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Fairmont blanks Roseau in Class 2A state championship game

The Rams fell in their first state championship game appearance

Baseball
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Fundamental plays proved fantastic for the Fairmont baseball team Friday.

Nate Soelter’s sacrifice bunt keyed a seven-run sixth inning, Eli Anderson added a two-run triple, and the Cardinals won their first state championship with a 7-0 victory over Roseau in the Class 2A title game at sun-drenched Target Field.

Zach Jorgensen, who added an RBI single, pitched seven scoreless innings for top-seeded Fairmont (27-3), a three-time runner-up. He spiked his glove after striking out the final Ram.

“There might be a hole in the ground over there,” said a smiling Jorgensen, a University of Minnesota football commit, who allowed just two hits and struck out seven.

“It’s just a crazy experience to be the first team ever to do that in Fairmont history. Last time being in a Fairmont uniform, last time doing anything for Fairmont High School, and we got a state championship.”

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Scoreless into the bottom of the sixth, Jorgensen walked before Soelter put down a textbook-like bunt. The proper defensive play was at first; however, Tyler Bjerk’s throw was off target allowing Jorgensen to race around the bases with the game’s first run.

Gavin Rodning lined an RBI single to left field before a sacrifice bunt by Cooper Steuber turned into two more runs, and a 4-0 lead, when a throw by Brady DeMars to get the lead runner at third ended up near the stands.

Fairmont sent 12 batters to the plate in the inning.

“It was tough the first five innings. We were kind of moping around,” said Anderson, one of five seniors. “That’s our two biggest words: chemistry and energy. Keep those two things and we’ll win games.”

“A team that fielded at about 96 percent this year, to have a couple of times where we booted the ball around, ultimately that’s the difference in getting out of a big inning like that for Fairmont and giving us a chance in the top of the seventh to string one or two together,” Roseau coach Josh Weckman said.

After a first inning in which he allowed three baserunners, including two via walk, DeMars, the Roseau starter, breezed through the minimum number of Fairmont hitters in the next three innings. He scattered three hits and struck out three in 5 2/3 innings. All six runs he allowed were unearned.

“When he settled in, he was tough, and he kept a very, very good Fairmont team at bay for the majority of the game,” Weckman said. “I couldn’t ask for much more from his performance today.”

Playing in the school’s first championship baseball game, unseeded Roseau (19-7), which scored 21 runs in winning its first two state tournament games, made a pair of baserunning blunders that led to outs at third base in the second and fifth innings.

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Arason joins Ryan Todhunter (2009) as the only other Red River boys athlete to win the award. Previous Red River female winners include Shelby Frank (2018, 2019), Ashley Rone (2015), Briona Reynolds (1998, 2000, 2001) and Stephanie Wigness (1995).