VFW Baseball: Unearned runs help Chanhassen hang onDefensive lapses once again cost the Farmington VFW baseball team a shot at victory last week.
By: Matt Steichen, The Farmington Independent
Defensive lapses once again cost the Farmington VFW baseball team a shot at victory last week.
After committing 17 errors in losing three games at the Northfield Tournament the previous weekend, Post 7662 booted the ball four more times Thursday night - including two errors that led to a pair of late unearned runs - in a 6-4 loss to Chanhassen. The team has now lost the last five games it has played in, not including a forfeit win over a shorthanded Holy Family team Wednesday night.
"They have got to show up to play seven (innings) every single game," first-year coach Jared Rowan said. "We weren't in the game and its showed. We've gotta be focused for two hours - that's not too much to ask."
Chanhassen earned its first four runs against Post 7662 starter Dayne Eich, pounding four hits and working three walks over the first three innings. Zach Wallace came on in relief of Eich in the top of the fourth and allowed the first of two unearned runs on an outfield error on a misjudged fly ball and a triple.
Trailing 5-0, Post 7662 pushed across its first run in the bottom of the frame. Tommy Korbein got the rally started by reaching on an error, moved to third in a wild pitch and an infield grounder and scored on a double score.
After Wallace worked a scoreless fifth, the Farmington put together a three-run rally to make it a one-run game. Eich started things with a single and Wallace brought him home with a double. After a Barber walk, Wallace scored the second run on a wild pitch. Zak Payne worked another walk, then got in a rundown that allowed Barber to cross the plate and make it 5-4.
Chanhassen padded its lead with another unearned run in the top of the sixth. Wallace finished with three hits allowed and one walk over the final four innings.
Trailing 6-4, the Post 7662 offense was set down 1-2-3 in the sixth and seventh. Eich and Wallace each finished with two of the team's four hits.
"The biggest problem lately at the plate has been the team's approach. They're taking a strike on a fastball on the first pitch, then swinging at a ball in the dirt," Rowan said. "Other teams jump on that first pitch and we like to take it. It's not always a bad thing, but sometimes we do that too much and end up letting the best pitch go by."
Despite the offensive struggles, Rowan said improving the team's defense is still the top priority.
"Our pitchers have been doing a good job throwing strikes and we should be ready and we aren't making the plays," he said. "Those two runs ended up making the difference."
Post 7662, now 3-6 overall, continued its schedule Tuesday with a road game at Bloomington Gold. Bloomington Blue came to Farmington Wednesday night and Post 7662 is home again tonight against Benilde.