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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Even though this year's VFW baseball team finished with a record a little under the .500 mark, assistant coach Tyler Luhman believes some of his players will be ready to contribute to the Farmington varsity squad by the time next spring rolls around. "Our record doesn't show it, but I felt like this year we had a really talented team, and I have a feeling a lot of these guys are going to be playing or challenging for varsity spots," Luhman said.
Twenty Farmington residents competed in Saturday's Run for the Gold road race in Rosemount. The top Farmington finisher was Chris Mergens, who placed fifth overall out of 195 runners in the four-mile race with a time of 23 minutes, 43 seconds. Rick Schuldt was 26th overall and first in his age group in a time of 28:54 and Dallen Schnichels was 32nd overall and seventh in his age group in 29:25. The top female finisher from Farmington was Lisa Kresky-Griffin, who crossed the finish line 40th overall and fifth out of the 91 women in the race with a time of 30:16.
Jake Baskerville led off the game with a triple, but Farmington couldn't get the big hit to bring him home. That set the tone in Monday's night's 5-0 shutout loss at Minnetonka. Minnetonka used two pitchers to hold the VFW to five hits over seven innings - one apiece from Baskerville, Ty Vincent, Nate Graham, Nick Newman and Ryan Schoening. "We just couldn't get the big hit. We had our chances," VFW coach Jared Rowan said.
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.