Baseball: Farmington hitters continue to struggle at Dundas
There was some hope that the bats were starting to heat up for the Farmington baseball team when it scored 14 runs and rapped 26 hits in back-to-back wins over Chanhassen and New Prague just over two weeks ago.
Before that, the Tigers had plated 10 runs over the course of a five-game losing streak. Since the two-game winning streak they have cooled back off, failing to reach double figures in hits in any of their last six games. Five of those six games have wound up losses as the team's batting average has sunk to .263 and its runs-per-game average has slipped below three.
The offense was silent over the first six innings and finished with just six hits in Monday's loss to Northfield at Memorial Park in Dundas. Spencer Merle broke up the shutout with a two-run double that plated Jake Baskerville and Jordan Lugowski in the seventh.
Tiger starter Jonathan Ellis kept the game scoreless through three, but allowed a pair of runs in the fourth and two more in the fifth before Jared Lipinski came in to work the final 2 2/3 innings. Ellis struck out five and walked five.
Lugowski led the offense with two hits and Baskerville walked twice.
Ty Vincent's complete-game effort helped Farmington salvage a split with Apple Valley on Saturday.
The two teams played a twin bill after Friday night's opening round of the Apple Valley Wood Bat Tournament was rained out. Apple Valley walked off with a 4-3, eight-inning win in Game 1 on Saturday before Vincent threw seven innings of four-hit ball in a 5-3 Tiger victory in Game 2 at Legion Park.
Vincent helped himself with a two-run double in the first inning. He then held Apple Valley to single runs in the second, fourth and sixth while striking out six and walking two. Behind him, the Farmington defense played errorless ball for the second straight game.
Baskerville paced the Tiger hitters, going 3 for 4 with a run scored. Merle added two hits and two runs scored and Vincent, Lugowski, Ryan Schoening and Nick Newman each added hits.
Merle got the offense started in the opener with a two-run homer in the top of the first. The Eagles answered with three runs in the next four innings against starter Drew Hegseth.
Kevin Olund came in for Hegseth in the fifth and allowed one run while striking out five over the next 3 2/3 innings. Jordan DeCrook relieved Olund in the eighth and allowed the final Apple Valley run.
Baskerville, Schoening and Merle each had two hits as the Tigers outhit the Eagles, 8-7.
The Tigers, now 4-10 overall, return to Missota Conference play this week with road games at Northfield and Chaska Monday and Tuesday.