11 April 2014

Baseball: Eight-run fifth carries Tigers past Stars

Johnny Dittman knocked in three runs and scored two (photo by Jim Lindquist)
Farmington (2-0) rallied from a 3-2 deficit to plate eight runs in the home half of the fifth inning to down Holy Angels 10-8 in a Missota Conference shootout Friday afternoon at Tiger Field.

The win was the second in as many days for the Tigers who shut down Hastings 7-1 on Thursday.

"Quite a game," Tiger coach Jon Graff said. "I don't think there was a ball that was softly hit. Both teams brought their bats and really put a spanking on the ball. 

"There were also numerous big plays like Bobby Eckert's dive to turn a double play  and JD Hinks' dive and throw to get an out that kept the leadoff guy off the bases...It's the little things that sometimes go unnoticed that determines the success of a team."

The hard-hitting Stars drew first blood with a three-run second inning before the Tigers scored two of their own in the third on Parker Holmstrom's double and RBI hits by Johnny Dittman and Austin Martinsen.

The score remained a 3-2 until the home half of the fifth when Farmington sent 13 batters to the plate and smacked eight hits, six singles and doubles by Martinsen and Ryan Giebel, to score eight runs. Giebel had a pair of hits in the uprising.

"The kids really changed their approach at the plate after the first inning and started attacking the ball," Graff said. "They really knocked it around."

The Stars didn't go quietly, however, taking advantage of four Farmington walks in the sixth to score five times and cut their deficit to two runs.

Martinsen and Kyle Johnson each came out of the bullpen in relief of winning pitcher Jordan Beschorner in the sixth with Johnson picking up the save with 1 2/3 innings of work.

Nick Schoening drove in two runs (photo by Jim Lindquist)
The Tigers finished with 15 hits and did not commit an error in the field. Holmstrom, who had a pair of hits in Thursday's opener, went 3-4 and scored a pair of runs. Martinsen, Giebel, Jordan DeCroock and Hinks each collected two hits for the winners.

Dittman knocked in three runs and Giebel and Nick Schoening each drove in two. Dittman and Eckert each scored twice.

The Tigers rest their perfect record over the weekend, returning to action Monday when they start a four games-in-four days stretch with a non-conference home contest against Faribault.