FAIRMONT - Fairmont American Legion Post 36 needed just two hits and the help of a Sleepy Eye Post 7 error to escape with a 3-2 eight-inning baseball victory on Thursday night at Herb Wolf Field in Fairmont.
"It wasn't pretty defense, but we got the job done when we needed to," Fairmont head coach Scott Chirpich said about his team's five errors.
It was a Sleepy Eye error in the bottom of the eighth that helped the home team get the win though.
SWIPING SECOND — Fairmont Post 36 runner Jay Ruen swipes second base before Sleepy Eye Post 7 second baseman Jake Mielke can apply the tag during American Legion baseball action Thursday night at Herb Wolf Field in Fairmont. Sleepy Eye shortstop Brandon Helget backs up the play. (Photo by Leanna Becker)
Jack Waletich drove a hit to left field, but the Sleepy Eye fielder dropped the ball, allowing Waletich to race to second. Jay Ruen then ripped a hit to left to move Waletich to third.
With runners on the corners, Ryan Noll, who finished 2-for-4, cranked a delivery up the middle and Waletich ran home for the game-winning run.
"Noll has been hitting the ball hard for us, but it was nice for him to finally find a couple holes tonight for hits," said Chirpich.
Sleepy Eye got on the board first in the game, with Brandon Helget breaking open a scoreless game.
Helget hit a high fly ball that the Fairmont outfielders mishandled, allowing him to cruise into second base to lead off the fourth.
Jon Kopacek then traded places with his teammate by doubling to center to score Helget for the RBI.
Fairmont then tied the game in the bottom of the inning.
Ruen started the rally with a walk, before swiping second. A wild pitch to Tyler Tennyson allowed Ruen to advance to third.
After Tennyson grounded out to the Sleepy Eye second basemen, Noll delivered his first RBI of the game with a hit to right.
Fairmont then added a run in the fifth for a one-run lead.
Matt Lytle, who started on the mound for Fairmont, helped his own cause taking a walk to first.
Luke Becker then singled up the middle, putting runners on first and second.
Parker Monsen worked a walk in his at-bat to load the bases.
Waletich then hit into a double play, but Lytle ran home to give Fairmont the 2-1 lead.
Lytle, who pitched five innings for Fairmont, allowed one unearned run on two hits, walked one and struck out two as the starter.
Sleepy Eye then jumped on Fairmont reliever Nathan Gillis in the sixth to tie the game.
Mike Hirsch hit a hard grounder that was mishandled to reach on an error.
Then another Fairmont error on a Lucas Heiderscheidt hit up the middle put runners on first and second.
Jake Mielke drew a walk to load the bases and before Jay Helget could draw a walk, Hirsch raced home on a wild pitch.
Gillis allowed one run, struck out two and walked two in his relief effort, but Ruen finished with the win.
Ruen came in and pitched the final two innings, allowing one hit and striking out two.
David Surprenant pitched five innings for Sleepy Eye, giving up two runs on three hits, striking out three and walking five in a no decision.
Elliot Braun took the loss, allowing one run on two hits and striking out two.
Fairmont (3-5) hosts New Ulm Blue at 7:30 p.m. next Thursday.
SE 000 101 00 - 2 3 1
FMT 000 110 01 - 3 4 5
David Surprenant, Elliot Braun (6, LP) and Jay Helget. Matt Lytle, Nathan Gillis (6), Jay Ruen (7, WP) and Ben Abel.
LOB-Sleepy Eye 9; Fairmont 5. 2B-Brandon Helget (SE).