ST. PETER - The Class AA, No. 5-ranked Fairmont Cardinal baseball lineup cleared two more difficult hurdles on Tuesday during Games 8 and 9 of its 14-game stretch over 14 days.
Levi Becker and Mitch Pfingsten each delivered RBI singles to highlight Fairmont's tiebreaking four-run top of the eighth inning en route to a 6-4 extra-inning triumph over the St. Peter Saints in Game 1 of the teams' South Central Conference twinbill in St. Peter.
The Cardinals, who were the home team on the scoreboard in Game 2, fended off the Saints' late comeback bid to claim an 8-5 victory in the nightcap to cap the key twinbill sweep.
"Only one game against Waseca Thursday, a doubleheader with Lake Crystal at home Friday and a couple games in the Sibley East Tournament on Saturday," said Fairmont mentor Todd Sukalski, whose lineup improved to 12-1 overall and 7-1 in the SCC.
Trailing 2-0, St. Peter plated two runs in the last of the seventh to force extra innings in the opener. Fairmont utilized three consecutive bunts to load the bases in the top of the eighth before Levi Becker and Pfingsten each lined RBI singles. Ryan Noll was plunked by a pitch to earn an RBI before Bryce Holm delivered a sacrifice fly.
Spencer Chirpich allowed one hit and no runs in closing out the bottom of the eighth to earn the save. Starter Luke Becker allowed four runs on seven hits, struck out seven and walked two in seven-plus innings to claim the Game 1 win for Fairmont.
Chirpich went 3-for-4 with a run scored for the Cardinals, Luke Becker was 2-for-4 and crossed the plate twice, while the trio of Levi Becker, Pfingsten and Christian Petschke each added a hit.
Jay Ruen, Chirpich, Luke Becker and Levi Becker each pounded out doubles to help engineer Fairmont's 8-5 victory in Game 2.
Ruen went 2-for-4 with two RBIs and two runs scored, Chirpich was 2-for-5 with one RBI and one run scored, Luke Becker went 2-for-3 with two RBIs, while Levi Becker was 1-for-2 with two RBIs. Trason Arens supplied an RBI single, while Petschke chipped in a hit.
Chirpich started on the mound, allowing one unearned run on four hits, struck out 10 and walked only one in six innings of work to earn the winning decision.
Petschke gave up four runs - three earned - on three hits and walked one in one inning.
Fairmont (12-1, 7-1 SCC) hosts Waseca at 4:30 p.m. Thursday before facing Lake Crystal-Wellcome Memorial in a nonconference twinbill on Friday at Herb Wolf Field in Fairmont.
FHS 000 100 14 - 6 8 2
StP 000 000 22 - 4 8 1
Luke Becker (WP), Spencer Chirpich (8, Sv) and Mitch Pfingsten. Collin Thompson, Luke Regner (8, LP) and Dylan Connor.
StP 001 000 4 - 5 7 1
FHS 132 002 x - 8 9 4
Cody Erickson (LP), Jayce Vetter (2) and Connor. Chirpich (WP), Christian Petschke (7) and Ryan Noll.
St. Peter swept both ends of a B-squad doubleheader with Fairmont, 10-2 and 6-0, Tuesday in St. Peter.
Bailey Koppen delivered a double for the Cardinals in the opener.
Cole Emler allowed seven runs on six hits and walked four in recording no outs in the start for Fairmont. Parker Monsen gave up three runs on five hits, struck out two and walked two in four innings of relief.
Matt Lytle and Koppen each generated doubles for the Cardinals in Game 2.
Zach Ramos gave up six runs - four earned - on four hits, fanned three and walked two in five frames of work.
Fairmont (7-2) hosts Waseca on Thursday.
Fairmont routed St. Peter in a C-squad twinbill, 17-1 and 22-9, Tuesday.
Tyler Tennyson and Ethan Lubenow each pounded out four hits in the opener for the Cardinals. Tennyson tripled twice and doubled, while Lubenow tripled and doubled.
Clayton Maakestad and Nathan Gillis supplied three hits each for Fairmont, with Maakestad tripling and doubling.
Jack Waletich, Mark Washa and Kale Fritz each chipped in two hits for the Cardinals in Game 1.
Maakestad struck out seven en route to firing a two-hit complete game to earn the opening win.
Waletich and Maakestad each drilled four hits to highlight the red-and-white's offense in the nightcap. Waletich doubled twice and tripled, while Maakestad tripled twice.
Tennyson and Gillis contributed three hits each, including a double apiece, with Tennyson scoring four runs.
Fritz gave up nine runs - only five earned - on five hits, struck out eight and walked four in going the distance to notch the win for Fairmont.
Martin County West 4, Nicollet 2 - Ace right-hander Austin Krumwiede fired six innings of three-hit baseball to propel the Mavericks to a 4-2 Valley Conference victory over the Raiders on Tuesday at the Fox Lake Sports Complex in Welcome.
Krumwiede allowed two runs - neither earned - while recording seven strikeouts and issuing two walks in six innings of work to earn the victory.
Jake Faber fanned two in closing out the seventh inning to earn the save for the Mavericks.
Tony Payne, Mitch Sitzmann, Alex Biehn and Faber each delivered hits to the Mavericks' winning ways.
Martin County West (4-4, 3-2 Valley) travels to Cleveland today for a makeup game.
Nicollet 100 001 0 - 2 3 1
MCW 001 030 x - 4 4 2
Martin Luther/GHEC/ Truman 8, Alden-Conger 1 - Sam Geistfeld collected three hits and scored two runs to help power the visiting Knights to an 8-1 Valley Conference victory over the hometown Knights on Tuesday in Alden.
Jeremy Smith and Dustin DeBell each generated two hits and one RBI to ML/GHEC/Truman's 13-hit explosion, while Dylan Petrowiak doubled and scored once.
Trent Stensland gave up one unearned run on five hits, struck out nine and walked two in six innings on the hill to earn the victory for the visiting Knights.
DeBell worked a hitless and scoreless seventh in relief for the visiting Knights.
Martin Luther/GHEC/ Truman (9-4, 3-2 Valley) plays host to Maple River today in a 4:30 p.m. makeup game in Northrop.
MLGHECT 230 020 1 - 8 13 2
A-C 000 010 0 - 1 5 3
Trent Stensland (WP), Dustin DeBell (7) and Tristan Maday. Spencer Wallin (LP) and Jordan Johnson.