The Farmington Legion Post 189 baseball team competed in the Sub-State 5 playoffs this past week and came within one game of advancing to the legion baseball state tournament. The Tigers were the No. 2 seed and won their first two games on Wednesday, July 25, and Thursday, July 26-4-3 against No. 7 East Ridge and 6-1 over No. 3 St. Paul Park-before they lost to No. 1 Woodbury Blue 12-2 on Friday, July 27.
With the playoffs being double elimination, Farmington then dropped to the consolation bracket where they faced off against St. Paul Park again on Saturday and won 4-3 in a game that saw plenty of fireworks. They then played Woodbury Blue a second time in the championship on Sunday, but lost 5-4 to end their summer season.
Farmington and St. Paul Park met for a second time on Saturday, July 28, in an elimination game to see who would face Woodbury Blue in the championship game. It was a beautiful day that was quickly marred by events in the top of the first inning.
A St. Paul Park batter was ejected for arguing balls and strikes with the umpire while both parties had conflicting stories over whether the player had used "foul language," according to tournament director Bruce Barron. The team's coach then confronted the umpire, yelling about "stories not matching up," and when asked to return to his dugout, became so agitated he threw an entire bucket of balls onto the field. The coach was then ejected and play was stopped until he could be escorted off the field.
Despite the ugly start, Park was able to score one run in that inning to take an early lead, but Farmington answered as they drew four walks in the inning and Gavin Renwick scored on an RBI fielder's choice by Alex Mach. Park scored again in the third to go up 2-1 after some Farmington walks and an error, but again the Tigers answered with an RBI single by Jacob Gorden that brought in Shain Kimmes. In the fourth, St. Paul Park took a 3-2 lead and the score would stay that way until the bottom of the seventh.
Park led 3-2 heading to the bottom of the seventh, the last chance for the Tigers, and quickly got the first out. However, from there Gorden walked and Riley Polson singled. Matt Higgins reached on an error that scored Gorden to tie the game. With two outs, Brady Bean singled and then Hunter Conrad reached on another Park error, which scored Polson to win the game for Farmington 4-3.
Bean pitched the first four innings and gave up three runs (two earned) on three hits and two walks with four strikeouts. He was relieved by T.J. Bergland who threw three shutout innings with three hits, one walk, one hit batsman and two strikeouts to earn the win. As a team, Farmington only managed seven total hits and were led by Bean who had two. Their RBI came from Mach and Gorden, while Renwick and Kimmes both walked twice apiece.