Matt Steichen has been the sports editor at the Farmington Independent and Rosemount Town Pages since 2007. He holds a bachelor’s degree in journalism and mass communications from Briar Cliff University in Sioux City, Iowa. He has previously been a sports writer at the Sioux City Journal and Le Mars Daily Sentinel and the sports editor at the Austin Daily Herald.
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At the conclusion of the legion baseball summer season, the top 12 teams in the 32-team district vote on the next best eight teams that will join them in the playoffs. Farmington's Post 189 Legion baseball team entered the final day of the season with a shot at sneaking into the field, but a pair of 10-run-rule losses to a tough Eastview team left them on the outside of the playoff picture with a record of 8-12. "This group was honestly a good group. They were competitive and they had fun. We were just on the cusp of making (the playoffs)," Farmington coach Andy Pierskalla said.
A three-run lead with three outs to go in what coach Shane Ferrozzo called "by far the best game we played all year" was all that separated Farmington's Babe Ruth League baseball team from a trip to the state tournament. Unfortunately, Apple Valley had the last at-bat in a back-and-forth battle and plated four runs in the bottom of the ninth inning to eek out a 10-9 win in Saturday's championship game of the Southeast Division playoff at Alimagnet Field in Burnsville. Apple Valley led 4-0 before Tyler Landry came out of the bullpen to post four shutout innings.
Farmington's Legion baseball season was nearly over by the time Post 189 got to play at home for the first time Sunday afternoon. Several cancelled games, rescheduled games and rain-outs led to Farmington playing 15 straight road games to start the summer season. The results were mixed in the team's first attempt at playing host. Post 189 followed a 4-0 win over Faribault in Game 1 with a 5-4 loss in Game 2. Starter Cody Carlson pitched Post 189 to victory in the opener, allowing Faribault just one hit in a complete-game shutout effort.
With no season-ending playoff to work toward, the Farmington VFW baseball team's main focus has been getting its act together in time for a good showing at the 24-team Eagan Tournament. Post 7662 was able to do just that over the weekend as it beat Holy Angels and host Eagan before bowing out to Lakeville South 11-8 in the semifinals. The fourth-place finish was the team's highest tournament showing in the last several years. "It was a pretty loaded tournament with Shoreview, Eden Prairie, Benilde, both Bloomington teams, Mounds View, Elk River, both Lakeville teams, St.
Farmington's Babe Ruth League baseball team will have to have a short memory if it wants to qualify for the upcoming state tournament in Eden Prairie. The Combines were swept 12-2 and 9-8 against Apple Valley last Tuesday night in their final two games before tonight's playoffs get under way in Burnsville. Only the winner advances from the three-team, double-elimination bracket, which also features Apple Valley and Woodbury. "Those are both teams we can play with as long as we can avoid the big innings that have haunted us so far this year," said Farmington coach Shane Ferrozzo.
The focus and energy Farmington VFW baseball coach Jared Rowan had been looking for from his players presented itself during a couple of well-played games last week. Unfortunately for Post 7662, the team's adjustments didn't produce better results. Shakopee won a 5-2 pitchers dual Tuesday and Prior Lake rallied for a 6-5 victory Wednesday. "I'm proud of the way we played last week," Rowan said. "We've been stressing that we need to stay focused for every inning of every game and we did that last week. The bats weren't as good as usual, but that happens in baseball.
Farmington's Legion team followed up its biggest win of the season with a doubleheader sweep at the hands of Northfield Tuesday night in Dundas. Post 189, which handed the previously-unbeaten St. Cloud Chutes their first loss of the season Friday night in St. Cloud, made two errors in Tuesday's 4-3 opener before issuing 12 walks in a 12-8 setback in the nightcap. "Everybody had the weekend off to rest and we have a lot of pitchers. For some reason we just could not throw strikes today," said Farmington coach Andy Pierskalla.
There are no official statistics that track the accomplishments of all the players that have ever suited up for the Farmington High School softball team. Nevertheless, it's safe to say very few Tigers have put up career numbers that compare with those of recently-graduated senior Sam Jensen. Jensen finished with a career average of .554, clubbing 174 hits in 314 at bats. She scored 118 runs, drove in 58, stole 29 bases, ripped 46 extra-base hits and had an on-base percentage of .617 while striking out just 13 times.
Before severe thunderstorms moved into the metro area Friday night, Farmington's Legion Post 189 baseball team squeezed in an abbreviated 1-0 victory over Hastings. Post 189 had just two hits in the five-inning contest, but they were enough to produce a run in the bottom half of the fourth inning. Justin Tang got aboard with a single and scored the game's lone run on Danny Tutewohl's one-out double. Justin Lavey got the start on the mound and worked five quick shutout innings to pick up the win. He allowed four Hastings hits, walked one and struck out four.
Just a couple more timely hits could have been the difference between two wins and two losses for Farmington's VFW baseball team last week. As it stands, Post 7662 lost a pair of games, 7-6 and 6-4, while leaving a total of 21 runners on base. The team now finds itself with a record of 2-8 that coach Jared Rowan knows could be a lot better if the team could play more consistently and catch a few breaks here and there." "We've started off games better, but we've got to learn to finish. We need to play a complete game," Rowan said.