Baseball: Farmington starts season 2-6 against tough competition
Doubleheader is a word that baseball fans across the state of Minnesota will hear all spring, and none more so than fans of the Farmington Tigers. Farmington started their regular season two weeks ago and have played four doubleheaders against South Suburban Conference foes. They dropped their first two games at Shakopee, 9-8 and 8-2, on Thursday, April 26. Last Monday, they bounced back for their home opener and swept Burnsville 3-1 and 7-4. On May 3, they hosted Lakeville North and were swept 4-2 and 11-3, despite leading for much of Game 1. Then on Monday, they lost both games at Rosemount 10-9 and 8-4. The Tigers are 2-6 overall, and 2-6 in the SSC, which is tied for last with Lakeville South and Rosemount.
Farmington led almost the entire way in Game 1 of the doubleheader against the Lakeville North Panthers last Thursday. In Game 1, junior Zach Jakubowsky threw a solid 6 ⅓ innings, giving up just two runs on seven hits with two walks and three strikeouts. Farmington had scored two runs in the first inning with RBI from senior Trevor Brettin and junior Hunter Conrad. The Tigers held that 2-0 lead until the Panthers got one run in the sixth to make it 2-1. Jakubowsky was forced to exit in the seventh because of pitch limits and left one man on base. He was relieved by senior Colton Ralidak and the Panthers were able to score the man left on by Jakubowsky tie to the game 2-2 and send it to extra innings. Lakeville North scored two more in the eighth inning to win 4-2.
Brettin and senior Brock Mogensen led the team with two hits each, while five other Tigers had one hit: senior Trevor Wright, junior Brady Bean, junior Adam Weed, Conrad and senior Mikey Fredrickson.
Game 2 was tight in the first few innings before Lakeville North scored seven unanswered runs in the last three innings. Conrad started the game for Farmington but was only able to throw 1 ⅓ innings and gave up two runs, which could have been worse if junior reliever Alex Mach had not been able to work out of a jam in the second. The Tigers scored one run in the top of the first on an RBI groundout by Conrad that scored Bean. The Panthers scored two runs in the bottom of the first to make it 2-1.
Both teams scored two runs in the third to make it 4-3 Panthers. Both runs for Farmington came on an RBI single by Mogensen that scored Bean and Brettin. However, starting in the fourth, things started to snowball for the Tigers. Lakeville North scored four in the bottom of the fourth to chase Mach, who threw 2 ⅓ innings, giving up six runs (four earned) on six hits and a walk. He was relieved by junior Nick Savisik, who pitched the remainder of the game. The Panthers scored three more in the bottom of the sixth and sealed the sweep with an 11-3 final.
Bean, Brettin and Mogensen all had two hits each, while six others had one hit.
Head coach Jon Graff said that despite the result, he was happy with how his team played.
"We did a great job hitting versus one of the best teams in state with 21 hits on the day," he said. "In the first game, Jakubowsky was dealing, as he kept North off balance. But, they did scratch out a couple runs late to tie it before winning it in the eighth. We always seem to play North tough and our guys did a great job against a good team."
Farmington travels to Prior Lake for a doubleheader on Thursday, then next week they host Eastview on Monday and face Eagan on Thursday.