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Living and dying by 'D'

If the Farmington baseball team learned anything over the course of the 2008 regular season, it was the importance of a consistent defense.

The Tigers split their final four games of the regular season over the last nine days, rounding out their regular season with a record of 7-13. In the seven wins, coach Mike Winters' team committed seven errors. In the 13 losses, 33 errors.

The Tigers showed just how well and how poorly things can go -- depending on how they field the ball -- in their last four games. They had one error apiece in a 4-1 upset of Missota Conference-leading Holy Angels last Tuesday and an 8-4 win Friday at the Mini Met against a Jordan team that sports a 9-4 record in the Minnesota Conference.

By contrast, they made seven combined defensive miscues in losses to 5-12 Hastings on Monday and 7-7 Red Wing last Thursday.

Winters will be looking for his sharp defense to show up when the Tigers open Section 1AAA Tournament play next week. Section assignments were not announced by deadline.

Hastings 5, Farmington 2

The Tigers never got their bats going in Monday's regular season finale, managing just three hits in a 5-2 loss to Hastings.

Farmington starter Eric Estes got into trouble early, but managed to hang around for five innings. He allowed five runs (three earned) on six hits and walked two in receiving his second loss of the season. Jake Sand came on in relief and worked two perfect innings.

Sand helped himself at the plate with a single, two walks and a run scored. Caleb Schmitt belted an RBI double and Estes doubled and scored the other Farmington run. The rest of the Tiger lineup combined to go 0 for 18 at the plate.

Farmington 8, Jordan 4

The Tigers trailed 4-1 before scoring three runs in the sixth and four more in the seventh to rally for an 8-4 non-conference decision Friday at the Mini Met in Jordan.

Estes paced the offense with three hits and three RBI and Sand, Trevor Davis and Tyler Stephens each added a pair of hits. Sand drove in two with a triple and Davis, Stephens and Jeremy Jahn each scored twice as the Tigers' piled up 12 hits.

Curry Levenhagen replaced Davis on the mound in the fifth inning and got the last seven outs to record the win.

Red Wing 11, Farmington 4

Ten Red Wing players collected at least one hit in last Thursday's 11-4 Missota Conference contest.

Sand held the Wingers in check for two innings, but they put the game away with six runs in the bottom of the third. Schmitt came on in relief and got four of the next five outs via strikeout, but Red Wing tacked on four more runs against Farmington's third pitcher, Justin Lavey, to make it 11-4 heading into the sixth.

Jared Rowan led the Tigers' six-hit showing with two singles and two RBI, while Lavey was 1 for 4 with an RBI double and a run scored. Estes and Danny Tutewohl also singled and scored.