Another wild one
Monday night's Missota Conference game at Northfield proved to be another wild one for the Farmington baseball team.
The Tigers scored four runs in the top of the first inning only to give seven right back in the bottom of the frame. Northfield eventually went ahead 10-4 and, after a fifth-inning grand slam by Jeremy Jahn, had to hold on for a 10-8 victory. Going into the game, six of Farmington's previous 10 tilts had been decided by one run, dating back to a 4-3 win over the Raiders in the first league match up back on April 23.
In the rematch, Northfield drubbed Farmington starter Dylan Betterman for nine runs on seven hits over the first inning-plus. That erased a top half of the first in which a three-run home run by Curry Levenhagen, his second of the year, and an RBI single by Luke Jones had given the Tigers a little bit of breathing room.
"Our pitcher was falling behind in the count and they were hitting the fastball," Farmington coach Mike Winters said.
Trevor Davis came on in relief of Betterman and held the Raiders to one run on four hits over the final five innings. He struck out five and worked around three free passes.
The Tigers (5-11, 3-9) cut the deficit to 10-8 on Jahn's grand slam in the top of the fifth. His first long ball of the season was the only hit of the inning as Dan Tutewohl was hit by a pitch, pinch hitter Alex Lee walked and Jones reached on an error to load the bases.
Jones, Justin Lavey and Tuewohl each finished with two of Farmington's eight hits.
The Tigers returned to the diamond Tuesday for their final conference home game against Holy Angels, a team they lost to 8-7 back on April 29 in Richfield. They wrap up their Missota slate tonight at Red Wing and play non-conference games against Jordan on Friday and Hastings on Monday in preparation for the start of the 12-team Section 1AAA Tournament.
Wood Bat Tournament
For the second straight year, the Tigers earned a split at the tightly-contested Louisville Slugger Wood Bat Tournament at Legion Field in Apple Valley last weekend.
Four unearned runs in the bottom of the fourth inning turned out to be the difference in Friday afternoon's opener as Benilde-St. Margaret's held on for a 5-2 triumph.
Pitcher Eric Estes gave Farmington another solid effort on the mound, limiting St. Margaret's to one earned run on seven hits over six innings, but the Tiger offense could generate just two runs on two sixth-inning hits. Davis led off the sixth with a walk, Jake Sand followed with a single and both scored on a double by Levenhagen.
The offense continued to struggle with the adjustment to wooden bats in Saturday's second game, generating just five hits, but another great mound effort allowed the Tigers to outlast Brookings, S.D., for the second straight year, 2-1.
Levenhagen held Brookings to one earned run on seven hits over the first five innings, but left with the game tied at 1-1 after Sand's RBI double in the bottom of the fifth scored Jahn with the tying run.
Sand took over on the mound in the top of the sixth and held Brookings scoreless on one hit over the final two frames. He earned the win when Lavey's walk-off single scored Jones in the bottom of the eighth.
"It was fun to get a win that way," Winters said. "I kind of stressed that the other day, that we have to play every out of every game. We did the same thing to Brookings last year. We scored in the top of the seventh and won, 3-2, so we have some pretty good games with them."