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Baseball: Tigers finish strong in Missota

Before the start of last week, the Farmington baseball team had already won as many conference games -- five -- as it had in any of its previous six seasons.

A pair of doubleheader splits with Chaska and first-place Shakopee to close out the Missota schedule earned the Tigers a fifth-place finish and a .500 record in the league for the first time since winning the title in 2006.

"I'm proud of our guys who finished 7-7 in a tougher-than-normal Missota Conference, as well as a mentally draining spring," head coach Mike Winters said. "The boys, the parents, the fans and the coaches have been great all year. One more game and it's playoff time. I think we could do some damage."

The Tigers showed what they're capable of in Game 1 Thursday at Tahpah Park in Shakopee. Starter Jordan Beschorner blanked the first-place Sabers for six innings and the offense produced nine hits in a 4-0 victory.

Beschorner was backed by an errorless defense and scattered eight hits while walking three. Jared Lipinski worked a 1-2-3 seventh to close the door.

"We could've made a highlight reel with our defense in the first game. They stung the ball, we just made play after play," Winters said. "We had like four or five double plays on the night and made three or four diving plays. Everything went our way in the first game."

Bobby Eckert gave the Tigers the lead with a two-run double in the first inning. Jordan Lugowski had his biggest game of the season with four hits and two runs scored and Nick Schoening added an RBI single.

The Tiger defense made four errors in Game 2 and Shakopee scored three unearned runs while earning the split with a 7-4 win.

JD Hinks allowed six runs -- four earned -- on eight hits over the first four innings. Lipinski surrendered one unearned run over two innings of relief and Olund pitched a scoreless seventh.

Lugowski had two more hits to pace the offense. Jordan Decroock plated a run with a double and Zach Speikers had a single and a sacrifice fly.

The Tigers scored three runs in the bottom of the sixth to take the first game of last Tuesday's doubleheader with Chaska, 5-4.

Johnny Dittman started the rally with a single. Eckert followed with a double and Spencer Merle walked, loading the bases for Schoening, who came through with a single. Lugowski followed with a two-run single to give the Tigers the lead.

Lipinski came on in relief of Merle in the fifth and ended up getting the last nine outs to pick up the win.

Lipinski, Lugowski, Dittman and Eckert each supplied two of the team's 12 hits.

Lugowski had the team's only two hits in a 10-0 loss in Game 2.