Fairmont wins 3AA crown with 2 wins over New Ulm
The fifth-ranked Fairmont Cardinals won back-to-back games against New Ulm Thursday to claim the Section 3AA championship for the third straight season and advance to the state tournament.
The Cardinals had dropped into the losers' bracket after getting upset by Morris Area/Chokio-Alberta in the third round last Thursday, but gave itself a shot at the title after beating Marshall 5-4 Saturday in eight innings and getting revenge against MA/C-A Tuesday with a 7-2 win.
Needing to defeat ninth-ranked New Ulm twice on Thursday at Legion Field in Marshall to get to state, Fairmont took the first game 3-2 in eight innings, then beat the Eagles 8-3 in the deciding game to clinch the section crown.
Fairmont (24-3 overall) will face the Section 8AA champion at 12:30 p.m. next Thursday in the Class AA state quarterfinals in St. Cloud. The Cardinals' 24 wins is a new single-season victory total. New Ulm ends its season at 19-7.
Fairmont freshman pitcher Spencer Chirpich earned the win in Game 1, giving up two runs on six hits and striking out four batters in seven innings.
The Cardinals scored the winning run in the top of the eighth when Michael Forster knocked in Levi Becker with an RBI single. Luke Becker took the mound for Fairmont in the bottom of the inning and shut down the Eagles to earn the save.
Fairmont trailed 3-0 through four innings of the second game before scoring its first run of the game in the fifth. The Cardinals pulled through with four runs in the sixth and three in the seventh for the 8-3 win.
Mitch Pfingsten led Fairmont at the plate in Game 2. He had three hits and three RBIs, including a two-run single that capped the Cardinals' three-run seventh.
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NU 000 001 10 - 2 7 1
FHS 000 014 3 - 8 10 1
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Haas powers LQPV?to 3A title over Windom
Left-handed swinging Sam Haas sent the ball over the fence twice Thursday - once in the bottom of the third inning and again in the bottom of the sixth - to help spark Lac qui Parle Valley to the Section 3A championship with a 10-1 victory over Windom in the finals at Richter Field.
The Eagles (16-9 overall) advance to next week's Class A state tournament where they will play the Section 7A champion Ely Timberwolves (20-3) at 12:30 p.m. Thursday at the Chaska Athletic Park.
Haas (2-for-4) snapped a 1-1 tie with a three-run homer over the right-field fence in the third. His two-run shot over the barrier in left-center field in the sixth capped a five-run LQPV inning, increasing the Eagles' lead to nine.
Two batters earlier, Eagles' leadoff hitter Colby Siegert (3-for-3, two runs, four RBI) lifted a towering three-run shot over the right-field fence, giving LQPV an 8-1 lead.
Dylan Erickson, who was 3-for-4 at the plate, scored two runs and drove in a fourth-inning run for the Eagles, who had 13 hits in the game and committed no errors.
Brandon Bornhorst pitched a complete-game gem for LQPV, striking out nine Windom hitters, while scattering four hits without not issuing a single walk.
Windom, which finished its season 10-15, had all of its hits in the first four innings. They took a 1-0 lead in the top of third on a two-out RBI single by Drake Borsgard, driving in Tim Larson who had knocked a one-out double up against the left-field fence.
But, Bornhorst retired 10 straight Windom batters after the Eagles started the fourth frame with a single and had a runner reach after being hit by a pitch.
Windom's only baserunner in the last three innings came on a one-out hit batsman in the top of the seventh.
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LQPV004 105 X-10 13 0