Fairmont senior league team flattens Madelia in playoffs
FAIRMONT — When Fairmont senior league baseball coach Matt Lytle talked about every one of his players contributing to Thursday night’s postseason triumph, he literally meant it.
All nine batters generated at least one hit, Zach Soelter produced a game-best four RBIs and right-hander Jack Hested fired a four-hit complete game to highlight Fairmont’s 12-2, five-inning triumph over Madelia in the opening round of the league playoffs at Herb Wolf Field in Fairmont.
No. 2-seeded Fairmont (6-1) advances to the double-elimination portion of the playoffs, facing the winner between No. 6-seeded Martin County West and No. 3-seeded Windom at 6 p.m. tonight in Blue Earth. The remainder of the tournament games over the weekend will take place in Blue Earth.
“We slowly built a 3-0 lead through three innings before finally bunching together eight of our dozen hits to score nine runs (combined) in the fourth and fifth (innings),” said Lytle. “Jack (Hested) was able to work around a couple of unearned runs in the fifth to earn the complete game. That definitely helped us save an extra pitcher for the next three days of the tournament.”
Hested worked around Elijah McCabe’s towering one-out double to left field during the top of the first inning before Soelter produced his initial RBI of the playoff contest during the home half of the frame.
Eli Anderson, who went 2-for-3, hammered a leadoff triple before trotting home on Soelter’s sacrifice fly to center for a 1-0 Fairmont margin.
Once again, Hested escaped unscathed in the second after allowing a two-out single to Madelia’s Jake Lehman before Fairmont’s batting order tacked on another solo run in the bottom half.
Hested singled, took second base on a passed ball, swiped third and scored on Gavin Rodning’s RBI groundout for a 2-0 edge. Carter Bell later singled with two out before Madelia centerfielder Ethan Arndt robbed Anderson of extra bases by making a diving catch in the right-center gap.
Shortstop Zach Jorgensen turned a double play to erase a walk to Madelia’s Dylan Grev during a 1-2-3 top of the third before Joey Flohrs widened Fairmont’s lead to 3-0 during the home half. Soelter walked before alertly advancing from first to third base by combining a stolen base with a Madelia passed ball during the last of the third inning.
Soelter then scored the home team’s lone run of the at-bat via Flohrs’ RBI groundout. Flohrs had singled in the first inning, but was stranded.
Hested assisted his own cause on the mound again by reaching on an error, wheeled to third on Rodning’s single to left and crossed the plate on Bell’s blooped RBI single to shallow right to trigger a three-run fourth.
Anderson walked to fill the bases before Soelter earned an official RBI on another walk for Fairmont. Jorgensen then singled home Bell to extend the lead to 6-0.
Eric Anderson and Jacob Peterson each singled and later scored on back-to-back Fairmont errors to account for Madelia’s two unearned runs in the top of the fifth.
Ahead 6-2, Rodning and Bell served as two-out offensive catalysts during the home half of the fifth inning for Fairmont. Anderson singled home the first of six runs during the at-bat before Soelter smacked a two-run single to left for a 9-2 lead.
Jorgensen delivered an RBI single, Flohrs reached on an error and Blake Buntjer smacked the two-run, walkoff single to end the contest via the 10-run rule.
Jorgensen went 2-for-4 with two RBIs, Bell went 2-for-2 with a walk and one RBI for Fairmont and Cale Steuber chipped in one hit.
Grev allowed three runs on four hits, struck out one and walked one in three innings pitched to absorb the loss for Madelia, which closed out its season.
MAD 000 02 — 2 4 4
FMT 111 36 — 12 12 3
Winning run scored with two out in the bottom of the fifth inning.
Dylan Grev (LP), Elijah McCabe (4), Carter Florez (4) and McCabe, Grev (4). Jack Hested (WP) and Eli Anderson.
LOB–Fairmont 6, Madelia 5. 2B–McCabe (MAD). 3B–E. Anderson (FMT). SF–Zach Soelter (FMT).