Post 189 rolls in play-in game
The Farmington Legion baseball team got five no-hit innings from starter JD Hinks as it advanced in the district tournament with a 9-6 win over St. Paul Park in an 8 vs. 9 play-in game Monday night at Legion Field in Apple Valley.
The win earned Post 189 (6-12) at least two more tournament games, starting with a showdown against top-seeded Burnsville tonight at 7:30 at Alimagnet Park in Burnsville.
"We felt like we deserved a little bit better than the No. 8 seed as we beat a couple of the teams that were seeded ahead of us, but you play the hand you're dealt and I was glad we showed up," Farmington coach Jared Rowan said. "We've played in the Grand Rapids tournament and the Gopher Classic to try to prepare ourselves to play good teams, so Burnsville won't be anything we haven't seen. The biggest thing is getting over that mental block."
Post 189 will also need solid pitching and defense like it got in most of Monday night's game. Hinks was untouched over the first five innings and got a six-run lead to work with thanks to a four-run bottom of the fourth inning.
"Hinks was really good. He didn't really have his curveball working so we were calling for more fastballs and changups and he was able to throw strikes and keep them off-balance," Rowan said. "We had a couple of errors on some tough plays, but we also got lots of fly balls and ground balls that we were able to make the plays on."
South St. Paul finally got to Hinks for three hits and a walk in the sixth to cut the lead in half at 6-3, but Farmington got all three back in the bottom of the inning courtesy of a walk, a hit-by-pitch, an error, a sacrifice fly by Parker Holmstrom and a two-run double by Johnny Dittman.
Post 189 got on the board in the first when Holmstrom singled and scored on a Bobby Eckert groundout. Holmstrom scored again in the third when he singled and came in on a Dittman single.
Holmstrom also highlighted the four-run fourth with a two-run single. Jared Lipinski and Ryan Giebel also had base hits during the rally.
Austin Martinsen allowed three runs over the final three innings to preserve the win.