and Ben Abel. Tommy Steidler (LP), Caleb Ebeling (4) and Brett Zallek.
LOB-Fairmont 6; St. Peter 7. 2B-Jack Waletich (F) 2, Chirpich (F), Tyler Tennyson (F). 3B-Luke Becker (F). HR-Becker (F). SAC-Ryan Hoehn (SP) 2, Cole Emler (F), Colin Thompson (SP).
St. Peter downed Fairmont, 7-3, Monday during junior varsity action in Fairmont.
Ryan Brooks went 3-for-4 with one RBI to top the Cardinals' offense, while Clayton Maakestad and Nate Johnson each went 2-for-4. Maakestad also had one RBI.
Maakestad allowed one unearned run in two hitless innings, striking out four. Kale Fritz gave up six runs - only one earned - on four hits, struck out five and walked four in four innings to take the loss.
Carter Lloyd struck out one in one inning of relief for Fairmont (3-2).
Fairmont routed St. Peter, 16-3, during C-squad action Monday in Fairmont.
Dylan Gerken and Leyton Becker each collected three hits for the Cardinals, with Gerken doubling twice and Becker once.
Christian Engeman doubled and tripled for Fairmont, while Matt Larson and Justin Schwieger each supplied two hits.
Cory Lyons allowed one run on three hits, struck out two and walked one in three innings to take the win.
Nick Moeller pitched 1 2/3 innings of relief for the Cardinals (2-1), while Larson closed out the final 1/3 of an inning.
United South Central 7, Martin Luther/GHEC/Truman 6 (8 innings) - Cody Latusek hit a sacrifice fly with one out in the bottom of the eighth inning to give the Rebels a 7-6 victory over the Knights on Monday in Wells.
Latusek not only drove in Grant Becher from third on his game-winning sacrifice fly, but also earned the win by pitching the final two innings for USC.
Latusek struck out two, and didn't allow a hit, run or walk in the two innings for the win.
The Rebels tied the game in the bottom of the sixth after Walker Linde smacked a single and eventually scored.
The Knights scored three runs in the third and three in the sixth behind to six hits.
Ethan Hurn had one hit and one RBI and scored a run, while Josh Wolter collected two RBIs on a single for MLGHECT.
Alex Weihe tallied two hits and Tyler Weiderhoft smacked a double and scored a pair of runs, while Garrett Balcom added an RBI single for the Knights.
Colton Greiner started on the mound for the Knights, pitching five innings and allowing five runs - four earned - on eight hits and struck out three in a no decision.
Sam Geistfeld took the loss, pitching 2 1/3 innings, allowing two runs on four hits and striking out three.
Trevor Stencel took a no decision for the Rebels, pitching six innings and allowing six runs on six hits and striking out four.
Martin Luther/Granada-Huntley-East Chain/Truman (1-2, 1-0 Valley) plays host to Nicollet in a 5 p.m. game today in Truman.