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Section 3AA baseball: Windom Area comes up short against Fairmont

WINDOM -- In the bottom of the sixth inning, a hard line drive single by Collin Steuber snapped a 2-2 tie and led Fairmont to a 4-2 victory over Windom Area Tuesday night in the Section 3AA baseball tournament.

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Windom Area pitcher Luke Gilbertson bears down against Fairmont Tuesday night in Section 3AA baseball action in Windom. (Doug Wolter/The Globe)

WINDOM -- In the bottom of the sixth inning, a hard line drive single by Collin Steuber snapped a 2-2 tie and led Fairmont to a 4-2 victory over Windom Area Tuesday night in the Section 3AA baseball tournament.

Windom Area, which lost a tough 1-0 game on Saturday to Luverne (the top seed from the South) could not hold a 2-0 lead through three and a half innings on Tuesday at home, and their season ended while Fairmont’s goes on.

Action resumes Saturday. In Marshall at noon, Luverne will play Paynesville in the winner’s bracket semifinals. Also in Marshall at 5 p.m., in a loser’s bracket game, Minnewaska takes on Pipestone Area. At 7 p.m., Fairmont will contend with New London-Spicer.

Luverne defeated New London-Spicer 14-6 on Tuesday as Paynesville topped Pipestone Area 3-1. In the other Tuesday game, Minnewaska Area overcame Morris Area/Chokio-Alberta. Jake Haugen had three hits while Declan Beers, Jaxon Nelson and Derek Lundgren each had two for Luverne, which scored 10 runs in the fourth inning.

In Windom, the Eagles were unable to win behind a sterling pitching performance from senior Luke Gilbertson, who went five and two-thirds innings Saturday in the Luverne game. On Tuesday, he went the distance.

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He was spotted a 2-0 lead in the second inning as WAHS scored twice. Connor Redman started the rally with a one-out double and Noah Kloss followed with a single and stole second base. A sacrifice fly by Kyle Espenson plated the first run, and the second came home on a Fairmont infield error.

Gilbertson, a hard-throwing right-hander, saw the Cardinals load the bases with nobody out in the third inning but fail to score. He could not hold the dike in the fourth, however, and two more came home in the sixth aided by a Windom Area infield error.

“Without Luke Gilbertson, it could have been 10 to 2,” said veteran Windom Area head coach Brad Schlomann. “He tried to carry a young team here -- a team that’s very young in key positions. And he carried them well.”

Fairmont, the No. 3 seed in the South half of the section and a team that scored 10 or more runs eight times in the regular season, didn’t get a hit off Gilbertson until the third inning.

FHS finished with six hits in the game. Windom Area (the fourth seed) had three, but swung the bats well throughout.

“The kids came to the section tournament to play. We played really well. The atmosphere here … I told them that that’s the best hour and 47 minutes I’ve seen in two years,” said Schlomann. “I felt we hit the ball hard. I really think we had four hits. We put the ball in play. Offensively, that’s usually where we need improvement.”

Windom Area 020 000 0 -- 2 3 2Fairmont 000 202 -- 4 6 1

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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