Gilbertson pitches Windom Pirates by Fairmont Martins, 2-1

OVER THE TOP — Fairmont Martins shortstop Dalen Keltgen (left) fires a throw over third baseman Parker Monsen (on ground) to record the out on Windom’s Alex Borsgard (right) during amateur baseball action Friday night at Herb Wolf Field. Martins outfielder Tyler Tennyson (back) looks on. (Photo by Greg Abel)

FAIRMONT — Luke Gilbertson is listed as an outfielder/pitcher on his bio on the Saint Mary’s University baseball team’s web site, but the former all-state high school selection from Windom is growing accustomed to life on the mound at the collegiate level.

The Windom Pirates’ right-hander literally settled into the strike zone during the middle innings and finished strong by retiring the final eight Fairmont Martins batters he faced during Friday night’s clash of First Nite League titans.

Gilbertson scattered six hits and recorded seven strikeouts in tossing a complete-game gem to help the Pirates squeeze out a 2-1 amateur baseball league triumph over the Martins at Herb Wolf Field.

“I played a couple games in the outfield at Saint Mary’s this spring, but I’m getting used to my role as a pitcher now,” said Gilbertson, who compiled a 3-1 record and a 4.68 ERA in 25 innings of work during his freshman baseball season at Saint Mary’s this spring.

Gilbertson and former Iowa Central and North Dakota State right-hander Josh Smith locked up in a rare amateur baseball pitchers’ duel through seven innings of ‘old school’ action as zeroes dominated all by two innings on the scoreboard.

Fairmont struck for its only run of the night during the bottom of the third inning. No. 8 batter Parker Monsen collected the first of his game-best two hits — a double — to set the table.

Lance Becker then legged out a slow infield roller to short to put Martins on the corners before Becker stole second uncontested. Gilbertson struck out the next batter before Ethan Hurn delivered an RBI groundout to short to plate Monsen for a 1-0 margin.

After Windom’s Danny Kneeland reached on an error to open the game in the top of the first inning, the hard-throwing Smith found his pitching rhythm to retire 11 Pirate batters in a row before issuing the lone walk of his seven-inning stint on the hill.

Noah Kloss worked out a leadoff walk in the top of the fifth frame before being replaced on the bases via Jack Mellstrom’s fielder’s choice. Mellstrom headed halfway to third base on Jacob Johnson’s ensuing single to right field only to coast freely to the hot corner on a Martins’ throwing error on the play.

Mellstrom scored the tying run on a wild pitch before Johnson crossed the plate with the eventual winning run on Conner Redman’s RBI groundout to second base.

Smith and Fairmont reliever Jon Traetow combined to hold Windom to only Kade Sammons’ eighth-inning single during the final five frames.

Meanwhile, Gilbertson worked around singles by Christian Petschke and Monsen in the Martins’ sixth at-bat and later, a Pirates’ error that allowed Hurn to reach in the seventh. Fairmont stranded nine runners on the game.

Smith struck out eight, walked only one and allowed two unearned runs on just one hit in seven strong innings of work to absorb the loss for Fairmont.

Traetow struck out two, walked two and gave up one hit in two shutout innings of relief.

Hurn and Traetow contributed Fairmont’s other two hits on the contest.

The Martins (12-3) travel to Ruthton Sunday for a noon game before heading to Pipestone for a 2:30 p.m. contest.

The Pirates (9-3) hit the road to Ruthton Sunday for a 2 p.m. game before returning to Windom for a 6 p.m. contest against Tracy.

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Luke Gilbertson (WP) and Danny Kneeland. Josh Smith (LP), Jon Traetow (8) and Ethan Hurn.

LOB–Fairmont 9, Windom 5. 2B–Parker Monsen (F).