Class AAAA baseball championship: Stillwater 8, Farmington 1
Posted: Friday, June 17, 2022 - 10:21 PM
Stillwater bunched hits together and received a solid pitching effort from senior Austin Buck to record an 8-1 victory over Farmington in the Minnesota State High School League’s Class AAAA baseball championship game on Friday, June 17, 2022 at Target Field in downtown Minneapolis. It is the third baseball state crown in school history for the Ponies, who also took home the top prize in 1991 and 2018.
The No. 2-seeded Ponies (23-4) rapped out eight hits, stole two bases, hit a sacrifice fly and executed two sacrifice bunts. They were also helped by four hit batsmen, two wild pitches, two Farmington errors and a passed ball.
The top-seeded Tigers (23-4) were looking to become the first back-to-back state champions since Mounds View won two in a row in 2013 and 2014. The Tigers grabbed an early lead in the first inning when senior left fielder Mitch Conrad singled and came home on senior first baseman Gabe Bombardier’s RBI double.
Stillwater took over the scoring from there. In the second inning, junior shortstop Alex Vandell’s squeeze bunt plated one run and junior third baseman added Alex Matchey that gave the Ponies the lead for good with a sacrifice fly. In the third, the Ponies added two more runs. With two outs, senior left fielder Jason Carlson and senior first baseman Jacob Carlson singled. Senior designated hitter Tanner Voight was hit by a pitch to load the bases. Junior shortstop Alex Vandell then singled to knock in one run and senior center fielder Brayden Hellum followed with an RBI single to make it 4-1.
The Ponies then removed any doubt as to where things were headed with four runs in the sixth inning. Hellum and Wallace led the offense with two hits apiece.
Meanwhile, Buck, a senior righthander, was in complete control on the mound. He scattered four hits, walked none and struck out four while using just 82 pitches for the complete game decision. Only three Farmington batters reached base after the first inning and none of them advanced as far as second base. Buck ended his night in spectacular style by slipping a called strike three for the final out.
Conrad had two hits to lead the Farmington offense.
It was the Ponies’ fourth appearance in a state championship game. They defeated Osseo for the 1991 AA championship and topped Minnetonka in 2018 for the AAAA crown. In 2009, they finished second to St. Michael-Albertville in AAA play.
It was just the third time Farmington had advanced to the state baseball tournament. In addition to their championship effort last year, the Tigers also played in the 1977 event.