Blue, SE eliminated

SLEEPY EYE – Ryan Noll’s sacrifice fly in the top of the 10th inning scored Parker Monson and Jay Ruen set down Sleepy Eye in order in the bottom of the inning as Fairmont Post 36 eliminated Sleepy Eye 3-2 Friday afternoon in the Sub-State 2, D-I American Legion Baseball Tournament at the Sleepy Eye Ballpark.

Ruen got the win for Fairmont, scattering seven Sleepy Eye hits. The righthander struck out three and walked one.

Mike Hirsch took the season-ending loss for Post 7. Hirsch also went all 10 innings allowing 10 hits and fanning four.

Monson and Luke Becker each had two hits for Fairmont.

Matt Berkner had three hits and drove in two runs for Sleepy Eye.

“Overall, it was a very competitive game,” said Sleepy Eye coach Scott Salfer who saw his team’s season end with a 6-11 record. “Both pitchers threw pretty well and it was a pretty clean played game but we had a couple of errors that cost us right at the end.”

And it was the only unearned run of the game that was the biggest.

Tied at 2 going into the top of the 10th, Monson started the eventual game-winning rally with an infield single. Luke Becker followed with a line single to leftfield. Jack Waletich followed with a bunt in front of the plate. First baseman Sam Hirschboeck attempted to field the ball but dropped it, loading the bases with no outs.

Hirsch got Tyler Tenneson popped out to second for the first out before Noll drove a fly ball to left fielder David Surprenant, which was deep enough to let Monson tag and score.

Fairmont had taken a 2-0 lead in the top of the first on consecutive singles from Monson, Becker and Waletich and a groundout.

But those two runs that Hirsch allowed until the 10th inning.

Meanwhile Post 7 was scrambling to get back in the game,

In the bottom of the first inning, Brandon Helget doubled with two outs but was stranded.

In the fifth, Sleepy Eye scored a run but left two men on base in the process.

Jay Helget doubled with one out and Jake Mielke was hit by a pitch with two outs. Berkner drove in Helget with a single but Ruen retired Surprenant on an inning-ending strikeout.

Post 7 added another single run in the seventh to tie the game but Fairmont ended the inning with a double play.

“We had some key hits but we could have used a few more,” said Salfer. “We left too many runners on base (seven).”

Salfer said that he was happy with the way his team played this season.

“We were missing some guys for quite a few of our games but we played competitively.”

Sleepy Eye had earned its way to play Fairmont with a 12-4 win over New Ulm Blue earlier in the day at Stark.

Mike Zinniel got the win for Sleepy Eye, going nine innings and fanning four.

Bailey Batt took the loss for Blue, who finished the season at 9-19.

Surprenant and Hirsch each had four hits for Sleepy Eye with Brandon Helget driving in three runs.

Matt Rowley and Alex Guggisberg each had three hits for Blue.

New Ulm had a 2-0 lead going into the bottom of the fifth when Sleepy Eye scored four runs after two were out.

Sleepy Eye added two more in the seventh and then added six runs in the eighth.

“We did not have the pitching to get through another nine innings” said New Ulm Blue coach Mike Munce. “We brought in a guy who does not normally throw (Alex Stark) and it got out of hand at the end. We just did not have the pitching to go through this long of a season.”

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