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Farmington American Legion baseball:Post 189 takes 8-11 mark into playoffs

Andrew Lupkowski fields a grounder to second base for Post 189 last week.

The Farmington Legion Post 189 baseball team played some of its most competitive games of the summer during the final week of the regular season.

Farmington lost one-run games to New Prague and Lakeville South, topped Chaska 8-5 on Wednesday and lost to Chanhassen 8-3 in last Thursday’s finale to put its record at 8-11 heading into the opening round of the playoffs. Post 180 earned the No. 7 seed and a matchup against New Prague tonight at 7 p.m. at Alimagnet Field in Burnsville.

“We carried things over from the Gopher Classic and played some good baseball. We were competitive against good teams,” Legion coach Jared Rowan said. “We would have liked to get some of those wins – they were right there for the taking – but we played well, so we’ll take that for sure heading into the playoffs.”

After losing late leads in both one-run losses, Post 189 jumped on Chaska early with four runs and batted around in the first inning. Jordan DeCroock started the game with a single and the next three batters drew walks, setting up a two-run single by Jordan Beschorner.

“Their pitcher struggled and we took advantage of it,” Rowan said.

Chaska chipped away at starter Maverick Carlson and tied the game at 4-4 heading into the bottom of the third. Andrew Lupkowski’s RBI groundout gave Farmington the lead back at 5-4 and an error and another groundout by Landon Nielson brought in two more runs to make it 7-4 through four.

Carlson settled in after the third and held Chaska to one run over the final four innings to pick up the win.

A day earlier, Post 189 led 2-1 in the fifth before dropping a 5-4 final to South in Elko. South started the seventh by hitting two singles and drawing a walk, and then walked off with the win when a pop up landed on the infield, allowing the runner from third base to race home. At first it appeared Farmington’s throw home resulted in a force out, but the infield fly rule was called, which meant the runner had to be tagged.

“No one heard anyone call an infield fly rule, and that would have been a double play, so that was a bad way to lose,” Rowan said.

Post 189 rallied to tie the game with two runs in the top of the seventh. Ryan Giebel and Johnny Dittman each supplied RBI singles. The go-ahead run was on second with no outs, but the next batter popped up a sacrifice bunt attempted and South turned it into a double play.

JD Hinks went all 6 1/3 innings on the mound and took the loss.