26 April 2014

Baseball: A split at Red Wing

Parker Holmstrom 4-hit shutout in the nightcap
The Tigers earned a split of a Missota Conference doubleheader played Friday at Red Wing, dropping the opener 4-1 before coming back for a 2-0 victory in the nightcap.

The 1-1 showing in Goodhue County left Farmington with a season record of 4-3, including a 2-3 mark in conference play.

Starter Parker Holmstrom pitched well enough to win in the first game, going 4.66 innings and allowing just two earned runs while striking out three and walking none. Maverick Carlson was also effective in relief, working 1.33 innings and striking out three.

The major problem was the Tiger offense managed just three hits and one run.

"We really struggled at the plate in game one, trying to do too much and over-swinging at times," coach Jon Graff said. "Fourteen of our 21 outs were fly balls, and that's just making it too easy on the defense.  

"This was something we really stressed in practice the other day, staying on top of the ball and driving it, but we were just a bit off in this game."

The Wingers scored two runs in the third inning and then added a pair of insurance scores in the fifth.

The lone Farmington run came in the top of the fourth on a single by Austin Martinsen and a sacrifice fly by Nick Schoening.  Jordan DeCroock and Ryan Giebel had the other Tiger hits, both singles.

The bats were still relatively quiet in the nightcap but Holmstrom made two runs look like 20 with a sterling pitcher performance. The righthander threw a four-hit shutout at the Wingers, striking out 13 and walking only one.

"Parker had probably one of the best outings I've seen in 17 years here at Farmington," Graff said. "He was truly dominating,including a stretch where he struck out eight in a row.

"He didn't lose any velocity or control and seemed to pick his spots, mixing in his off-speed with a fastball that was really humming."

Both of the Farmington runs were manufactured by quality at-bats. In the second, Holmstrom reached on a fielder's choice, stole second, moved to third on a ground out by Schoening and scored on a hit by Beschorner.

An inning later, Johnny Dittman singled, stole second, advanced to third on Bobby Eckert's ground ball and raced home on Jordan DeCroock's sacrifice fly.

Landon Neilsen had two of the five Tiger hits. Dittman, Holmstrom and Beschorner accounted for the other three.  

Tuesday (April 29) the Tigers return to action with a Missota Conference home game with New Prague.