Updated: June 18, 2021 11:11 PM
Created: June 18, 2021 11:08 PM
Farmington scored runs in the first five innings of the Class 4A Championship and eventually held on for a thrilling 12-10 win over Park of Cottage Grove to win their first ever State Baseball title.
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In a day filled with heroics and crowned champions, the most drama was arguably saved for the finale of the 2021 Minnesota State High School League Prep Championship Series on Friday, June 18 at Target Field in downtown Minneapolis. Farmington and Park, two southeast suburban metro teams seeking the first baseball title in their respective school’s histories, engaged in a see-saw battled that featured wide-open offense.
In the end of the marathon that lasted nearly three hours, Farmington held off one last Park surge to record a 12-10 victory to capture the big-school baseball crown and then rejoiced in making program history.
The Tigers (21-6) received hits from every start in the batting order en route to a 16-hit performance that led to runs in the first five innings and created their ninth consecutive victory. The 22 combined runs were the second most scored in a League baseball championship game.
Farmington’s top of the order inflicted the most damage on Park’s pitchers. Senior shortstop and leadoff batter Alex Berreth reached base five times with three hits and two walks. Senior center fielder Carter Hendrickson, batting third in the order, was also on base five times and scored four runs. Junior designated hitter Ethan Coyer, batting cleanup, drilled a three-run double in the second inning. Later, he hit a sacrifice fly and singled home a run. Senior third baseman Garrett Meihofer, batted fifth, and drove in two runs, as did senior second baseman Noah Drusch.
The offense was free wheeling from the start. Farmington scored three runs in the first and second innings for an early 6-2 advantage. The Wolfpack, though, sent 10 batters to the plate in the third, scoring four times to tie the score at 6-all. Meihofer’s two-run double was the key hit as the Tigers came back with four runs of their own to grab the lead for good at 10-6.
Farmington pushed two more runs across for a seemingly safe 12-6 lead after six innings.
But as the game had dictate throughout, the Wolfpack were far from done as they loaded the bases with one out in the seventh inning. Senior center fielder Ben Johnson cleared them with a booming double to make inch the Wolfpack closer to 12-9. After an out, junior Sam Jenski singled. Junior Will Smoot, playing first base, followed with a hit to score Johnson. But the rally would end there as Farmington junior reliever Hunter Frost, who earned the save, coaxed Park senior Clayton Beaurline to fly out to right to end the circus-style championship game.
Junior right-hander Kyle Hrncir, who worked the first four innings, earned the win for the Tigers. Junior Sam Janski, who relieved starter Conor Mestemacher in the second inning, took the loss for Park (20-7). Senior Tucker Novotny had three hits to pace the Wolfpack’s 15-hit attack.
Courtesy: Minnesota State High School League
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