FAIRMONT — Martin County West made a legitimate bid to reverse the undefeated Fairmont during Friday’s non-league baseball action, but the Cardinals’ No. 7-9 batting order tipped the scales in favor of the home team.
Nate Soelter, Brendan Schmidtke and Levi Pooley made 10 combined hits to base, scored eight runs and generated six RBIs to help Fairmont pass Martin County West (17-8) at Fairmont’s Herb Wolf Field.
“The bottom three in the lineup strengthened, highlighted by Levi’s clutch base-loaded triple in the bottom of the second inning to get our offense going today.” said Cardinals head coach Don Waletich, whose side improved to 9-0 overall. “Brendan did a good job in the last three innings closing the door on Martin County West to help us to another win.”
Holding on to a 10-8 lead, Fairmont sent a dozen players to the bottom of the fourth inning to the batter’s box during a crucial seven runs, four hits, to rebuild his lead to nine before relieving Schmidtke at the top of the fifth.
Ironically, Zach Jorgensen skirted a leadoff single – the first of his two hits during the frame – before Jack Kosbab left. Jorgensen scored when Gavin Rodning’s hard shortstop grounder was mishandled to corner the Cardinals in the fourth.
Landen Meyerdirk platted Kosbab down the middle with a sacrifice fly before Sölter drilled a run-scoring triple into the gap at right-center. Sölter crossed the plate with his third run of the game on Schmidtke’s RBI singles for a 14-8 lead.
Pooley drew a walk before Schmidtke scored his third run of the contest on an MCW wildfield. Lincoln Becker pulled a walk before he and Pooley teamed for a double steal. Jorgensen capped the Cardinals’ offensive outburst by hammering a two-run single run down center to give the 17-8 lead.
Schmidtke then, in relief, earned the pitching win by allowing just two hits in three shutout innings on the mound. The Fairmont right-hander batted two and walked two.
Maverick starting pitcher Kain Sanders took the loss, allowing 10 runs — nine earned — with just two hits in 2 1/3 innings of work. Sanders gave up seven walks and dropped two batters without recording a strikeout.
After Wyatt Williamson walked and eventually scored when Brice Enters Grounder to shortstop was misplayed during MCW’s top of the second inning, Fairmont combined Walks to Kosbab, Rodning, Meyerdirk and Schmidtke with Soelter’s RBI fielder’s choice and Pooley’s three-run triple to complete the Swinging momentum back to Fairmont in the last of the second. Eli Anderson added an RBI groundout.
The Mavericks refused to go quietly, however, as Sanders, Christian Bachenberg and Jacob Fiala each drilled doubles to fuel a three-run top from the third and close the gap to 5-4.
Sanders doubled the right field line with two outs, Bachenberg doubled Sanders home before Williamson left. Courtesy runner Cody Potts and Williamson were each circling bases as Fiala lofted a two-run, two-base hit into the right-center gap.
Fairmont responded with five more runs in the home half of the third third to extend his lead. Schmidtke’s single and Anderson’s two-run hit, combined with two plunked batters, three walks and a double steal, gave the Cardinals a 10-4 lead.
The Mavericks benefited from three of the Cardinals’ five errors, while Sanders produced a two-run single on the first baseline to take the visitors to two on the scoreboard 10-8 at the top of the fourth.
Schmidtke went 2-on-2 with two walks, three runs scored and one RBI from Fairmont’s No. 8 batting order, while Soelter went 1-on-2 with two RBIs and three runs scored from No. 7 position. Pooley tripled, walked twice, collected three RBIs and scored twice for the Cardinals.
Jorgensen went 2-for-4 with two RBIs and two runs scored, while Anderson racked up three RBIs as team-best with one hit.
Sanders, Bachenberg and Fiala each collected two hits for MCW, with each batter generating a double. Sanders and Fiala finished with two RBIs each, while Bachenberg added one RBI. Sanders and Williamson each scored twice for the Mavericks.
Fairmont (9-0) heads to Johnson Park in New Ulm on Monday for a 5:30 p.m. Big South Conference game against his hometown Eagles.
Martin County West (4-3) travels to the Blue Earth Area for a non-conference competition at 4:30 p.m. Monday.
MCW 013 400 0 — 8 6 4
FMT 055 700 X — 17 8 5
Kain Sanders (LP), Jesse Potts (3), Riley Kascht (5) and Christian Bachenberg. Landen Meyerdirk, Preston Vaughn (4), Brendan Schmidtke (5, WP) and Zach Jorgensen, Levi Pooley (7).
LOB Fairmont 8; Martin County West 7. 2B – Kain Sanders (MCW), Christian Bachenberg (MCW) and Jacob Fiala (MCW). 3B – Nate Soelter (FMT) and Levi Pooley (FMT). SF Landen Meyerdirk (FMT).