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Fairmont legion baseball falls just short to New Ulm in sub-state opener

TAGGED OUT — Fairmont American Legion Post 36 shortstop Zach Jorgensen (left) tags out New Ulm Gold Post 132 runner Josh Giefer attempting to steal second base during first-round Division I, Sub-State 2 baseball action Wednesday night in Sleepy Eye. (Photo by Kyle McAreavy)

SLEEPY EYE — The pitchers worked fast, threw strikes and kept the batters off-balanced.

New Ulm Gold American Legion Post 132 beat Fairmont Post 36, 4-3, during first-round action in the Division I, Sub-State 2 baseball tournament Wednesday night in Sleepy Eye.

With the win, New Ulm moves on to face Mankato American at 3 p.m. today in Sleepy Eye. Mankato American beat Jordan 13-5 during Wednesday’s action in Essig.

Fairmont (6-3) drops into the elimination bracket where it will face Faribault at 2 p.m. today in Essig. The winner will move on to face the loser between Mankato National and Worthington at 4:30 p.m. in Essig.

“We need to be ready to hit, we need to be aggressive early,” Fairmont head coach Levi Becker said of what his team will need to do to keep its season alive today. “It seemed like, we were seeing 72 mile per hour fastballs and we were late. We hadn’t played in a while, hopefully we can get rolling tomorrow.”

All three of the game’s pitchers — Fairmont starter Jacob Crissinger, New Ulm starter Hunter Sehr and Gold reliever Jack Albrecht — worked quickly to lead to a pitcher’s duel.

Sehr and Albrecht combined to face the minimum amount of Fairmont batters through five innings, then were only one over after six.

Meanwhile, Crissinger allowed an earned run in the first and one in the sixth, but two unearned runs sank Post 36.

Fairmont’s bats started to get to Albrecht in the top of the seventh.

Down 4-0, Zach Jorgensen reached base on a hard ground ball down the third base line, then Jack Kosbab singled on a ground ball through the right side of the infield to put runners on first and second.

With one out, Cooper Steuber dropped a single just over New Ulm’s leaping second baseman for an RBI. With two outs, Nate Soelter connected for a line drive to right-center field for two RBIs to bring the score to 4-3.

Albrecht was able to finish off the frame with a groundout.

“I thought Jacob (Crissinger) pitched really, really well,” Levi Becker said. “In one inning, we can’t field a couple of bunts, it’s a game of inches. If we get those, we’re right there. … The bats came alive late, that’s a lot of fun. Now we just need to start hitting the ball early to put some pressure on.”

New Ulm got on the scoreboard after Jackson Bode doubled down the right-field line, then Cole Ranweiler hit a hard ground ball through the right side of the infield for an RBI.

Crissinger held New Ulm off the scoreboard in the second, then New Ulm started to play small ball.

Isaiah Rieser led off the bottom of the third with a bunt single, then both Bode and Sehr attempted to drop down sacrifice bunts, but both reached base on errors to load the bases with no outs.

Crissinger was able to get the next three batters out, but two runs scored on a sacrifice fly and a groundout.

New Ulm extended its lead to 4-0 in the bottom of the sixth when Carter Lang scorched a triple to the base of the wall in center field and Jaden Drill lined a single up the middle for an RBI.

Crissinger pitched a complete game for Fairmont, allowing four runs, two earned, on six hits and no walks, while striking out two.

Sehr pitched the first three-plus innings for New Ulm, allowing no runs on two hits and no walks, while striking out three.

Albrecht came on with no outs in the fourth and pitched the final four innings, allowing three runs, one earned, on four hits and no walks, while striking out one.

Eli Anderson had two hits, including a double, for Fairmont, while Kosbab had a single.

Steuber had a single and an RBI, while Soelter had a single and two RBIs. Lincoln Becker added a single to Fairmont’s offensive efforts.

FMT 000 000 3 — 3 6 4

NU 102 001 x — 4 6 1

Jacob Crissinger (LP) and Eli Anderson. Hunter Sehr (WP), Jack Albrecht (4, Sv) and Jackson Bode.

LOB–Fairmont 2, New Ulm 4. 2B–Eli Anderson (FMT), Jackson Bode (NU). 3B–Carter Lang (NU). SAC–Landen Meyerdirk (FMT). SF–Cole Ranweiler (NU).

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