VFW Baseball: Off to a solid startAn offensive explosion and a pair of quality starts by the pitching staff have made the first week of coaching a little bit easier for Jacob Sand.
By: Matt Steichen, The Farmington Independent
An offensive explosion and a pair of quality starts by the pitching staff have made the first week of coaching a little bit easier for Jacob Sand.
Sand is taking over the Farmington VFW Post 7662 baseball team this summer, along with fellow 2008 Farmington High School grads Jared Rowan and Tyler Luhman. His squad opened with a 15-1 rout at St. Louis Park last Wednesday and, after a loss to Shakopee, moved back above the .500 mark with a 5-3 win over Richfield in Monday night’s home opener.
Starting pitcher Zach Wallace provided the latest quality start and earned the win, holding Richfield to three runs on eight hits while striking out eight and walking none over seven innings. Wallace also singled and scored in the bottom of the first and Post 7662 led the rest of the way.
“(Wallace) started off the game really well, just throwing strikes,” Sand said. “He threw the fastball, then worked in a curveball that was one of the best I’ve seen by a kid his age. He was making kids look silly.”
Stephen Barber opened the scoring with an RBI double and Tommy Korbein followed with a single to make it 2-0. An inning later, a Matt Molitor single and an RBI ground out by Austin Sutter made it 3-0.
With the score 3-2, Post 7662 tacked on a pair of insurance runs in the bottom of the sixth. Barber led off the frame with a triple and scored on a Korbein sacrifice fly. Quinn Eden kept the inning alive by reaching on an error and Molitor knocked a base hit to right field to tack on to the lead.
Molitor came on in relief of starter Justin Wolff on Thursday and four errors behind him helped Shakopee score four unearned runs in an eventual 8-4 victory.
Post 7662 trailed 3-0 after an inning, but came back to briefly tie the game with a three-run third. Barber led off with a walk and Korbein and Wallace followed with a pair of singles. Quinn Eden drove home Wallace with a triple and Zach Payne capped off the rally with an RBI single.
Post 7662 once again tied the score with a run in the top of the fourth. Cole Luske reached on an error and circled the bases on a Barber double.
Shakopee answered with three more runs in the bottom of the fourth, then tacked on another in the fifth against Molitor.
“Their pitchers threw pretty hard. I think it was a change of pace compared to the other guys we’ve faced that were slower,” Sand said.
There was no shortage of offense in the previous day’s season opener at St. Louis Park. Post 7662 ripped 12 hits, took seven walks and reached on two hit by pitches in a 15-1 rout.
Payne paced the attack with three hits, three runs scored and three RBI. Joey Hoffman added a two-RBI double and Eden and Barber each tacked on two hits.
Dayne Eich took advantage of the run support, holding St. Louis Park to one unearned run while striking out four in the complete-game effort.
For Sand, it was a relief to pick up win No. 1 in his first game as coach.
“It was kind of scary. The first inning was a pop up and two strikeouts,” he said. “Me and the other coaches looked at each other hoping that wasn’t going to be the story. Then we scored three times and kept piling on. It was good to get that win out of the way, especially the way we did.”
Post 7662 played again Wednesday at Prior Lake and will return home tonight to take on New Prague.