Fairmont VFW sweeps baseball twinbill

BEATING THE THROW — Fairmont VFW Post 1222 runner Zach Soelter (right) beats the throw to Sibley East third baseman Tony Bullert (9) following a wild pitch during Game 2 of a regular-season baseball doubleheader on Saturday at Herb Wolf Field in Fairmont. (Photo by Greg Abel)

FAIRMONT — Dalen Keltgen fired a no-hitter in Game 1, and added a 3-for-3 offensive performance, including three walks, for good measure during the Fairmont VFW Post 1222 baseball lineup’s doubleheader sweep over short-handed Sibley East on Saturday at Herb Wolf Field.

Keltgen recorded five strikeouts and issued two walks in working five scoreless and hitless frames, and went 2-for-2 with one RBI to help pace Fairmont’s opening 13-0 triumph.

Post 1222 starting pitcher Joey Flohrs tossed a two-hitter over four innings, while teammates Zach Soelter, Blake Buntjer and Latrell Huey each produced two hits and one RBI to fuel a 10-2 Game 2 victory.

“I thought Dalen worked fast, threw a lot of strikes and got ahead in the count early,” Fairmont head coach Todd Sukalski said in reference to his Game 1 starter. “It didn’t hurt that Sibley East only had eight players today, but that doesn’t change the game’s outcome or take anything away from his pitching performance.”

While Keltgen retired the first six Sibley East batters he faced, Fairmont’s batting order erupted for nine runs on four hits, combined with six walks and two of the visitors’ five errors, during the bottom of the second inning.

Buntjer, Carter Reutzel, Dominic Ortiz and Keltgen delivered Post 1222’s hits during the 12-batter frame, with Reutzel, Ortiz and Keltgen tallying one RBI apiece.

Dustin Schultz, who went 2-for-3 with two runs scored in the opener, slapped a leadoff single to trigger Fairmont’s three-run third. Buntjer later notched an RBI fielder’s choice, while Keltgen chipped in a single.

Reutzel singled and eventually scored Post 1222’s solo run in the fourth via a wild pitch.

Game 2 resembled the opener as Flohrs held Sibley East scoreless through the initial three frames as the Fairmont offense notched a solo run in the second and three more in the third.

Keltgen walked, stole second base, went to third on a throwing error and scored on Cale Steuber’s RBI groundout in the bottom of the second.

Jacob Tennyson singled, Huey drilled an RBI double, Buntjer singled and Colby Kuhl smacked a run-scoring single to ignite Fairmont’s three-run third.

Ryan Wolverton delivered a two-run single to plate Lucas Dose and Max Bartels, who had singled and walked, respectively, during Sibley East’s fourth at-bat to pare its deficit in half at 4-2.

Fairmont, however, responded by combining four hits with two walks and two more Sibley East errors to churn out six more runs in the home half of the fourth for a 10-2 lead.

Huey’s single and Buntjer’s RBI hit combined with run-scoring doubles from Keltgen and Zach Soelter highlighted Post 1222’s final offensive outburst.

Fairmont reliever Nick Eversman pitched a 1-2-3 top of the fifth inning to close out Flohr’s winning ways on the mound. Flohrs struck out four, walked two and allowed two runs — both unearned — on two hits in four frames to net the victory.

Fairmont (13-3) opens the 2nd District, Southwest Sub-District Tournament against St. James at 7 p.m. tonight at Herb Wolf Field in Fairmont.

Blue Earth kicks off the sub-district tournament by playing Mapleton at 2 p.m. today, followed by United South Central taking on Lake Crystal at 4:30 p.m. at Herb Wolf Field.

Sub-district action runs through Thursday, with all games being played in Fairmont.

(Game 1)

Sibley East 000 00 — 0 0 5

Fairmont 093 1x — 13 8 2

Tony Bullert (LP), Dominic Templin (3) and Lincoln Carpenter. Dalen Keltgen (WP) and Dominic Ortiz.

LOB–Fairmont 7, Sibley East 3.

(Game 2)

Sibley East 000 20 — 2 2 3

Fairmont 013 6x — 10 9 1

Lucas Dose, Aaron Deis (2, LP), Ryan Wolverton (3), Lincoln Carpenter (4) and Dominic Templin. Joey Flohrs (WP), Nick Eversman (5) and Zach Soelter, Dominic Ortiz (5).

LOB–Fairmont 7, Sibley East 3. 2B–Soelter (F), Latrell Huey (F), Dalen Keltgen (F).