Sleepy Eye edges Fairmont

FAIRMONT – Sleepy Eye Post 800 Gray plated three runs in the top of the sixth inning to snap a 2-2 tie before fending off Fairmont Post 1222’s late rally to claim a 5-4 VFW baseball victory on Tuesday night at Herb Wolf Field.

Trailing 5-2, Jack Waletich unleashed a towering RBI triple to deep center field to plate Evan Closs, who had drawn a leadoff walk to set the table for Fairmont during the home half of the sixth.

Waletich later crossed the plate on Eli Green’s sacrifice fly to slice Post 1222’s gap to one before Sleepy Eye ace right-hander Kyle Windschitl worked out of the mini-jam.

Windschitl, who hurled a four-hit complete game, worked a 1-2-3 bottom of the seventh to seal his victory. He allowed four runs – three earned – recorded three strikeouts and issued just two walks.

“We looked like we had too much time off over the holiday weekend. We weren’t crisp on defense and our timing at the plate was a bit off,” said Fairmont head coach Todd Sukalski, whose lineup had not stepped onto the diamond since last Wednesday.

Sleepy Eye leadoff batter Cole Owens triggered the visitors’ tiebreaking offensive efforts with one out during the top of the sixth.

Owens legged out an infield hit and motored to second base on a wild pitch. Nic Helget, who went 2-for-3, drew a walk from Fairmont starting pitcher Eli Green before Windschitl assisted his own cause by legging out a high chopper by the mound to load the bases.

Logan Zuhlsdorf delivered an RBI single to left to snap the 2-all tie before Fairmont second baseman Matt Larson prevented another run from scoring by gloving Caleb Berg’s grounder and pegging a strike to catcher Tyler Tennyson for the forceout.

Alex Woitas and Migueas Alvarez, however, delivered back-to-back RBI singles to extend Sleepy Eye’s margin to 5-2.

Post 800 literally stole the game’s first run during the top of the first. Helget doubled with one out, wheeled to third on Windschitl’s single and scored when Windschitl was thrown out trying to steal second.

Helget then reached on an error to open the fourth, swiped second, took third on Windschitl’s fielder’s choice and trotted home on Zuhlsdorf’s sacrifice fly.

Fairmont answered with two runs in the bottom of the fourth. Carter Lloyd walked, stole second, moved 90 more feet on Closs’ dropped third strike and slid safely home on Christian Engeman’s executed suicide-squeeze bunt.

Waletich later reached on an infield hit with two out, swiped second and scored the tying run when Green’s hard-hit grounder was mishandled.

Mark Washa added a hit for Fairmont, while Helget and Windschitl each collected two hits to pace Sleepy Eye.

Green allowed five runs – four earned – on eight hits, struck out three and issued one walk in seven innings of work to take the loss for Post 1222.

Fairmont VFW (7-3) hosts Sleepy Eye 16s at 5:30 p.m. Thursday at Herb Wolf Field.

Sleepy Eye Gray (5-4) travels to Minnesota Lake tonight.

SE 100 103 0 – 5 8 5

FMT 000 202 0 – 4 4 2

Kyle Windschitl (WP) and Collen Gemmill. Eli Green (LP) and Tyler Tennyson.

LOB-Fairmont 8; Sleepy Eye 4. 2B-Nic Helget (SE). 3B-Jack Waletich (F). SF-Green (F) and Logan Zuhlsdorf (SE).