JORDAN - Alex Hensch provided pivotal power to propel the Fergus Falls Hurricanes to a ninth-inning comeback against the Fairmont Martins during Minnesota Class 'C' state amateur baseball tournament action Saturday in Jordan.
Hensch cranked a three-run home run to snap a 2-all tie in capping a five-run outburst to engineer the Hurricanes' eventual 5-3 Round of 16 victory over the Martins at the Mini-Met.
Sobieski, however, eliminated Fergus Falls from the state tournament via a 4-1 quarterfinal victory on Sunday.
HELMET SALUTE — Fairmont hitter Luke Becker crosses the plate to a home run salute from Martins teammates Scott Chirpich, Max Waletich (7) and Shaun McGuire (24) during Minnesota Class ‘C’ state amateur baseball tournament action Saturday at the Mini-Met in Jordan. Fergus Falls catcher Jake Erickson looks on. (Photo courtesy of CJ Siewert/Minnesota Baseball Association)
Fergus Falls ended the season with a 15-7 record, while Fairmont closed with a 26-11 mark.
Luke Becker, who's headed to North Iowa Area Community College to play baseball this fall, demonstrated his long-ball hitting prowess to stake the Martins to an early 2-0 lead.
Scott Chirpich lined a one-out single during the bottom of the third inning before trotting home when Becker blasted a two-run homer over the fence.
Fairmont ace right-hander Taylor Nawrocki had limited Fergus Falls to only three hits through eight shutout innings before the Hurricanes' bats awoke during the top of the ninth.
Jake Erickson and Dan Revering delivered back-to-back singles off of Nawrocki before both runners moved into scoring position via Peter Gaustad's fielder's choice.
No. 8 batter Erik Hiedeman then produced a clutch two-run single to plate Erickson and Revering to knot the game at 2-all.
Jamie Jacklitch reached on a fielder's choice before pinch runner Austin Hanson advanced 90 feet when Nawrocki issued a walk to Bryan Jacklitch with two out.
Hensch then connected on the go-ahead three-run home run to stake Fergus Falls to its first lead of the game at 5-2.
The Martins, however, displayed their mettle by loading the bases in the bottom of the ninth.
Adam Schmidt, who went 2-for-4, singled before Taylor Morris was plunked by a Spencer Kidder delivery. Ian Bents, who was 1-for-4, hit a hard grounder to Hensch and the Hurricanes second baseman made an error to load the bases.
Schmidt then crossed the plate on Dustin Sobolik's RBI fielder's choice to the second baseman before Kidder got a flyout to preserve Fergus Falls' comeback win.
Kidder allowed one earned run on two hits, walked one and struck out two in three innings of relief to notch the win for the Hurricanes.
Fergus Falls starting pitcher Adam Johnson gave up two earned runs on three hits, struck out three, walked three and hit one batter in six innings.
Nawrocki gave up five runs on seven hits, fanned four and issued seven walks in 8 2/3 innings to take the loss. Schmidt pitched the final 1/3 of an inning.
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Adam Johnson, Spencer Kidder (7, WP) and Jake Erickson. Taylor Nawrocki (LP), Adam Schmidt (9) and Dustin Sobolik.