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Fairmont shuts down Madelia

TAG! — Fairmont senior league third baseman Blake Buntjer (left) goes for the tag on Madelia runner Carter Florez after fielding a ground ball during senior-league action Thursday in Fairmont. (Photo by Kyle McAreavy)

FAIRMONT — The Fairmont lineup was ready to play from the first pitch.

Fairmont swept Madelia, 18-0, 9-2, in twinbill senior-league action Thursday at Herb Wolf Field in Fairmont.

The team racked up baserunner after baserunner during the first inning. Fairmont sent 17 batters to the plate in their opening inning, totaling 12 runs.

Eli Anderson walked twice and scored twice in the first, same for starting pitching Cale Steuber.

Zach Jorgensen had a single for an RBI and reached base on an error, while Dalen Keltgen reached base twice and scored both times.

Zach Soelter reached base twice and added an RBI, Blake Buntjer hit a two-RBI triple, Jack Hested had a single, a walk and an RBI, while Gavin Rodning and Carter Bell each had singles.

Every Fairmont starter reached base at least once in the opening frame.

With a 12-0 advantage, Steuber calmed down on the mound and took control for the rest of the game.

After three walks to the first three batters in the top of the first, Steuber gave up a single to Ethan Arndt, then got 13 consecutive outs.

In the second through fifth innings, Steuber averaged under 10 pitches per frame and still racked up six of his seven strikeouts of the matchup.

“Cale is a crafty lefty and he threw strikes today,” Fairmont head coach Levi Becker said. “After the first inning he really settled down and controlled the game.”

After their first-inning explosion, Fairmont added a run in the third and five in the fourth.

In the third, Keltgen got the bats started with a single through the left side of the infield, then Soelter followed with a single down the third-base line. With runners on second and third after a wild throw, Buntjer reached on an error, scoring Keltgen.

In the fourth, Madelia got the first two outs, then Fairmont started to rally.

Steuber walked then Jorgensen doubled to left-center field, scoring Steuber.

Keltgen reached base on a catcher’s interference, then Soelter was hit by a pitch for the second of four times over the doubleheader.

With the bases loaded, Buntjer doubled to center for 2 RBIs and Hested singled to center for two more.

“It was a good bounce back after Blue Earth (Monday),” Becker said. “We got the bats rolling and got in good hitting counts early, especially in the first game. Our pitching was good, we threw strikes, we challenged them and those were our main goals for the day.”

Game 2 started even quicker for Fairmont, which scored eight runs in the top of the first inning.

Hested got the opening frame started with a double to deep center field before Soelter singled him in. Jorgensen singled up the middle then a flurry of passed balls and wild pitches allowed both Soelter and Jorgensen to score during Don Krill’s at-bat. Krill reached base on a dropped third strike before Keltgen sent a double to deep left field, one-hopping the wall.

Dan Brummond took a walk, then Buntjer hit into a fielder’s choice for an RBI.

Jake Johnson then lined a double to left-center field before Steuber hit a shot over Madelia’s right fielder for Fairmont’s fourth extra-base hit of the inning.

Rodning collected the final hit of the frame for Fairmont with a single.

Fairmont sent only 13 batters to the plate in the opening frame of Game 2, slowing from the 17 in Game 1.

Madelia held Fairmont off the scoreboard for the next two innings, but Fairmont had one more run to score in the fourth.

Brummond took a leadoff walk and Johnson hit his second double of the game, this one going to right-center field, to score him.

Fairmont gave a few pitchers opportunities for work in Game 2.

Jorgensen started, pitching one perfect inning and striking out the side, then Wyatt Frank came on for the second and struck out three while walking one and hitting two batters.

Keltgen pitched the third and fourth innings, racking up five strikeouts in two perfect innings, then Anderson went to the mound for the final inning, allowing two runs on one hit and two walks, while adding a strikeout.

“Jorgy (Jorgensen) came in and threw strikes to start the second game and really set the tone for Dalen (Keltgen) and the other guys,” Becker said. “Our pitching is there. Now we’ll get challenged next week.”

Madelia’s only runs in either game came in the final inning.

Jake Lehman led off the frame with a single, breaking up the Fairmont combined no-hitter, then Logan Slater and Carter Florez took back-to-back walks to load the bases.

Lehman scored on a wild pitch and a McCabe sacrifice fly scored Slater.

Before the start of the second game, the head coaches agreed to play only five innings, ending the second game at 9-2 Fairmont.

Fairmont (2-2) goes to Truman for a 6 p.m. doubleheader against Truman on Monday.

Game 1

MAD ( 0)00 00 — 0 1 3

FMT (12)01 5x — 18 10 0

Cale Steuber (WP) and Eli Anderson.

Elijah McCabe (LP), Jed Altenburg (1), Ethan Arndt (2) and Garrett Redd.

LOB–Madelia 3, Fairmont 5. 2B–Zach Jorgensen (FMT), Blake Buntjer (FMT). 3B–Blake Buntjer (FMT).

Game 2

FMT 800 10 — 9 10 0

MAD 000 02 — 2 1 1

Garrett Reed (LP), Eric Anderson (1), Jake Lehman (4) and Logan Slater.

Zach Jorgensen (WP), Wyatt Frank (2), Dalen Keltgen (3), Eli Anderson (5) and Eli Anderson, Zach Jorgensen (3), Blake Buntjer (4), Zach Soelter (5).

LOB–Fairmont 5, Madelia 4. 2B–Jack Hested (FMT), Dalen Keltgen (FMT), Jake Johnson (FMT) 2, Cale Steuber (FMT). SF–Elijah McCabe (MAD).

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