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Farmington baseball: Tigers slide into section play

Farmington’s Johnny Dittman reaches for a pitch during a recent game. The Tigers lost four in a row last week and begin section tournament play this week.

A streaky spring continued for the Farmington baseball team last week.

After plating 33 runs during a recent four-game winning streak, the Tigers scored just six runs while losing four in a row in a four-day stretch last week. The slide was capped off by a 9-0 shutout loss to Missota Conference champion New Prague on Friday.

“I think the weekend and prom will give the kids a good escape from baseball. We’ve packed a lot of games into a short time, including having baseball the last three Saturdays, and it can be kind of draining,” Farmington coach Jon Graff said. “I think this will be a good break where we can reenergize, regroup and get ready for the sections to start.”

The Tigers managed just four hits against the Trojans. Dylan Bergstad made his first varsity start and allowed four runs (two earned) over the first five innings before New Prague pulled away with four runs (one earned) in the sixth against reliever Jordan Beschorner.

The two previous days, the Tigers lost 10-4 and 5-1 in a home and home series with Shakopee. Starter Maverick Carlson was touched up for seven runs on 10 hits in two innings in the first game, and the Farmington offense once again struggled behind Parker Holmstrom (6 innings, five hits, two earned runs) in the second game.

Ryan Giebel supplied three of the team’s 12 hits in Wednesday’s loss. Johnny Dittman and JD Hinks each had a pair of singles.

Kyle Johnson entered a 7-0 game in relief of Carlson and held the Sabers to three runs in three innings. Landon Nielson closed out the game with two scoreless frames.

“We kind of dug ourselves a hole we couldn’t get out of. We threw strikes, but just got too much of the plate where they could drive it and they did,” Graff said. “They really came out swinging. After spotting them seven runs in the first two innings, though, we really held our own and actually outscored them the last five innings.”

Another bad start proved costly on Thursday. The Sabers plated four runs in the first two innings and took advantage of four Tiger errors.

“The disappointing thing is that we’re hurting ourselves too much. We can’t continue to make the errors that we are, especially against good teams,” Graff said. “If we can just make the routine plays, we’ll quit putting our pitchers in tough situations.”

Johnny Dittman supplied two of Farmington’s six hits. Jordan DeCroock drove in the team’s only run with a sacrifice fly.

The Tigers opened the week with a 9-1 loss to Chaska last Tuesday at Athletic Park.

The Hawks led just 2-1 through four innings, but pulled away by plating seven runs on 10 hits over the final two innings.

DeCroock, Dittman and Giebel each contributed two of the team’s nine hits.

The Tigers (10-8) closed out the regular season Tuesday against Holy Angels at Donaldson Park in Richfield. The Section 1AAA tournament gets under way today.