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Class AA Baseball Championship: Fairmont 6, Roseau 0

Posted: Friday, June 17, 2022 - 3:57 PM

News Graphic Baseball 2022

It took the Fairmont High School baseball team a while to get their offense in gear on Friday, June 17, 2022.

Once the Cardinals did, however, the floodgates opened. On their 11th trip to the Minnesota State High School League’s Baseball State Tournament, the Cardinals will take a championship trophy home for the first time after defeating Roseau 7-0 in the Class AA championship game of the Prep Championship Series at Target Field in downtown Minneapolis. After being held scoreless for five innings, the Cardinals (27-3) erupted for seven runs – all of which were unearned -- in the sixth inning.

That was plenty for senior righthander Zachary Jorgensen, who wriggled his way out of trouble on several occasions while holding the Rams to two hits. Jorgensen walked five and struck out seven to earn the win.

This was a matchup between two schools located roughly 428 miles part who took diverse routes to Target Field. The Cardinals, who finished third in this tournament in 1964, 1971 and 2001, won their first game of the season April 4 and then reeled off 17 more wins before taking a defeat. The Rams (19-7) didn’t even play their first game until May 5. They started their season slowly and stood 3-5 overall at one point. They caught fire and won 16 of their next 17 games prior to the title match.

On a beautiful day for baseball, Jorgensen and his opposite number, senior righty Blake DeMars, battled evenly for most of the game. The Cardinal defense helped Jorgensen, turning a pair of double plays. In another inning, Jorgensen worked out of a bases loaded jam, the only time a Ram runner got as far as third base.

Meanwhile, DeMars surrendered just one hit in the first five innings, using an efficient 63 pitches with no Fairmont runner advancing past second base.

Things changed in a hurry in the sixth inning. Jorgensen started the outburst with a walk. Sophomore shortstop Nate Soelter dropped down a bunt. A throwing error by Roseau senior third baseman Tyler Bjerk allowed Jorgensen to score and Soelter advanced to third base. Jack Kosbab, a junior first baseman, walked. Senior centerfielder Gavin Rodning singled to score Soelter. A throwing error on a bunt produced another run. Later, senior catcher Eli Anderson tripled to left center to send two more runs home. Jorgensen batted a second time and drove in Anderson with a single. In all, 12 batters came to the plate for Fairmont.

Jorgensen, who threw 115 pitches, retired the Rams in order in the seventh to clinch the title and set off a rousing celebration for the Cardinals.

Roseau appeared in its ninth state tournament (and first in a decade) played in participating a championship game for the first time. The unseeded Rams had won just two games total in this tournament prior to this year. 

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