FAIRMONT - Fairmont ace right-hander Bryce Holm pitched both efficiently and effectively during Thursday's South Central Conference baseball clash at Herb Wolf Field.
Holm scattered seven Waseca hits, issued only one base-on-balls and struck out two in seven solid innings to engineer the Class AA, No. 5-ranked Cardinals' 7-1 triumph over the visiting Bluejays in Fairmont.
The senior right-hander improved to 4-0 via his second complete game of the season and lowered his miniscule ERA of 1.58.
THE DELIVERY — Fairmont hurler Bryce Holm delivers a pitch during South Central Conference baseball action against Waseca on Thursday at Herb Wolf Field in Fairmont. (Photo by Charlie Sorrells)
"Bryce did everything we (coaching staff) asked of him today. He threw only 74 pitches and turned in another well-pitched game for us," said Fairmont mentor Todd Sukalski.
After giving up a solo run in the top of the first inning via Austin Stroda's leadoff single and Colby Sylvester's RBI single, Holm settled into a fluid rhythm over the next six frames.
Holm allowed one hit each in five of the last six innings, but the Cardinal defense turned three double plays to erase Bluejay runners in the fifth, sixth and seventh.
"We haven't turned too many double plays this season, but our defense is definitely capable of doing that," said Sukalski.
Holm assisted his own cause by gloving a line-drive comebacker of Max Kaplan's bat in the fifth to erase his only walk of the day.
Shortstop Spencer Chirpich triggered a sixth-inning double play on a grounder toward second base, while third baseman Jay Ruen triggered a 5-4-3 twin erasure to close out the game.
While the Cardinals' defense proved iron-clad for the last six innings, it took three innings for the red-and-white bats to shake off the rust.
Down 1-0, Levi Becker continued his torrid offensive pace by delivering an RBI single up the middle to plate Chirpich with one out in the home half of the first. Chirpich walked and took second base on Luke Becker's groundout before crossing the plate on the first of Levi Becker's game-leading four RBIs.
Knotted at 1-all, Levi Becker produced the clutch hit again during the last of the fourth frame for Fairmont.
Waseca right-hander Colby Sylvester issued a one-out walk to Trason Arens, plunked Brandon Brooks with an offering before walking Chirpich to load the bases. One out later, Levi Becker drilled a two-run single into right field to stake the Cardinals to a 3-1 lead.
Levi Becker later lofted a sacrifice fly to deep center for his fourth RBI of the game before Christian Petschke nearly went yard with the bases loaded. Petschke hammered a three-run double into the right-field corner to plate Luke Becker, Mitch Pfingsten and Jordan Voss, who was courtesy running for Ryan Noll. Luke Becker walked, Pfingsten dropped a single into shallow right and Noll reached on a fielder's choice.
Levi Becker and Pfingsten each collected two of the Cardinals' eight hits, while Petschke, Chirpich, Noll and Brandon Brooks chipped in hits.
Stroda and Zak Kruger each went 2-for-3 to top Waseca, while Ben Stoesz, Sylvester and Nick Paczkowski added one hit each.
Sylvester gave up seven runs on eight hits, issued eight walks, fanned three and hit one batter in six innings of work to take the loss.
Fairmont (13-1, 8-1 SCC) plays host to Lake Crystal-Wellcome Memorial today in a 4:30 p.m. nonconference doubleheader at Herb Wolf Field in Fairmont.
Waseca (0-12, 0-8) hits the road to Jordan today.
Waseca 100 000 0 - 1 7 2
Fairmont 100 204 x - 7 8 1
Colby Sylvester (LP) and Brady Bomsta. Bryce Holm (WP, 4-0) and Ryan Noll.
LOB-Fairmont 9, Waseca 4. 2B-Christian Petschke (F). SF-Levi Becker (F).
Nate Johnson fired a three-hit complete-game gem to steer Fairmont to a 4-0 victory over Waseca during B-squad action on Thursday in Fairmont.
Johnson recorded seven strikeouts and did not issue a walk in seven innings of work to earn the victory.
Evan Kloss and Zach Ramos each collected two hits to top the Cardinals (8-2), with Kloss doubling and Ramos driving in one run.
Cole Emler contributed a two-run double to Fairmont's offensive effort, while Parker Monsen and Johnson each chipped in a hit.
Martin Luther/Granada-Huntley-East Chain/Truman 11, St. Clair 9 - Dylan Petrowiak had three hits, including an RBI double, and three runs scored to guide the Knights to an 11-9 nonconference victory over the Cylclones on Thursday in St. Clair.
Dustin DeBell added two hits, two runs scored and an RBI for the Knights, while Chandler Greier contributed two hits and an RBI.
Josh Wolter recorded two hits and three runs scored in the win.
Joe Bruels notched a pair of hits for St. Clair, scored two runs and delivered an RBI, while Dylan Boettcher contributed two hits and two runs scored.
Phillip Lonneman had one hit, knocked in two RBIs and scored two runs for the Cyclones, while teammate Quinn Seys added one hit and one run scored.
Sam Geistfeld relieved starter Josh Wolter in the third, pitching four innings to earn the win. Geistfeld allowed four hits and fanned four to help the Knights to the win.
Petrowiak struck out one and gave up two hits in closing out the seventh to earn the save.
Bruels pitched six innings for the Cyclones, allowing 10 runs on 11 hits, striking out six and walking nine to take the loss.
Gage Thom came in and pitched the seventh for St. Clair, allowing one run on two hits.
Martin Luther/GHEC/Truman (11-4, 5-2 Valley) travels for a rescheduled Valley Conference game against Martin County West at 4:30 p.m. Tuesday in Welcome.
MLGHECT 401 203 1 - 11 13 3
St. Clair 450 000 0 - 9 9 2
Josh Wolter, Sam Geistfeld (3, WP), Dylan Petrowiak (7, Sv) and Tristan Maday. Joe Bruels (LP), Gage Thom (7) and Dylan Boettcher.
Sleepy Eye St. Mary's 9, Martin County West 6 - The Class A, No. 1-ranked Knights scored six runs in the bottom of the fifth inning to edge the Mavericks 9-6 in nonconference baseball action on Thursday in Sleepy Eye.
Tyler Helget went 3-for-4 to lead the Knights, while David Surprenant added a double.
Toby Haugen went 3-for-4 with a double and two RBIs for the Mavericks, while Alex Saxen and Jake Faber each went 2-for-4.
Alex Biehn also went 2-for-4, recording a double and a pair of RBIs for MCW.
Mike Zinniel pitched six innings, allowing three runs on 12 hits, striking out three and walking two to earn the win. Surprenant allowed three runs in one inning of relief.
Biehn pitched all six innings for the Mavericks, allowing nine runs - four earned - on eight hits, striking out three.
Martin County West (4-6, 3-3 Valley) travels to Maple River for a 5 p.m. conference game today.
MCW 300 000 3 - 6 8 4
SESM 300 060 x - 9 12 2
Mike Zinniel (WP), David Surprenant (7) and Mitch Neid. Alex Biehn (LP) and Toby Haugen.