Fairmont senior baseball league team shuts out Jackson
FAIRMONT — Fairmont closed out the senior baseball league’s regular season with a perfect blend of shutdown pitching, timely hitting and near-flawless defense.
Starting pitcher Joey Flohrs and relievers Dan Brummond and Dalen Keltgen combined on a two-hit shutout, while Eli Anderson and Zach Soelter combined for five hits and three RBIs to engineer Fairmont’s 8-0 triumph over Jackson on Monday night at Herb Wolf Field in Fairmont.
“All three of our pitchers pounded the strike zone time after time and stayed ahead in the count,” said Fairmont coach Matt Lytle. “Our defense provided great support in the field behind them tonight, and our bats were good during the early innings.”
After Flohrs notched two of his game-best seven strikeouts in back-to-back fashion during the top of the first inning, Flohrs then assisted his own cause on the mound during the home half of the frame.
Anderson drilled a leadoff triple to straightaway center field, but was replaced on the base paths when Jackson shortstop Damien Phaly gloved Soelter’s high-hopping grounder and made a perfect throw to catcher Mason Pohlman for the first out.
Ironically, Zach Jorgensen then replaced Soelter on base when the Jackson centerfielder dropped Jorgensen’s shallow fly ball, but erased Soelter on a forceout at second base.
Jorgensen then moved to second on a passed ball, remained in place on a walk to Keltgen and circled the bases on Flohrs’ RBI single down the right-field line for a 1-0 lead.
Flohrs recorded two more strikeouts during a scoreless top of the second before the Fairmont batting order erupted for four runs in the bottom half.
Blake Buntjer and Cale Steuber singled in back-to-back style before Jack Hested drew a walk from Jackson starting pitcher Dalton Henning to load the bases for Fairmont.
Anderson, who went 3-for-4, drilled a run-scoring single to right for the first of his two RBIs on the game before Soelter followed suit with an RBI single. Soelter finished 2-for-4 with the one RBI on the night.
Jorgensen then lofted a sacrifice fly to center before Keltgen’s grounder was thrown away at first to allow two more runs to cross for a 5-0 lead after two completed innings.
Flohrs then worked around Phaly’s leadoff double in the top of the third to maintain his shutout bid. Flohrs gloved a popup, got a foul popout to first baseman Jack Hested and then notched another strikeout.
Buntjer and Hested capitalized on walks during Fairmont’s third at-bat before Carter Bell drove in one run, with another scoring on a Jackson error via his grounder. Anderson then rocketed an RBI single to right to widen the gap to 8-0 after three completed innings.
Flohrs allowed one hit in four shutout innings of work to net the victory for Fairmont. The right-hander fanned seven, walked three and plunked two batters.
Brummond struck out one batter and allowed a single to Travis Rogotzke during two scoreless innings of relief. Keltgen then faced just three batters in closing out a flawless seventh inning. The closer struck out one and gloved two foul popups to seal the win.
Soelter added a one-out triple during the sixth for Fairmont, but was stranded.
Fairmont (5-1) plays host to a first-round opponent to be determined on Thursday night at Herb Wolf Field to open the seven-team senior league’s tournament. The remainder of the tournament will be played Friday and over the weekend in Blue Earth.
Jackson 000 000 0 — 0 2 2
Fairmont 143 000 x — 8 8 1
Dalton Henning (LP), Andrew Hesebeck (3) and Mason Pohlman. Joey Flohrs (WP), Dan Brummond (5), Dalen Keltgen (7) and Eli Anderson.
LOB–Jackson 8, Fairmont 5. 2B–Damien Phaly (JAC). 3B–Eli Anderson (FMT), Zach Soelter (FMT). SF–Zach Jorgensen (FMT).
The Fairmont Martins open the First Nite League amateur baseball playoffs by playing host to Pipestone in Game 1 of a best-of-3 series at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday night at Herb Wolf Field in Fairmont.