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Baseball: Timely hits elude Tigers in opener

There were no complaints from Farmington baseball coach Mike Winters about his team's loss in its season opener. He was just happy to see it on the field.

The Tigers escaped the cold spring weather by retreating under the Teflon roof of the Metrodome for last Wednesday's season debut against St. Cloud Apollo. The Eagles, coming off a 22-3 season, scored three runs late to grab a 5-2 victory.

"All in all, the game went pretty well for a first game of the year," Winters said. "We had 10 hits, and our two pitchers did a great job of throwing strikes and staying ahead in the count."

The Tigers' 10 hits were two more than Apollo, but the Eagles strung three of them together during the decisive top of the sixth inning. Parker Holmstrom came on in relief of starter JD Hinks with the score tied at 2-2, and proceeded to allow a walk, a hit-by-pitch and a single to the first three batters he faced. TJ Frericks followed with a go-ahead two-run triple and scored on a pinch-hit single by Dallas Haugen.

Farmington, meanwhile, left nine runners in scoring position. The bases were left loaded in the third inning and runners were stranded on second and third in the fifth and sixth.

"Our situational hitting was not good," Winters said.

Clean-up hitter Zach Speikers drove in both runs with a two-run single in the bottom of the fifth. Jordan DeCroock started the inning with a double, Jordan Lugowski walked and both moved into scoring position on a Spencer Merle single.

DeCroock, Merle, Speikers and Nick Schoening each had two hits and Kyle Mayer and Bobby Eckert tallied one apiece.

Hinks limited Apollo to one earned run on four hits over the first five innings. He struck out two and walked none.

The Eagles scored the first run of the game courtesy of a two-out hit by pitch, an infield error and a double in the third. Two singles and an error produced another run in the fourth.

"Some untimely errors and missed plays led to our demise," Winters said.

The Tigers (0-1) had their outdoor opener against New Prague postponed Tuesday afternoon. They are scheduled to play another Missota Conference home game this afternoon against Holy Angels.