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VFW baseball: Post 7662 bows out with 14-8 record

The Farmington VFW baseball team showed just how much its offense has improved during a fourth-place finish at the sub-district tournament.

Farmington belted three home runs --including two grand slams -- and tallied 34 runs while splitting four games at South St. Paul. A 5-4 extra-inning loss to South St. Paul on Saturday left the team with a 14-8 record for the summer.

"Our approach at the plate improved drastically over the season. By the end we were more disciplined hitters, hitting strikes and not chasing balls. We've got some players that are definitely ready to help the varsity (next spring)," VFW coach Chris Dittman said. "Coach Winters was at the tournament, so it was good for him to see the guys in action. I think he was very impressed by their never-give-up attitude."

Farmington trailed 7-0 in the third inning of its tournament opener before rallying for a 9-8 victory on Thursday.

Athen Ashton opened the scoring with a solo home run, then Kyle Mayer drilled a two-out grand slam that made it 7-5 through three. Jordan Lugowski capped off the comeback with a walk-off two-run double in the seventh.

Spencer Merle pitched in relief of Mayer and picked up the win, allowing one run over the final 4 2/3 innings.

After a 7-1 loss to a 31-3 Eagan team in Game 2 on Thursday, Farmington came back to rout Rosemount 19-10 on Friday.

Johnny Dittman broke open a 9-6 game with a grand slam in the top of the fifth inning. Dittman and Mayer each had three hits and Lugowski went 5 for 5 with two doubles and a walk.

Ashton's base hit scored Mayer to give Farmington the lead in the top of the eighth inning of Saturday's Final Four game, but South St. Paul answered with a two-out walk-off double in the bottom of the eighth to win, 5-4.

Pitcher Kevin Olund walked two batters before the game-ending gapper.

"Leadoff walks killed us all season long. We have a lot of guys who can pitch, but not a lot of outstanding pitchers," Dittman said. "We need some guys to develop second pitches and throw strikes."

Olund got Farmington on the board in the fourth with an RBI double, then scored on a Zach Huber hit-by-pitch to make it 2-1.

An RBI single by Lugowski made it 3-1, but South St. Paul rallied with single runs in the sixth and seventh to force extra innings.