16 April 2014

Baseball: Northfield hands Tigers first loss

Parker Holmstrom is batting .571 through 4 games (photo by Jim Lindquist)
Northfield had to work overtime to do it but the Raiders edged the Tigers 7-4 in eight innings Tuesday afternoon at Tiger Field to hand coach Jon Graff's team its first loss in four games.

The visitors used three walks, two hits and a Tiger error to score the deciding runs in the top of the first extra inning.

"We had our chances, stranding 12 guys on base," Tiger coach Jon Graff said. "We just didn't come through with that big hit and seemed to wait to get things going until there were two outs.

"We faced the toughest pitchers we've seen this year. We battled and gave ourselves chances. That was promising."

Farmington took a 1-0 lead in the second when Parker Holmstrom was hit by a pitch, Jordan Beschorner singled and starting pitcher JD Hinks reached on an error.

After the Raiders tied it in the top of the third, Farmington used a triple by Jordan DeCroock and a run-scoring single by Nick Schoening to re-take the lead.

The visitors pulled back in front 4-2 in the top of the fourth on a couple of hits and three costly Tiger errors.

"We let the ball eat us up a bit in that inning." Graff said. "All of those rune were unearned."

The Tigers battled back in the home half of the sixth on singles by Landon Nielsen and Holmstrom and a Raider error.

JD Hinks owns a 0.54 ERA in two starts (photo by Jim Lindquist)
Hinks pitched well through his six innings of work, scattering six hits and allowing just one earned run. Austin Martinsen pitched a scoreless seventh in relief and got one out in the eighth before Kyle Johnson came on to get the final two outs.

DeCroock made it six hits in his last nine at-bats with a 2-5 day. Holmstrom ran his multiple-hit game streak to four with a 2-3 performance with two runs scored. Martinsen had a pair runs batted in.

"This was a good match-up tonight," Graff said. "It gives us a good idea of what to expect coming up as we continue through the Missota schedule."

Wednesday the Tigers travel to New Prague and Thursday they're back on the road to Chanhassen for Missota Conference games.