Post 7662 takes two from NP, Prior Lake
The VFW Post 7662 baseball team got the momentum boost it was looking for last week, earning a pair of come-from-behind victories over New Prague and Prior Lake.
Sitting at 4-12 and having lost six of its last seven games after last Tuesday's 9-4 home loss to St. Louis Park, Post 7662 got back in the win column thanks to Matt Rudorfer's walk-off single in the bottom of the seventh inning of an 8-7 decision at home Wednesday against New Prague. A day later, Post 7662 trailed 5-2 before a slew of RBI hits helped them rally for a 9-6 victory.
"Unfortunately, we've been on the other end three times, losing three leads in the bottom of the seventh (this season). It was nice to get one of those," Farmington coach Mike Winters said. "We continue to hit the ball well. The more you play the better you get, and I think with the way our roster has been all the kids have gotten opportunities and I think, top to bottom, it's made us better. People are filling the gaps and it has made us better."
Post 7662 had four full days off between Thursday's game at Prior Lake and Tuesday's home game against Rosemount, but the schedule takes on a more hectic look this week as several players will attend a football camp in South Dakota Wednesday and Thursday before returning for a Friday/Saturday baseball tournament in Inver Grove Heights. The regular season wraps up with a home game Tuesday night against Edina, then the sub-district tournament opens up next Thursday at a site that has yet to be determined. Winters figures Tuesday's matchup against Rosemount will be a good indicator of where Post 7662 fits into the sub-district picture.
"Rosemount and Eagan are probably the top two seeds. Tonight should be a good measuring stick of how we are playing," he said. "We hope things are looking up. We'd like to think we have a chance with the way we've been playing lately. Hopefully we keep playing the way we're playing."
Prior Lake 6
A four-run top half of the fifth inning highlighted last Thursday's 9-6 come-from-behind win over Prior Lake.
Rudorfer started the frame with a double off the fence, then came around to score the go-ahead run on a two-run double by Taylor Wood. Bryan Newberg capped the inning with an RBI single that made it 8-5. Rudorfer started the sixth with a single, his third hit of the game, and came around to score an insurance run on an RBI single by Kyle Winkleman.
Winkleman secured the victory on the mound, pitching the final three innings in relief of starter Phillip Halvorson. Halvorson earned the decision, putting up to zeros in the third and fourth after allowing five runs over the first two innings in his first career mound start. Winkleman held Prior Lake to one unearned run on two hits over the final three frames.
"(Halverson) has pitched a few innings here and there. The first inning they hit him up pretty good, then he settled in in the third and fourth," Winters said. "Our pitchers gave us a chance to get back in the game."
As Halverson and Winkleman settled in, the Post 7662 offense took advantage by rapping 12 hits. Rudorfer set the pace with a 3-for-5 showing and Wood and Pierce each went 2 for 4. Pierce started the scoring with a triple and a run scored in the top of the first and Justin Tang added an RBI single in the third.
Farmington 8, New Prague 7
Walks to Pierce, Carlson and Nick Albano loaded the bases and Rudorfer's walk-off single got Post 7662 back in the win column with an 8-7 victory last Wednesday.
It was another four-run inning that sparked Wednesday's comeback. Trailing 3-2 heading into the bottom of the third, Albano, Rudorfer and Newberg drew three straight free passes to load the bases. Albano scored the first run on a smash past third by Winkleman and two more crossed the plate on a base hit by Tang. Another RBI single by Pierce quickly stretched the lead to 6-3.
It was 6-6 by the time Alex Hanson drew a walk to start the bottom of the fifth. He moved into scoring position on an single by Matt Schmeltzer and came home when Carlson reached on an error.
New Prague once again tied the score with a single run in the top of the sixth, setting the stage for Post 7662's final rally.
Carlson helped the depleted Post 7662 pitching staff by working all seven innings. He walked eight and struck out just two, but held New Prague to five earned runs on five hits.