Fairmont VFW 10-runs St. James

FAIRMONT – The wind was blowing and the Fairmont VFW Post 1222 baseball team’s bats were swinging. With seven runs in the third inning, Post 1222 took a dominant 12-2 win over St. James Post 1912 in five innings Wednesday at the Winnebago Avenue Sports Complex.

“It was a good day to hit. The winds were blowing out, and it’s a hard field, so anytime you put the ball in play, you have a good chance to get on base,” said Fairmont head coach Todd Sukalski.

Both teams put up two runs to start the game before Post 1222 rallied around pitcher Collin Steuber to shut out Post 1912 for the rest of the game.

Sam Kulseth got to first base on a fielder’s choice that took Post 1912 leadoff hitter Sawyer Carr out at second. Jacob Brey doubled before he and Kulseth were brought in by Shawn Hillesheim’s one-out double to left field.

Steuber walked Kobe Mohwinkel before Fairmont flipped the double play to leave no runners on base.

Fairmont then returned the favor as Lance Becker hit a double over centerfielder Riley Sandmeyer’s head to get on. Steuber traded places with Becker for the RBI double. He added another score on a Post 1912 error that placed Jordan Wolter at first. But St. James starting pitcher TaShawn Parker struck out Jacob Tennyson to hold Post 1222 to two runs.

Fairmont managed to keep St. James off the bases in the second inning with a 1-2-3 inning, which was all they needed to get things going for them offensively.

Saxton led off with a single, and Parker walked Zac Ringnell to get two runners on. Saxton and courtesy runner Nick Segar wheeled their way home on Nate Kallenbach’s triple for the home team’s first lead of the game at 4-2. Kallenbach built on the lead by scoring on Becker’s sacrifice fly.

Steuber walked Carr to start the third and gave up a hit to Kulseth, but Post 1222 got three straight outs, including Steuber striking out Mohwinkel for the final out, to prevent any more scoring.

Parker Jones came in for TaShawn Parker to start the bottom of the third and plunked Wolter before walking Tennyson.

Saxton doubled to right field with one out as Wolter scored Post 1222’s sixth run. Jones walked Ringnell to load the bases and hit Colby Kuhl with a pitch to bring in Tennyson.

Kallenbach followed with a double to score Saxton and Segar for a 9-2 lead. Becker also repeated and upped his previous at-bat with a two-run single to get Kallenbach and Kuhl to home plate.

Steuber followed with a hit to center before Brey came in to replace Jones on the mound for St. James. Brey gave up a two-out hit to Wolter as Becker scored his second run of the game.

Although Jones walked Tennyson, Tennyson got out on a fielder’s choice as Post 1222 took the 12-2 advantage.

“We had a lot of good at-bats,” Sukalski said. “The top of our order hit well, but everyone was getting on. All around, it was a well-played game.”

Lee Hillesheim led off St. James’ fifth inning with a hit, but Becker caught a popout, Saxton grabbed a fly ball and Steuber notched one of his four strikeouts to end the game via the 10-run rule.

“Give Collin credit – he threw it over the plate, and he gave us a chance to have some action out there,” Sukalski said. “It helps when our pitcher throws strikes. You field better when the pitcher’s throwing strikes, working fast. It’s easier to play defense, too.”

Steuber gave up two runs on four hits with no walks to take the victory.

He also chipped in a run and collected an RBI, going 2-for-3 at the plate.

Saxton also went 2-for-3 to complement two runs scored and an RBI for Fairmont.

Kallenbach went 2-for-4, ran in two runs and recorded a game-high four RBIs, while Becker batted in two runs with a pair of hits and scored two runs.

Fairmont VFW Post 1222 (11-2) plays New Ulm Gold in a 10:30 a.m. doubleheader on Saturday at Mueller Field in New Ulm.

SJ 200 00- 2 4 1

FMT 237 0x-12 10 0

TaShawn Parker (LP), Parker Jones (3), Jacob Brey (3) and Sawyer Carr. Collin Steuber (WP) and Zach Ringnell.

LOB-Fairmont 4, St. James 4. 2B-Nate Kallenbach (F), Lance Becker (F), Collin Steuber (F), Camren Saxton (F), Jacob Brey (SJ), Shawn Hillesheim (SJ). 3B-Nate Kallenbach (F). SF-Lance Becker (F).