VFW Baseball: Post 7662 provides weekend fireworksFarmington’s VFW baseball team made its presence felt over the weekend at the 18-Under Babe Ruth Tournament in Apple Valley.
By: Matt Steichen, The Farmington Independent
Farmington’s VFW baseball team made its presence felt over the weekend at the 18-Under Babe Ruth Tournament in Apple Valley.
Post 7662 won its pool with victories over Westside and Thunder Bay, then lost a 7-6, eight-inning thriller to Coon Rapids in Sunday’s championship game to finish second in the 24-team tournament.
Post 7663 scored 23 runs in four tournament games, then came back with a 12-run effort in Monday’s win over Eagan. Coach Jacob Sand said improved offensive production, as well as an attitude adjustment, are what have helped the team move back within a game of .500 at 9-10.
“We’re hitting the ball really well right now,” the first-year coach said. “We needed to have a better attitude and we had a talk about that a couple weeks ago and that woke them up. We’ve played really well since then.”
Farmington opened the tournament with a bang, scoring four runs in the top of the first against Westside. Matt Molitor led off with a single, moved up on an error and stole third before a walk to Zach Wallace loaded the bases. Tommy Korbein followed with a two-run single to start the scoring and another error by Westside’s second baseman allowed two more runs to come home.
Four runs proved to be more than enough support for Dayne Eich, who allowed two runs while striking out 10 over seven innings.
Eich also reached on an error and scored in the second and Quinn Eden doubled and scored on a Joey Hoffman double in the third to cap the scoring.
Post 7662 moved to 2-0 in pool play with another 6-2 victory on Friday, this time over Thunder Bay.
Eden and Baer got the first rally started with back-to-back singles to begin the second. Eden came home on a Josh Kallstrom RBI single and Baer crossed the plate on Molitor’s ground out.
An inning later, a ground ball by Eden drove in Korbein to make it 4-0. Korbein started the third with an RBI double that scored Stephen Barber.
Post 7662 tacked on a pair of insurance runs in the sixth when Austin Sutter walked, Justin Wolff singled and Molitor hit an RBI single.
Molitor also provided a quality start, holding Thunder Bay to two unearned runs and striking out five.
Farmington was dealt its only loss of pool play later in the day when host Apple Valley scored a tight 6-5 win.
Apple Valley had built a 4-0 advantage by the time Wallace started the bottom of the third with a one-out single. After a strikeout, Korbein got Post 7662 on the board with an RBI double that made it 4-1.
The Farmington offense kept chipping away in the bottom of the fourth and eventually pushed across four runs to establish a brief 5-4 lead. Nine batters came to the plate during the frame and all four that scored — Hoffman, Eich, Molitor and Wallace — reached on base hits. Barber and Korbein kept the rally going with a single and a walk, but were left stranded in scoring position.
Apple Valley countered with two runs in the top of the fifth, then relied on its pitching to retire the final 10 Farmington hitters in order to seal the victory.
Farmington suffered through another heartbreaker in Sunday’s championship game. Post 7662 led 2-0 after an inning, then fell behind in the fourth when three errors led to three unearned runs. The score was back even at 5-5 before Coon Rapids scored two runs in the top of the eighth and held on for a 7-6 triumph.
Eich pitched all eight innings and was saddled with the tough-luck loss. No other information on this game was made available.
Post 7662 played its third extra-inning game in six days Monday night Eagan and came away with a 12-8 win.
It was 8-8 when Barber led off the top of the eighth with a walk. Korbein moved him over with a fielder’s choice and an error on a ball hit by Eden allowed Barber to score the eventual winning run. Kallstrom and Molitor each reached on walks later in the frame and Wallace capped off the inning with an RBI single.
Wallace finished 3 for 4 and Barber, Baer and Hoffman each added a pair of hits.
Post 7662 resumed its schedule Tuesday night with a game against Eden Prairie. The team has a seven-day break before closing out the regular season with a road trip to Minnetonka next Tuesday.