Baseball: Big innings a big problem on the diamondIn every game this season, the Farmington baseball team has had one inning where it gave up at least three runs.
By: Matt Steichen, The Farmington Independent
In every game this season, the Farmington baseball team has had one inning where it gave up at least three runs.
The least harmful of these big innings was a three-run sixth in the Tigers’ lone victory, a crisply-played 9-3 decision over Edina back on April 13. The other big innings were a little more destructive: a five-run first against Shakopee, a six-run first against Holy Angels a four-run sixth against New Prague and, most recently, a four-run third inning in Monday’s 7-1 loss at Chanhassen.
The frame featured just one Chanhassen hit, but the Tigers committed three errors behind pitcher Zach Wallace, who compounded the problem with three free passes. Wallace pitched the first three innings before Nate Graham came on to pitch two shutout innings of relief.
“If we could take away just one inning, we’d have a chance of winning. We have to learn to not get so caught up in the emotion of the game. We have to relax and continue to make plays and pick each other up when errors occur,” Farmington coach Mike Winters said. “We seem to hold it together most of the game, or to start the game and implode in one inning. We can’t continue to pile mental errors on physical errors game after game. We need to get mentally stronger. We can’t let the highs get too high, or the lows get too low.”
The Tigers managed just three hits against Chanhassen starter Trevor Patterson, who struck out nine and walked none in a complete game effort. Jake Baskerville scored the lone run for the visitors when he led off the first with a single, stole second and scored on an error.
Steven Barber and Tommy Korbein supplied the only other Farmington hits.
New Prague 9,
The Tigers held a 5-4 lead through four innings of last Thursday’s Missota Conference home game against New Prague, but the Trojans used a four-run top of the sixth to rally for a 9-6 win.
Farmington got the bats going early as Nate Graham drew a first-inning walk and trotted home on Ty Vincent’s first home run of the season.
New Prague responded with three runs against starter Dayne Eich in the top of the second, but the Tigers answered with two more runs in the bottom of the frame to move ahead 4-3. John Stibal and Zak Payne started the rally with base hits and moved up on a Tommy Korbein bunt before Jake Baskerville ripped a two-run single.
The Tigers took their final lead in the bottom of the fourth when Baskerville doubled and scored on an error to make it 5-4.
Eich left with the lead after allowing four runs on five hits and four walks while striking out three over four innings. Jonathan Ellis came on in relief and took the loss, allowing a single run in the fifth and four more in the sixth while giving up five hits and a walk. Cole Luskey worked a scoreless seventh.
Farmington plated one run in the sixth on a Korbein RBI double, but couldn’t get any closer.
“We played a decent game considering the weather. Poorly-timed errors and missed plays on bunts were very costly,” Winters said. “We did a nice job of getting the lead, we just have to do a better job of keeping that lead.”
The Tigers finished with nine hits, including two apiece from Baskerville, Vincent and Stibal.
The team was back in action at home Wednesday against Red Wing and will play again tomorrow night at Zumbrota-Mazeppa. First pitch is at 5 p.m.