Fairmont VFW edges Mapleton, 6-5

FAIRMONT – The Fairmont VFW Post 1222 baseball team held on to down Mapleton Post 5338, 6-5, on Wednesday at Herb Wolf Field.

Fairmont plated a pair of runs in the second and third innings to take a lead, but Mapleton scored four runs in the final two innings to make it a one-run game.

Matt Lytle drove in a pair of runs to put Fairmont up 5-1 in the third inning.

Jack Waletich walked to start off the bottom of the inning for Fairmont.

Ben Abel then earned a walk to put runners on first and second.

A bunt to the pitcher off the bat of Nathan Gillis moved Waletich and Abel over before Lytle scorched a hit past the Mapleton third baseman, scoring both runners.

“There wasn’t a lot of rhythm in the game. It is hard for hitters and pitchers when there are a lot of walks and not a lot of action happening,” said Fairmont VFW Post 1222 head coach Don Waletich.

Mapleton’s Jared Moore smacked a double to score the visitors’ first run in the top of the third inning to break the shutout. A double off the bat of Drew Beck in the sixth started Mapleton’s two-run rally to make it a one-run game.

Fairmont starting pitcher Cole Emler pitched 4 1/3 innings, allowing two runs on one hit, striking out four and walking two.

Post 1222 reliever Rodney Engstrom pitched the final 1 2/3 innings, striking out two and walking one to hold off Mapleton and earn the save.

“Tonight we scored enough runs to win,” said Don Waletich. “They just wouldn’t go away. We were able to get some good pitching and held them off at the end.”

Parker Monsen scored what proved to be the game-winning run after walking in the fourth inning.

Emler, Tyler Tennyson and Jack Waletich each drew walks, eventually bringing Monsen home.

“We had some good at-bats even though it was tough and were able to score some runs, so that was good,” said Don Waletich.

Lytle and Jack Waletich each went 1-for-1 with a run scored and Lytle added his pair of RBIs to lead Fairmont’s offensive efforts.

Abel and Emler each added hits, with Abel driving in a run.

Kale Fritz and Tennyson each added the other Fairmont runs in the win.

Cody Warneke pitched the first four innings for Mapleton, allowing six runs on one hit, striking out two and walking 10 to take the loss.

Noah Greenfield pitched the final two innings, allowing just two hits, striking out two and walking two in relief.

While Emler started and Engstrom closed, Zach Ramos pitched the fifth inning for Fairmont, allowing two runs on one hit and walking two to earn no decision.

Fairmont (7-6) travels to Sleepy Eye today for a 5 p.m. doubleheader against Post 800.

M’ton 001 022 0 – 5 3 1

Fmt 122 100 x – 6 4 4

Cole Emler (WP), Zach Ramos (5), Rodney Engstrom (6, Sv) and Ben Abel. Cody Warneke (LP), Noah Greenfield (5) and Nick Steinhauser.

LOB-Mapleton 11, Fairmont 7. 2B-Jared Moore (M) and Drew Beck (M).