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Farmington baseball: Missota leaders end Farmington’s winning streak

It took the top team in the Missota Conference to put an end to Farmington’s three-game winning streak.

First-place New Prague (9-1) allowed the most runs in a game it has all season, three, but scored in five of six offensive innings in a 10-3 win over the Tigers Monday at Memorial Park.

“We were down four guys to begin the game as they were taking their AP Psych test, so we scrambled a bit, but the kids battled,” Farmington coach Jon Graff said. “New Prague is sitting at the top of the conference for a reason – they’ve got great pitching, solid defense and they can hit. They’re really well rounded.”

The Trojans took advantage of a Tiger error to score four unearned runs in the bottom of the first. It was 6-0 by the time starter Johnny Dittman left the game, and the Trojans tacked on runs against relievers Kyle Johnson, JD Hinks and Landon Nielsen.

The Tigers finished with 10 hits. Leadoff hitter Parker Holmstrom supplied three and scored a run and Ryan Giebel had two hits and an RBI.

Over the weekend, the Tigers posted their best-ever finish at the Apple Valley Wood Bat Tournament. They opened with a come-from-behind 4-2 win over Brookings (S.D) and then plated three runs in the top of the eighth to grab a 6-3 victory over Hudson in the nightcap Saturday.

In the opener, the Tigers trailed 2-0 before plating four runs in the sixth. Six straight batters reached with two outs, including Ryan Giebel, who supplied a clutch two-run single. Nick Schoening also drove in a run and came around to score.

Giebel finished with two of the team’s four hits.

“Even though only five guys reached in the first five innings, we were able to get six in a row to the plate in the sixth — all after two outs. That's really the composure our team has shown this year — they never take themselves out of any game,” Graff said. “It's not like we lit it up in the sixth, we just drew some walks, capitalized on an error and had a big hit by Giebel who has really been stroking the ball lately.”

The rally made a winner of Austin Martinsen, who came on in relief of starter Jordan Beschorner and held Brookings to one run on three hits while striking out five over the final five innings.

“Hats off to Martinsen, who came in in the third and pitched five strong innings in relief for the win. He threw first pitch strikes 70 percent of the time and dominated the zone, throwing 45 strikes and only 19 balls,” Graff said. “That kind of pitching will win lots of games.”

The Tigers got another solid outing in Game 2 from Maverick Carlson, who allowed three runs over six innings in his first career varsity start. However, it was once again a reliever who got the win as JD Hinks shut out Hudson in the seventh and eighth while the offense rallied for three runs.

“We’ve really been aided by pitchers who do their job for the most part,” Graff said. “We don't have to strike everyone out, just throw strikes and let our defense make the plays, which we did for the most part today.”

Giebel started the eighth inning with a double and scored the go-ahead run on Nielsen’s single. Hinks then plated Nielsen with a sacrifice fly and Schoening walked and scored on Martinsen’s single.

Giebel finished 3 for 4 at the plate and Nielsen and Bobby Eckert each supplied two of the Tigers’ 12 hits.

“The bottom of the order kind of carried us a bit today, which we've really gotten good production up and down the line-up all year with different people coming through with the clutch hit, bunt or sacrifice fly when needed,” Graff said.

The Tigers (6-4) began a stretch of nine games in 11 days with a road trip to Northfield on Tuesday. They are back on the field tonight for a doubleheader against Chanhassen.

“We play 10 games in the next 10 school days, so we’ll have to rest our arms a bit and get ready for this crazy finish,” Graff said.