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VFW 7662 baseball walks off with win

Farmington VFW third baseman Max Barthel ranges to his left to field a ground ball during a home game last week against Providence Academy. Post 7662 came out on both sides of a pair of one-run games last week.

One swing of Cole Farthing’s bat erased a two-run deficit and set off a walk-off celebration for the Farmington VFW baseball team last Wednesday.

With two outs, two strikes and the bases loaded in the bottom of the seventh, Farthing laced a double into right center to bring home three runs and lift Post 7662 to a 9-8 victory over Providence Academy.

“This game was incredible,” Farmington VFW coach Jon Graff said. “For all the things we did wrong, in the end we stayed patient, chipped away at the lead and in the end when we were down to our last strike with the bases loaded, Farthing hit a double to the right field gap that cleared the bases for a walk off win — it was so exciting.”

Farthing’s hit capped a six-run bottom of the seventh. No. 9 batter Will Ristow started things with a single and three straight walks brought in a run before cleanup hitter Justin King ripped a two-run double to make it 9-6. The next two players made infield outs, but Jay Burditt drew a clutch walk to reload the bases for Farthing.

“It was great to see the kids work the count in their favor late in the game and we got some timely hits to mount a great comeback — and that's why you always have to keep playing and believe, because you just never know what will happen,” Graff said.

King finished 2 for 3 with two runs scored and four RBI. Farthing and Burditt each supplied a pair of hits and Nick Bauer and Dylan Bergstad each scored twice.

The rally made a winner of Jacob Dentinger, who came on in relief in the fourth inning and held Providence Academy to one run on two hits over the final 3 2/3 innings. Bauer allowed seven runs in the first 3 1/3.

A day earlier, Post 7662 was on the other side of a walk-off. First-place Waconia, aided by one of their players’ dads stepping in to umpire, strung together a single, an error and a sacrifice fly in the bottom of the eighth inning to come back for a 3-2 win.

“The ump didn't show and a dad had to go from behind the mound which made things interesting,” Graff said.

Post 7662 managed just five hits, but King kept it close by allowing just two runs while fanning six over seven innings. Bergstad started the eighth and took the loss in relief.

“King pitched a great game and kept us in the game as we couldn't get much going offensively,” Graff said. “Waconia is undefeated in our league play and has a good team, but we were right there and close to winning it.”

King and Sam Needham each contributed two of Farmington’s five hits. Hayden Kendall drove in a run with a single.

Post 7662 takes on Bloomington Blue tonight in Bloomington and then begins play at the Eagan Tournament tomorrow.