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Baseball: Wingers split with Farmington

Red Wing starting pitcher Cody Leitner fires a fastball early in Game 2. Leitner struck out two and threw all six innings but was pegged with the loss. (Republican Eagle photos by Kyle Stevens)1 / 2
Red Wing’s Austin Strand (2) slides into second, beating the tag from Farmington’s JD Hinks for a stolen base in the first inning of Game 2 Friday at the Red Wing Athletic Field. (Republican Eagle photos by Kyle Stevens)2 / 2

Red Wing broke a three-game losing streak Friday with a 4-1 victory over Farmington in the first game of a doubleheader. The Tigers bounced back in the night cap, however, with a 2-0 win that saw the Wingers go five innings without a hit.

In the first game, Sam Palmatier picked up the victory, throwing five innings before giving way to Tait Kelly. Kelly pitched the final two innings to get the save. Offensively, the Wingers pounded out nine hits, led by Dixon Irwin’s 3-for-3 performance, and Thate Peterson’s 2-for-3 showing.

“We had all three phases going,” said Red Wing head coach Paul Hartmann. “Sam kept them off balance. I thought their hitters tried to do too much instead of staying short. And Sam got his first varsity win, and it looked like he was having some fun out there. As a coaching staff, that’s always fun to see.”

Red Wing scored twice in the third and twice in the fifth with Kelly, Irwin, Peterson and Zach Collins all crossing the plate for the Wingers. Palmatier allowed just one run on two hits, walking one and striking out two.

“We came out a lot more aggressive with our at-bats,” Peterson said. “We really played well together, believing in each other. Game 2, we just weren’t as alive in the dugout. It was a little quieter, but we still fought and had a good effort the entire game.”

In the second game, Cody Leitner toed the rubber once again. And, again, Leitner pitched a solid game, only to come away on the losing side. Much like the recent de-emphasis on a pitcher’s win-loss record in the majors, Leitner’s record doesn’t show how effective he has been early this season.

“He’s thrown us three quality starts, and we expect him to continue to do that for us,” Hartmann said. “The baseball gods are going to go in his favor soon enough.”

Leitner allowed five hits and one earned run in the game, but Red Wing’s offense struggled to time Farmington’s Parker Holmstrom, who finished with 13 strikeouts, including four in the second inning.

Kelly led off the game with a single, but the Wingers would not get another hit until the seventh when Irwin, Cam Voigt and Ryan Jonas got things going. A flyout and two strike outs left the bases loaded, however, as the Tigers were able to force the split.

“It’s interesting. You play a doubleheader, and an hour and 15 minutes ago, we were feeling pretty good about ourselves. And we can’t lose sight of that,” Hartmann said. “We played an excellent game the first one and we have to build on that. The second one, the kid threw very well, and we were unable to make some adjustments.”

The Wingers (2-4) will have their first road game in 18 days when they visit Academy of Holy Angels Tuesday.

Kyle Stevens
Kyle Stevens is a sports reporter for the Red Wing Republican Eagle. Previously, Kyle worked at the Owatonna People’s Press, as well as KWLM and KLFN in Willmar. You can contact Kyle by phone at (651) 301-7879, via e-mail at, and follow him on Twitter @RE_KStevens.
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