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Post 189 drops four of five

The Farmington Legion baseball team came away from the 90-team Gopher Classic tournament with a 1-4 record for the second straight year.

Post 189 picked up its lone victory of the weekend Friday night when Austin Martinsen took advantage of some early run support and went the distance in a 4-2 win over Bemidji. Martinsen allowed eight hits and struck out four.

"Austin did a very nice job of changing speeds, locating his fastball and throwing a lot of strikes," Farmington coach Jared Rowan said. "He has a good change-up and a good curveball, so he's able to keep hitters off-balance. He will continue to get better as he gets older and he still has two years of high school yet."

Farmington took the lead with three runs in the second inning. Nick Schoening led off with a single and Landon Neilson followed with a walk. Another free pass to Jordan DeCroock loaded the bases and Parker Holmstrom drew yet another walk to bring in Schoening. Johnny Dittman followed with a two-run single to make it 3-0.

Dittman started the fifth by reaching on a walk and scored on a Ryan Giebel single to push the lead to 4-0.

Post 189 couldn't take advantage of a strong outing from starter Jared Lipinski in a 3-1 loss to Grand Forks in their tournament opener earlier in the day. Lipinski allowed three runs on seven hits against what Rowan called a "very good hitting team."

Post 189 continued to get decent pitching on Saturday, but some defensive struggles emerged that plagued the team the rest of the weekend. Woodbury took advantage of two miscues by scoring four unearned runs in a 7-2 final.

In Sunday's opener, three errors allowed Billings (Mont.) to overcome late deficits of 1-0 and 4-3 and rally for a 7-4 win on Saturday.

Post 189 closed out the tournament with a 7-0 loss to Tri-City Red, a team composed of many of the players who helped Mounds View to the Class 3A state championship this spring.

"It's been our story all year that we don't score a lot of runs. Our pitching was better than the scores indicate because we didn't play well defensively," Rowan said. "We need our pitchers to throw strikes and we need to field the ball and we didn't do that this weekend. We had a lot of errors at crucial times."

Post 189 opens sub-state tournament play early next week. The 8 vs. 9 game will be on Monday and the rest of the first-round will be played on Tuesday.