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Madelia strands Fairmont one run short in legion baseball, 6-5

TAG PLAY — Fairmont American Legion Post 36 third baseman Levi Pooley (left) prepares to tag out Madelia Post 19 runner Blake Altenburg trying to steal third during baseball action Thursday night at Herb Wolf Field in Fairmont. (Photo by Greg Abel)

FAIRMONT — Fairmont American Legion Post 36 co-head baseball coach Matt Lytle noticed the number written in his team’s left-on-base category and shook his head Thursday night.

“Twelve,” said Lytle. “That’s the difference in the game. It’s difficult to win games when you strand that many baserunners.”

Madelia’s Dylan Grev singled in the top of the seventh inning and later scored what would prove to be the decisive run on one of Fairmont’s four errors to help visiting Post 19 trip up Post 36, 6-5, at Herb Wolf Field in Fairmont.

“We had plenty of baserunners — we just could not move them around tonight,” said Lytle, whose batting order drew seven walks from three Madelia pitchers, were plunked twice, generated five hits and reached base via five Post 19 miscues. “Landen (Meyerdirk) threw strikes in relief and gave us a chance to come back in the latter innings after trailing 4-2 after three complete.”

Ironically, neither Fairmont starting pitcher Preston Vaughn nor Meyerdirk surrendered an earned run during their three- and four-inning stints on the mound, respectively.

Down 4-1 when Madelia No. 5 batter Eric Anderson’s mishandled grounder plated two of three unearned runs in the top of the third, Vaughn singled home Levi Pooley to pare the deficit to two. Pooley was hit by a pitch.

Madelia countered with a solo run in the fifth when Elijah McCabe walked, wheeled to third on Anderson’s single and scored on a wild pitch for a 5-2 edge.

Fairmont then manufactured two runs in the bottom of the sixth to inch within one. Nate Soelter walked, Eli Anderson singled and both Post 36 runners advanced 90 feet on a wild pitch. Soelter scored on Jack Kosbab’s RBI groundout, while Eli Anderson slid home via a wild pitch to close within 5-4.

Madelia countered in unconventional fashion when Garrett Reed walked, stole second and tried to score on Grev’s single to left field in the top of the seventh. Fairmont left fielder Levi Pooley zipped a bullet to catcher Brendan Schmidtke for the putout as Grev alertly took second base on the throw. Grev then circled the bases when Eric Anderson’s grounder to short was booted into the outfield grass.

Trailing 6-4, Brendan Schmidtke singled, took second on a wild pitch, moved to third on a throwing error, stayed put on a walk to Vaughn and scored on Aden Welcome’s RBI groundout.

Pinch runner Cameron Schmidtke later gained third base on Meyerdirk’s groundout, but was stranded 90 feet away from tying the game when Madelia closer Eric Anderson produced the final out via strikes.

Lincoln Becker went 2-for-5 with one RBI for Fairmont.

Vaughn allowed four unearned runs on only one hit, struck out two, hit two batters and issued three walks in three innings pitched to take the loss. Meyerdirk gave up two unearned runs on three hits, struck out five and issued just one walk in four frames of relief for Post 36.

Grev allowed two runs on three hits, fanned three, walked two and hit a pair in three innings to net the win for Post 19. Eric Anderson struck out one and walked one in relief in the bottom of the seventh to earn the save.

Fairmont (0-1) travels to Minnesota Lake on Monday.

MAD 103 010 1 — 6 4 5

FMT 011 002 1 — 5 5 4

Dylan Grev (WP), Elijah McCabe (4), Eric Anderson (7, Sv) and Garrett Reed. Preston Vaughn (LP), Landen Meyerdirk (4) and Brendan Schmidtke.

LOB–Fairmont 12, Madelia 5.

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