FAIRMONT - Class AA No. 8-ranked Fairmont's defense committed an uncharacteristic five errors on Tuesday, but the Cardinals displayed their mettle by grinding out a 9-3 South Central Conference baseball victory over the St. Peter Saints at Herb Wolf Field.
"We gave up two unearned runs, but (starting pitcher) Bryce (Holm) battled through it and pitched well today," said Fairmont mentor Todd Sukalski, whose lineup improved to 14-1 overall and 8-0 in the conference standings. "We also put a lot of runners on base, but couldn't get that key hit to break it open.
"I'm not going to complain about a 9-3 win though."
DRIVING FORCE — Fairmont pitcher Bryce Holm drives off the mound in delivering a pitch during South Central Conference baseball action against St. Peter on Tuesday at Herb Wolf Field in Fairmont. (Photo by Chip Pearson)
Holm allowed three runs - only one earned - on four hits in six innings of work to earn the victory. The junior right-hander struck out six and walked two before giving way to sophomore Jay Ruen on the mound. Ruen retired the Saints in a 1-2-3 top of the seventh, including the game-ending strikeout.
With Holm holding St. Peter's offense in check, Fairmont's batting order manufactured four first-frame runs on one hit - Levi Becker's RBI single - combined with RBI hit-by-pitches by Holm and Alek Borchardt, and a bases-loaded walk to Ross Wilken.
The Cardinals tacked on a solo run in the second behind Spencer Chirpich's bunt hit, an errant Saints' pickoff throw and Ryan Noll's RBI single to right.
St. Peter capitalized on a one-out error to set the table for consecutive singles by Logan Connor, Luke Connor and Dylan Connor in the top of the third.
Dylan Connor produced an RBI with his hit, while a second run crossed on a Fairmont throwing error on the play. Jordan Wilmes' sacrifice fly capped the scoring and narrowed the Cardinals' lead to 5-3. Holm recorded a pivotal strikeout for the third out to limit the damage.
St. Peter committed one of its four errors on the game to help Fairmont plate its third run of the fourth frame to re-establish a five-run lead.
Chirpich blooped the second of his three hits on the day to center before stealing second base. Noll drew his second walk before Andy Reiter lined an RBI single to right.
Mitch Pfingsten hammered an RBI single to right field before the Saints' miscue allowed another Cardinal run to cross for an 8-3 edge.
Reiter drew a bases-loaded walk to generate Fairmont's solo run in the fifth. Luke Becker, who had reached on an error, scored the home team's ninth run.
Luke Connor went 2-for-3 to top the Saints' four-hit effort.
Starting pitcher Tom Steidler gave up eight runs - six earned - on six hits, struck out three, walked four and hit three batters in four innings to take the loss for St. Peter.
Fairmont (14-1, 8-0 SCC) travels to Waseca on Friday for a 4:30 p.m. game, while St. Peter (6-8, 3-5) travels to Le Sueur-Henderson.
St. Peter 003 000 0 - 3 4 4
Fairmont 410 310 x - 9 7 5
Tom Steidler (LP), Luke Regner (5) and Dylan Connor. Bryce Holm (WP), Jay Ruen (7) and Mitch Pfingsten.
LOB-Fairmont 9; St. Peter 6. SF-Jordan Wilmes (SP). SAC-Spencer Chirpich (F).
Starting pitcher Jacob Ellis and reliever Josh Lindquist combined on a no-hitter to steer Fairmont to an 11-1, five-inning win over St. Peter on Tuesday during junior varsity action.
Ellis struck out eight and walked one while not allowing a hit or a run in four innings of work. Lindquist gave up one run on two walks and struck out two in one inning of relief.
Trason Arens went 2-for-2 with a double and a game-best four RBIs to top the Cardinals, while Jay Ruen, Caleb Prigge and Sean Klein each contributed two hits. Ruen and Prigge each drove in two runs, while Klein had one RBI.
Fairmont (12-1) travels to Waseca on Friday.
John Dosedel drove in the tying and game-winning runs to cap the Fairmont C-squad's four-run seventh-inning rally en route to an 8-7 comeback win over St. Peter on Tuesday.
Dosedel finished with two hits, including a double, and two RBIs on the game, while teammate Ryan Brooks contributed two hits and three RBIs, including a two-run double in the seventh.
Parker Monson netted two hits, including a double, for the Cardinals.
Derek Hunwardsen gave up six runs - three earned - on four hits, struck out four and walked two in five innings for Fairmont.
Cole Emler allowed one run on three hits and sruck out two in two innings of relief to net the victory.
Blue Earth Area 6, Waseca 5 - Brandyn Olsen singled home Carter Hanson with the game-winning run in the bottom of the seventh inning to propel the Bucs to a 6-5 South Central Conference triumph over the Bluejays on Tuesday in Blue Earth.
Blue Earth Area held a 5-3 lead before Waseca plated two in the top of the seventh to knot the game at 5.
Olsen went 3-for-4 with two RBIs to top the Bucs' eight-hit performance, while teammate David Franta went 2-for-4 and scored one run.
Zac Bartlett and Matt Rockers each delivered an RBI single for BEA, with Rockers scoring a run, while Seth Anderson added a hit.
Olsen allowed five runs - only two earned - on five hits, and struck out eight in pitching the seven-inning distance to earn the complete-game victory.
Blue Earth Area (3-12) travels to St. James on Thursday, while Waseca (3-12) hits the road to Jordan on Thursday.
WAS 003 000 2 - 5 5 3
BEA 200 030 1 - 6 8 5
Game-winning run scored in the bottom of the seventh inning.
Brandon Sutlief (LP) and Nathan Draheim. Brandyn Olsen (WP) and Carter Hanson.
Martin County West 10, Maple River 4 - Tyson Schuder utilized his pitching arm and bat in engineering the Mavericks' 10-4 Valley Conference victory over the Eagles on Tuesday in Welcome.
Schuder went 3-for-3 with a double and two RBIs on offense, while hurling 6 1/3 innings of five-hit ball for MCW. Schuder struck out two and walked one in netting the win.
Mitch Sitzmann and Alex Biehn each collected two hits and scored two runs for the Mavericks, while Alex Saxen went 1-for-3 with three RBIs.
Jake Faber closed out the final 2/3s of an inning for MCW.
Garret FitzSimmons went 2-for-4 to top Maple River.
Martin County West (8-5) plays host to Sleepy Eye St. Mary's on Thursday in Welcome.
MR 300 000 1 - 4 5 1
MCW 270 001 x - 10 11 1
Mankato Loyola 16, Martin Luther/GHEC/ Truman 5 (5 innings) - Jake Clements went 3-for-3 with three runs scored, while teammate Evan Ellingworth collected two hits, two RBIs and two runs scored to guide the Class A No. 7-ranked Crusaders to a 16-5, five-inning non-league victory over the Knights on Tuesday at Franklin Rogers Field in Mankato.
Ellingworth gave up five runs on seven hits, struck out one and walked one in four innings to net the win. Mark Korten struck out one in working the fifth frame.
Dylan Petrowiak generated two hits and two RBIs to top the Knights' effort, Jeremy Smith contributed two hits and Darren Balcom chipped in an RBI single.
Spencer Schrader allowed 10 runs - only two earned - on six hits, and walked two in one inning to take the loss for ML/GHEC/Truman.
ML/GHEC/ Truman (10-6) hosts St. Clair at 7 p.m. Thursday in Truman.
MGT ( 0)50 00 - 5 7 5
LOY (10)20 4x - 16 13 1