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Mankato National trips Fairmont in sub-state baseball opener

Eli Anderson

MANKATO — Mankato National’s defense turned a pair of double plays to back starter Tanner Shumski’s six-hit pitching performance and teammate Riley Bersaw delivered a clutch two-run single in the third inning to edge Fairmont American Legion Post 36 by a 3-1 sub-state decision Tuesday night.

Top-seeded Mankato National advances to face No. 4-seeded New Ulm Gold in today’s 1 p.m. Division 1, Sub-State 2 baseball championship semifinal at ISG Field in Mankato. New Ulm downed No. 5-seeded Mankato American by an 8-3 first-round decision.

No. 8-seeded Fairmont (0-7) faces Mankato American today in a 2 p.m. consolation-bracket game at Wolverton Field on the Mankato East High School campus.

In other opening-round sub-state game in Mankato on Tuesday, No. 2-seeded Jordan coasted to a 12-2, five-inning victory over No. 7-seeded Sleepy Eye, while No. 6-seeded Worthington upended No. 3-seeded Marshall, 4-2.

Jacob Crissinger allowed three runs — only one earned — on three hits, notched six strikeouts and issued one walk in six innings of work to absorb the loss.

Shumski gave up one earned run on six hits in six innings pitched to net the victory. Shumski displayed stellar control by recording four strikeouts without issuing a walk.

Wilson Magers tallied a pair of strikeouts and did not issue a walk in pitching a scoreless one-hit top of the seventh to earn the save.

Fairmont’s Nate Soelter singled with one out in the top of the first inning on Tuesday night, but Mankato National’s defense stepped up and threw out Soelter trying to score on Jack Kosbab’s single with two out.

Max Goertzen then staked Shumski and Mankato to an early 1-0 lead in the bottom half of the first inning. Goertzen singled, stole second base, moved to third on a wild pitch and crossed the plate on Louis Magers’ RBI groundout.

Crissinger later singled to lead off the top of the third only to be doubled off on Landen Meyerdirk’s hard-hit liner.

Louis Magers reached on an error with two outs in the home half of the third inning, moved to second base on a walk to Shumski, and both Mankato runners moved into scoring position on another wild pitch. Bersaw smacked a two-run single to extend National’s lead to 3-0.

Eli Anderson accounted for Fairmont’s only run of the postseason clash by drilling a one-out triple in the top of the fourth inning. Anderson then scored on Kosbab’s RBI groundout.

Brendan Schmidtke and Nolan Anderson later produced singles in back-to-back style to open Fairmont’s fifth at-bat only to have Mankato turn another timely double play to thwart the threat.

Eli Anderson later generated his second hit — a single — in the top of the sixth for Post 36, while teammate Levi Pooley singled in the seventh inning for Fairmont.

FAIR 000 100 0 — 1 8 2

KATO 102 000 X — 3 3 0

Jacob Crissinger (LP) and Eli Anderson. Tanner Shumski (WP), Wilson Magers (7) and Luke Johnson.

LOB–Fairmont 4, Mankato National 4. 3B–Eli Anderson (FAIR).

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