The  Faribault Falcon baseball team snapped an 11-game losing streak with a 6-4 win over the Rochester Mayo Spartans at Mayo Field on Friday night.

Following a up and down in order first inning, junior Jake Louwagie got on base due to an error and tried to steal second but was thrown out to start the second inning.

It never seems to fail after a runner thrown out that the next batter will get a hit or walk, and in this case junior Dylan Vargo was walked by Mayo sophomore Zach Gathje. Senior designated hitter Jake Franck had a single, junior third baseman Cain Van Ryn stuck the bat out and flared a single to right center. Junior second baseman Bailey Reichert grounded out, scoring Vargo.

Senior shortstop Omar Escobar then clubbed an RBI single and Van Ryn scored on a throwing error in my scorebook. Faribault had a 3-0 lead with two outs and were not done yet.

Junior catcher Dylan O'Neil added an RBI single and the Falcons had a 4-0 lead after a four-hit inning where they took advantage of two Mayo errors.

Vargo started the game on the bump and just threw nine pitches in the first inning, eight for strikes. He pitched around an error thanks to one of the funkiest double plays I've seen.

Junior right fielder Austin Rendler made a terrific over the shoulder catch going back, back, back on a ball and threw the ball in attempting to double up the base runner trying to get back to first base. First baseman Graham Gulsvig was unable to corral the ball, but Vargo was backing up the play, got the ball on the bounce and just beat the runner to record the second out.

Senior lefty Payton Miller pitched the second inning and, after starting with an out, there was an error followed by a walk and the Spartans were in business.

Louwagie made a nice catch on a sinking liner for the second out.

No. 9 hitter Zach Wolf collected an infield single to score a run, and another run would have scored had Vargo not made an outstanding play, knocking the ball down deep in the hole at short. The run scored anyway on a wild pitch and Rochester Mayo halved the lead making it 4-2.

Faribault scored a run in the fifth after a lead single by O'Neil, Miller walked and Rendler laid down a nice bunt to advance the runners to second and third. O'Neil scored on a wild pitch and Faribault could not collect a hit to get Miller in from third base.

The Falcons added a run in the top of the sixth when back-to-back walks were issued to start the inning by junior Evan Kaese who entered the game to pitch. He was replaced by junior right fielder Jason Martin.

Dylan McEachran recorded a productive out with a grounder to the right side of the infield, allowing the runners to advance a base. Escobar then had his second hit and RBI of the day and the inning ended with a double play.

McEachran threw three plus innings of scoreless ball before appearing to run out of gas in the bottom of the sixth. Prior to that inning, he did not allow a hit and only two batters reached base in the third, fourth and fifth innings.

The Spartans collected their first hit off him to lead off the sixth inning. He then walked the next batter and hit a batter and his day was over with the bases loaded and nobody out. Junior Adam Vos was brought into that very tough situation and did not allow the inning to balloon. The first man he faced hit an RBI single.

I remember saying he needed a strike out or pop out and a double play to end the inning.

The No. 9 hitter for Mayo had been on base twice when he stepped to the plate to face Vos, and he got him to hit a lazy pop up to shallow center field that Escobar went out and caught after returning to shortstop. A run scored on a ground out.

Vos had the next Mayo hitter 0-2 and I remember saying uh oh he threw him too good a pitch but Miller caught the ball in left field to record the third out.

In the bottom of the seventh, Vos saw the heart of the Spartans order and started the inning by getting a ground out off the bat of the No. 3 hitter.

Cleanup batter Carter Pasternak collected a single to bring the tying run to the plate but Vos retired the next batter on a fly out and ended the game with a strikeout and the Falcons has recorded a 6-4 win over the Big Nine Conference league leading Rochester Mayo Spartans.

The line totals were:

Faribault: 6 runs, 7 hits, 3 errors, 5 runners left, 3 in scoring position

Rochester Mayo: 4 runs, 5 hits, 2 errors, 8 runners left, 3 in scoring position

Mayo had just one conference loss going into the game. It was Faribault's fourth win of the season.

Our Faribault State Farm Insurance agents Faribault players of the game courtesy of Jason Krohn and Tony Langerud were Vos and McEachran for their outstanding pitching effort and O'Neil and Escobar for their days at the plate.

McEachran threw just 43 pitches in his three-plus innings of work with 25 strikes. He did not record a strikeout, allowed just one hit and walked two and hit a batter. Vos faced eight batters in his two innings with two hits, a strikeout and no walks. He threw 22 pitches, 15 for strikes.

The Falcons will end the regular season next week with a home game Tuesday against Owatonna and a doubleheader at Mankato West.

Rochester Mayo had won four of their previous five games, including a 17-13 slug fest against Winona on Thursday night in Winona.

The Spartans are at Owatonna on Monday, host Rochester Century on Tuesday, entertain Red Wing in a Thursday doubleheader and close out their regular season at Austin on May 22.

Faribault Falcon Fleece Logo- picture by Gordy Kosfeld
Faribault Falcon Fleece Logo- picture by Gordy Kosfeld

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