11 May 2014

Baseball: Red-hot Tigers sweep Storm

Johnny Dittman's strong defense behind the plate aided in the sweep (photo by Jim Lindquist)
The Tigers continued their winning ways Saturday, sweeping a Missota Conference doubleheader at Chanhassen.

The visitors, who have now won seven of their last eight games, breezed to a 13-1 win in the opener behind the five-hit pitching of Parker Holmstrom and then outlasted the Storm 9-8 in the nightcap.

"It can be really tough to sweep a doubleheader," coach Jon Graff said. "It becomes such a long day and so much can happen.

"Parker came out in the first game and threw another gem of a game, and our defense was great all day, playing error free ball in both games."

The opening game wasn't quite as lopsided as the final score indicated with the Tigers leading just 1-0 after three innings. Four runs in the fourth gave Holmstrom some breathing room. Two more scores in the fifth and a big six-run seventh closed out the rout.

Jordan Beschorner 5 RBI in doubleheader
Holmstrom had to pitch out of a couple of mini-jams but for the most part remained in control. He struck out four batters and walked one.

Holmstrom also led the winners at the plate with a 3-4 afternoon with two runs batted in and two runs scored. Bobby Eckert and Jordan DeCroock added two hits apiece.

JD Hinks drove in three runs and Austin Martinsen, Landon Neilsen and Jordan Beschorner each knocked in two. Neilsen, DeCroock, Bescorner and Ryan Giebel all scored twice.

Maverick Carlson scattered 11 hits in 5.66 innings to pick up the pitching victory in game two. Martinsen came in with two out in the sixth to put down a Storm uprising and then hurled a scoreless seventh to record the save.

Farmington (10-4) scored seven of its nine runs in the second inning when it rapped seven hits and sent 11 batters to the plate.

Holmstrom, Neilsen, Beschorner and Johnny Dittman each had a pair of safeties to lead the 13-hit offensive attack.

"All nine starters got hits and we got 25 hits for the day, Graff said, "and that's fantastic."

Beschorner finished the nightcap with three runs batted in and Martinsen and Dittman each had two. Beschorner and Nick Schoening each scored twice.

Graff said all of the offensive fireworks shouldn't overshadow fine defensive performances by Dittman and Beschorner.

"Johnny can shut down a team's running game almost all by himself," he said. "There were numerous times he smothered the ball in the dirt today and prevented anyone from advancing. Pitchers have to trust their catchers to work hard and do that, which is exactly what he's been doing.

"Jordan has been getting more time at shortstop lately and has really shown good range and he made some great plays. He seems really comfortable there."

The Tigers will try to continue their climb up the Missota Conference ladder Monday when they travel to Richfield to take on Holy Angels at Donaldson Park.