VFW baseball: Farmington plays down to its competition in loss to New Prague
Farmington VFW coach Chris Dittman says his team has been guilty of playing down to the level of its competition during a 5-5 start to the season.
He said it happened in all three of the team's games last week, but Post 7662 was able to overcome the tendency and rally for a pair of one-run victories over Eagan last Monday and Tuesday. Post 7662 jumped out to a 3-1 first-inning lead on Wednesday, but let New Prague hang around long enough to steal a 10-8 decision.
Farmington committed a season-high seven errors in the loss. New Prague's decisive five-run fifth inning featured a runner reaching a on a dropped third strike and a dropped pop up among the four errors in the frame.
"It was another case of playing down," Dittman said. "We've struggled all year with that."
Post 7662 jumped out to its early lead thanks to a two-run single by Kyle Mayer and a base hit by Isaac Toenjes. The bats then went silent until the sixth when Spencer Merle's sacrifice fly made it 9-4.
Merle, Johnny Dittman and Jordan DeCroock all had RBI hits in the seventh, but Post 7662 left the bases loaded to end the game.
Mayer pitched the first three-plus innings before giving way to Merle.
Post 7662 has seven games to play before the sub-district tournament gets under way July 16 in South St. Paul. The team is still aiming for one of the top two spots in the six-team sub-district, which would earn it a first-round bye in the tournament. The team plays again at Bloomington tonight, then will play at least three games this weekend at the Eagan Tournament.
Zach Huber reached on a two-out single and scored from third on Michael Letourneau's ground ball to first base to give Post 7662 a walk-off win over Eagan last Tuesday night.
Post 7662, which trailed 4-0 after committing three errors in the top of the first, rallied with four runs of its own in the third to take a 5-4 lead. Huber started the scoring with a two-run triple, then Toenjes and Colton Sanders followed with RBI hits.
Huber picked up the win in relief of Jared Lipinski, who worked the first five innings.
Huber ripped a go-ahead single in the top of the seventh to lift Post 7662 to a 5-4 road win last Monday.
Eagan mounted its own rally against reliever Athen Ashton, loading the bases with a walk and a pair of one-out singles. Ashton responded by coaxing a pop-out and a ground out out of the next two batters to pick up the save.
Turner Olson got the win, holding Eagan to four runs over the first six innings.
Merle and Mayer paced the Farmington offense with three hits apiece. Mayer had an RBI single in the first and Dittman added a two-run single in the second.