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Fairmont beats WHS baseball squad, stays unbeaten

Worthington played Fairmont tough for six innings Thursday, but five unearned runs in the seventh led to a 10-2 Cardinals baseball win.

Worthington's Cooper McCoy (16) signals the catcher to hold the ball as Fairmont's Landen Meyerdirk (10) takes third base Thursday in Worthington.
Worthington's Cooper McCoy (16) signals the catcher to hold the ball as Fairmont's Landen Meyerdirk (10) takes third base Thursday in Worthington.
Tim Middagh / The Globe

WORTHINGTON -- It might not seem like much in a 10-2 loss, but for six innings the Worthington High School baseball team played some pretty good baseball. A five-run seventh, however, broke open what had otherwise been a well-played game and the Fairmont Cardinals ran their spring record to 11-0 Thursday at Worthington’s middle school baseball field.

WHS head coach Skyler Wenninger was frustrated after the final out was made.

“I feel like we sometimes take two steps forward and one step back,” he said as he walked off the field. “Too many times at the end of the game we’re talking about the same thing.”

Worthington Trojans center fielder Isaiah Nobel throws a cough ball to second  base to stop the Fairmont Cardinals from advancing the runners during a Thursday evening game.
Worthington Trojans center-fielder Isaiah Noble throws a caught ball to second base Thursday against Fairmont.
Tim Middagh / The Globe

All of Fairmont’s five seventh-inning runs were unearned off Trojans relief pitcher Cooper McCoy. Through the first six frames, Worthington defenders played errorless ball.

Starting pitcher Tucker Brandner pitched well. He threw strikes, walking only one -- a fact Wenninger noted as one of the game’s positive aspects. When the Trojans went to bat, they put a lot of balls in play, but a solid Fairmont defense made virtually every play.

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Perhaps, though, they should have put more balls in play. Again, as it almost always has this spring, Wenninger came back to his team’s less-than-aggressive approach in the batter’s box.

Over the first three innings, said the coach, the Trojans took too many pitches. Indeed, Fairmont starting pitcher Landen Meyerdirk sent the home team down 1-2-3 in each of the first three frames.

“Somehow, we have to find the energy and confidence to just compete in every at bat,” Wenninger said.

Fairmont scored twice in the first inning off Brandner on an RBI single by Jack Kosbab and a sacrifice fly by Nate Soelter. Another run scored in the second as Levi Pooley stroked a run-scoring triple.

Worthington finally put up some offense in the fourth as center-fielder Isaiah Noble led off with a single, but he was thrown out attempting to steal second base. Jake Brandner followed with a single and, with two out, stole second. Triston Sauerbrei walked, but a Blake Ahrenstorff ground ball to shortstop ended the threat.

Both of the Trojans’ runs came in the sixth against new Fairmont pitcher Preston Vaughn. A shot up the middle by Noble, leading off again, might have gone for a hit against any other team, but the Cardinals fielded it cleanly and threw him out. Brandner then hit a double. An infield hit by Coy Turner put runners on first and third base. Sauerbrei was hit by a pitch to load the sacks. Ahrenstorff hit a sacrifice fly for the first run and a wild pitch scored pinch runner Tucker Brandner from third.

In the top of the seventh, however, Fairmont put a man on first on a two-out WHS infield error. Several more hits, and one more error, followed.

Worthington is 3-9 on the season.

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Fairmont 210 020 5 -- 10 12 0

Worthington 000 002 0 -- 2 4 2

Doug Wolter joined the Worthington Globe in December of 1983 as a sports reporter. He later became sports editor, and then news editor and managing editor. In 2006 he moved to Mankato with his wife, Sandy, and served as an editor at the Mankato Free Press. In 2013 he and Sandy returned to Worthington to take up the job of sports editor at The Globe, and they have been in Worthington since.

Doug can be reached at dwolter@dglobe.com.
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