Martins run gamut to state amateur baseball final

GETTING PARALLEL — Fairmont Martins runner Jack Waletich makes a head-first slide to the plate as teammates Luke Becker (back center) and Tyler Tennyson (far right) react during third-round Minnesota Class ‘C’ amateur baseball state tournament action Saturday at Riverside Park in Springfield. Jordan catcher Kyle Hvidsten (far left) awaits a throw. (Photo by Charlie Sorrells)

SPRINGFIELD — Fairmont utilized a third straight stifling pitching performance, while the Martins’ top four batters continued to wear out opposing pitchers en route to running the Class ‘C’ state amateur baseball tournament gamut Sunday night.

Matt Lytle fired a five-hit complete-game mound masterpiece, while batters Nos. 1-4 — Luke Becker, Jack Waletich, Derek Shoen and Jon Traetow — combined for 10 of Fairmont’s 16 hits and seven RBIs to pace a 10-3 state semifinal victory over Cold Spring at Riverside Park in Springfield.

The Martins (26-2) are scheduled to face St. Patrick — a 6-4 semifinal winner over Young America — in today’s 11 a.m. Class ‘C’ state championship game back in Springfield. The game’s starting time has been moved up 2 hours earlier due to a forecast of rain, possible thunderstorms and temperatures in the 50s.

Luke Becker and Waletich each collected three hits from the leadoff and No. 2 spots, respectively, in the Martins’ batting order, with Becker scoring three runs and collecting one RBI.

Waletich doubled, singled twice, collected a game-high four RBIs and scored once; Shoen went 2-for-6 with a two-run single in the Martins’ four-run eighth at-bat; while Traetow went 2-for-5 with a double.

Ethan Hurn and Tyler Tennyson each produced two hits and scored one run apiece for Fairmont, Adam Schmidt singled and scored, while Blake Crawmer doubles, walked and was plunked en route to three runs scored.

Lytle allowed three runs — only two earned — on five hits, struck out three, walked just one and hit two batters in nine yeoman innings to earn the win. The right-hander threw 91 pitches — an incredible 63 for strikes. Lytle retired 17 of 19 batters from the second to the eighth innings, including 1-2-3 frames in the third, fifth and sixth.

Tyler Geislinger belted a two-run HR in the eighth inning to top Cold Spring’s five-hit effort, while Alex Geislinger went 2-for-3.

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Fairmont 5, Buffalo 1 — Tyler Tennyson pitched a three-hit complete-game gem, while Luke Becker and Jon Traetow delivered pivotal extra-base hits to propel the Martins into Sunday night’s Class ‘C’ state semifinals in Springfield.

Tennyson allowed one unearned run, struck out three and plunked a game-high four batters in nine innings of work to earn the win, Becker drilled a two-run triple and Traetow blasted a two-run home run to engineer Fairmont’s 5-1 quarterfinal victory over the Bulldogs Sunday afternoon.

Becker generated the low-scoring contest’s initial two runs during the bottom of the second inning. Ethan Hurn drew a leadoff walk from Buffalo left-hander Tyler Zwybohmer, Blake Crawmer legged out a bunt hit, and both runners scored when Becker launched a triple to the fence in left-center. Becker later scored on Derek Shoen’s RBI fielder’s choice for a 3-0 lead.

The Bulldogs capitalized on the latter of two Martins’ errors in the top of the fifth. Fairmont second baseman Ethan Hurn and shortstop Luke Becker combined for a double play to erase the initial miscue.

Ramon Vega Jr., however, reached on Tennyson’s ensuing fielding error with two outs and circled the bases when Colton Haight hammered an RBI triple to deep right field to trim the Bulldogs’ gap to 3-1.

In the bottom of the fifth, Traetow deposited a Zwybohmer offering over the right-field fence to produce a two-run HR, a 5-1 margin and the Dassel-Cokato pitching draftee’s exit from the mound. Shoen, who led off the at-bat with a single, scored on Traetow’s clout.

Tennyson retired six in a row twice — from the second to the fourth and from the fifth through the seventh — to highlight his shutdown performance on the mound.

Crawmer went 2-for-4 to top all hitters on the game for the Martins.

Zwybohmer allowed five earned runs on six hits, walked three, struck out two and plunked two in four-plus innings to take the loss.

Buffalo reliever John Weber allowed one hit in four shutout frames, fanning two and issuing one walk.

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Tyler Zwybohmer (LP), John Weber (5) and Colton Haight. Tyler Tennyson (WP) and Blake Crawmer.

LOB–Fairmont 7; Buffalo 7. 3B–Luke Becker (FMT) and Colton Haight (BUF). HR–Jon Traetow (FMT).

Third-Round Game

Fairmont 7, Jordan 5 — Leadoff hitter Luke Becker and No. 2 batter Jack Waletich equally combined for six runs and six hits, while Windom draftee Collin Lovell hurled eight solid innings to help the Martins eliminate the 2019 Class ‘C’ state champion Brewers in third-round action Saturday.

Becker and Waletich blooped back-to-back singles off Jordan right-hander Nate Beckman in the top of the first inning before scoring on Jon Traetow’s one-out single for a quick 2-0 lead.

Brewers leadoff batter Joe Lucas, who went 3-for-4, singled and eventually crossed the plate when Nate Beckman grounded into a double play to trim the Martins’ margin to one in the home half of the first.

The hard-throwing Lovell settled into a rhythm after Jordan’s initial at-bat to post six consecutive scoreless innings. Nate Beckman drilled a solo home run in the bottom of the eighth to end Lovell’s incredible string of zeroes on the scoreboard.

Lovell struck out seven, walked two, hit one batter and gave up two runs while scattering 10 hits in eight frames of work to earn the victory for Fairmont.

Becker and Waletich combined offensive skills to generate a solo run in the third and two more in the fifth for the Martins.

Becker doubled, advanced 90 feet on a wild pitch and scored on Waletich’s RBI groundout in the third.

Becker then singled and circled the bases on Waletich’s RBI double in the fifth before Waletich eventually tagged and scored on Derek Shoen’s sacrifice fly for a 5-1 lead.

Waletich’s dropped fly ball in left with two outs in the Martins’ ninth allowed Blake Crawmer to score what proved to be the winning run. Crawmer had walked. Waletich later scored on Shoen’s clutch RBI double for a 7-2 edge.

Shoen relieved Lovell to start the bottom of the ninth and walked the bases loaded with no outs. Nate Beckman then greeted the Martins’ next reliever — Adam Schmidt — with a two-run single. Beckman later scored the Brewers’ third run of the at-bat on a Schmidt wild pitch before Fairmont’s right-hander netted the save with a game-ending strikeout.

Nate Beckman allowed seven runs — five earned — on 11 hits, struck out five and walked two in 8 2/3 innings to take the loss for Jordan.

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Collin Lovell (WP), Derek Shoen (9), Adam Schmidt (9, Sv) and Ethan Hurn. Nate Beckman (LP), Derek Dahlke (9) and Kyle Hvidsen.

LOB–Jordan 11; Fairmont 6. 2B–Luke Becker (FMT), Jack Waletich (FMT) and Derek Shoen (FMT). HR–Nate Beckman (JO). SF–Derek Shoen (FMT).


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