‘Kato VFW coasts by Fairmont

MANKATO – Sam Ahrens fired a three-hitter to guide Mankato to an 11-1, five-inning victory over Fairmont Post 1222 during first-round 2nd District VFW baseball action Thursday at Franklin Rogers Park in Mankato.

Ahrens displayed stellar control by striking out four and not issuing a walk in five innings of work to earn the complete-game win.

Mankato combined 10 hits with eight Fairmont errors to plate double digits in runs, including a seven-run outburst in the top of the third inning.

Nathan Gillis and Clayton Maakestad delivered back-to-back doubles to generate Fairmont’s lone run during the bottom of the fourth.

Maakestad finished 2-for-2, including an RBI double, while Gillis doubled and scored.

Maakestad allowed nine runs – five earned – on seven hits, walked two and hit two batters in 2 2/3 innings to take the loss for Post 1222.

Fairmont (11-5) plays Chaska – an 11-8 first-round loser to Hutchinson – in a 1 p.m. elimination game today at Mankato East.

No score or statistics were reported from Blue Earth’s first-round district game against Shakopee on Thursday in Mankato.