Fairmont rolls to sub-district win

ST. JAMES – The Fairmont VFW Post 1222 baseball lineup combined five hits with five walks, two hit batters and 10 Lake Crystal errors to coast to a first-round postseason victory on Monday in St. James.

Right-hander Brady Allen tossed a three-hit complete-game gem over five innings, while teammate Nate Kallenbach doubled twice and scored two runs to power Fairmont’s 14-3 rout over Lake Crystal.

Fairmont (13-3) advances to face St. James at 8 p.m. tonight back in St. James. The host post edged Blue Earth, 5-4.

Lake Crystal plays United South Central in a 3 p.m. elimination game today, while New Ulm Silver – a 13-3, five-inning winner over USC – faces Blue Earth at 5:30 p.m. today in the six-team, double-elimination tournament.

“We made decent contact at the plate today, and were able to reach base a lot due to their (Lake Crystal’s) errors,” said Post 1222 head coach Todd Sukalski. “We’re going to have to field the ball better than we did today.”

Indeed. Allen had a no-hitter intact through the first three frames before Fairmont’s defense committed half of its four miscues on both sides of Garrett Wiems’ double to plate a solo run in the top of the fourth.

Wiems later generated an RBI single to highlight Lake Crystal’s two-run fifth frame.

Ironically, Fairmont erupted for five runs on only one hit in both the bottom of the first and second innings to pounce to an early 10-0 lead.

Kallenbach hammered a towering leadoff double in the first, took third base on Lance Becker’s groundout, stayed put on a walk to Allen and scored when Camren Saxton’s flyball was dropped.

Jacob Tennyson was hit by an offering from Lake Crystal starting pitcher Tyler Bleess before Saxton crossed the plate when Daniel Reiter’s grounder was booted at third.

Nick Segar drew a walk to load the bases before Colby Kuhl launched a two-out flyball to center that skipped away from the outfielder to allow three Fairmont runs to score for a 5-0 margin.

Kallenbach set the tone in the bottom of the second by drawing a leadoff walk, Becker collected an infield hit and both scored with Allen at the plate. Allen lofted a sacrifice fly that was thrown away, allowing a hustling Becker to cross the plate for a 7-0 lead.

Allen slid home when Saxton’s comebacker was thrown away before Reiter was hit by a pitcher and Segar walked again to jam the bases.

Kuhl drew a bases-loaded walk for an RBI before Isaac Donnelly’s flyball was dropped to allow a fifth second-inning run to cross for a double-figure advantage.

Saxton’s infield hit, Reiter’s RBI single, Jack Hested’s run-producing mishandled grounder and Donnelly’s misplayed roller generated four more scores in the bottom of the third.

Allen struck out four, walked one and allowed three runs – two earned – on three hits in five frames to net the complete-game victory.

Kyle Jones produced Lake Crystal’s other hit.

LC 000 12 – 3 3 10

FA 554 0x – 14 5 4

Tyler Bleess (LP), Nick Nachreiner (3) and Kyle Jones. Brady Allen (WP) and Daniel Reiter.

LOB-Fairmont 7, Lake Crystal 3. 2B-Nate Kallenbach (F) 2, Garrett Wiems (LC). SF-Allen (F).

St. James 5, Blue Earth 4 – St. James plated two runs in the fourth inning and three more in the fifth before fending off Blue Earth’s late comeback bid during Monday night’s opening round of the Southwest Sub-District in St. James.

Blue Earth grabbed an early 2-0 lead in the top of the fourth frame. Carson Legred walked before wheeling to third base on Jordan Huse’s double.

Legred then scored the playoff game’s initial run on Hunter Bleess’ successful suicide squeeze bunt before Huse scored on a wild pitch.

Tied 2-all, Jared Kennedy walked to open Blue Earth’s fifth at-bat and advanced 90 feet when Dalton Nagel was hit by a pitch.

After a fielder’s choice moved Kennedy to third, he crossed the plate on a wild pitch.

Down 5-3, Trevor Oppedal doubled, took third on a wild pitch and scored when Jonah Legred’s grounder to third was mishandled in the top of the seventh inning.