The Faribault Falcons were nine outs away from their first win of the season Saturday and had a seven-run lead, but lost in heartbreaking fashion 12-11.

A four-error inning allowed the Rochester Century Panthers to erupt for six runs in the bottom of the fifth to get to within a run of Faribault. The Panthers added two more in the sixth inning on two more errors and the Falcons bats were silenced in the final two innings of the game.

The first game of the doubleheader counted in the Big Nine the second did not. The first game was won by Century in six innings 10-0.

Rochester Century senior pitcher Luke McKeon tossed a two-hitter and the Panthers took advantage of five errors and collected 12 hits in the game.

Colton Helgeson started the game on the hill for Faribault and threw 88 pitches, 51 for strikes. Helgeson recorded one strikeout and walked three batters while allowing seven hits. Jacob Franck threw to seven batters and Nicholas Knapper finished out the game by pitching to the final eight hitters.

Century scored in every inning except the first.

Faribault had a chance to take the lead in the first. Leadoff batter Dylan O'Neal coaxed a walk in a very good opening at bat and was sacrificed to second by Peyton Miller. Then the three and four hitters in the Falcon lineup each struck out looking.

After holding the Panthers scoreless in the first, the Falcons again had a chance to take the lead in the top of the second.

Jake Louwagie had a one-out single and went to second on a bad pickoff attempt by McKeon. The inning ended with the next two batters striking out swinging.

Rochester Century scored three runs in the second inning after a ground out started the inning; they collected four successive singles.

The Panthers added two runs in the third when the first two batters walked and came home on a sacrifice fly. The other run scored on a Falcon error.

With one out in the fourth, Faribault had runners at second and third thanks to a Panther error but again the inning ended with successive ground outs.

Century added a run in the fourth -- a one-out walk came home to score after two singles.

Franck started pitching in the fifth and a leadoff walk a couple of hits and couple of errors led to three more runs. Knapper came on in relief and walked the first batter he faced but did get Faribault out of the inning with no more damage.

In the sixth the Panthers opened the inning with back-to-back singles.

The tenth and winning run would score on a wild pitch. Four of the ten runs scored got on base with walks.

Our Basilleo's Pizza delivery of the game came off the foot of starting pitcher Colton Helgeson. Yes, the foot.

In the third inning a ball was hit back to the pitcher's mound and Helgeson stuck his foot out and skillfully knocked it down, then picked up the ball and retired the batter.

The State Farm Insurance Faribault agents Faribault players of the game were the two Falcons who collected hits in the contest, Jake Louwagie and Peyton Miller.

Sophomore Blake Borwege started the second game pitching and struggled in the first couple of innings before settling down. Unfortunately for Faribault, he threw a lot of pitches and came out after four innings with 80 pitches thrown, 45 for strikes, no strikeouts and three walks.

All the walks came in the first inning when Century scored three runs but only one of the walks scored. The bottom of the first started with a Faribault error. The next batter bunted for a single and then there was a walk. Another error happened and a walk with the bases loaded.

In the top of the second, Faribault scored two runs when Peyton Miller opened the inning with a single followed by a Dylan Vargo single.

Franck laid down a sacrifice bunt. Knapper walked to load the bases. Miller scored on a wild pitch and Vargo on a bases loaded walk.

In the third inning Faribault erupted for six runs but could have had more. The second and third outs were recorded by throw outs at the plate.

Austin Rendler opened the inning with a double to the right field corner. After a wild pitch got him to third, he scored on an error. Peyton Miller singled. After a Vargo sacrifice, Miller scored on a wild pitch and Franck walked.

The Panthers made a pitching change.

Knapper welcomed him with an RBI single, Omar Escobar was walked, Dylan O'Neal had a RBI single and Jake Louwagie a two RBI single.

The second out was recorded at home plate when O'Neal tried to score on a Louwagie steal of second base. The Panthers had a cutoff play on and O'Neal didn't get close enough to slide.

Rendler smacked a single to left field. Louwagie was sent home attempting to score from second and was easily thrown out at the plate.

Faribault was ahead 8-4, but I remember saying at the time hopefully those two runs wouldn't be needed. Unfortunately they were.

In the top of the fifth Escobar and O'Neal opened the inning with walks; Rendler had an RBI single. Miller was walked and Vargo smacked a RBI single.

Eight men came to the plate and three runs scored. Faribault enjoyed a 11-4 lead.

Escobar replaced Borwege on the hill in the bottom of the fifth and the rain started coming down heavier. It had misted most of the second game until that point.

A single greeted Escobar, then he recorded the first out on a fly out.

The No. 8 hitter singled and a Panther was thrown out trying to steal third base for the second out.

The nine hitter had a run-scoring double and Faribault had a chance to get out of the inning with just the one run scored.

A pitch was hit back to the mound by the leadoff batter in the Century order and the Faribault pitcher bounced the throw to first base, the second run scored.

The next batter was walked.

Head coach Charlie Lechtenberg brought in junior lefty Peyton Miller in hopes of shutting down the Panthers.

Miller walked the first batter he faced then a couple of runs scored on a play that included two Faribault errors and another error led to two more runs. The inning ended with Faribault ahead 11-10.

Century brought in their fourth pitcher of the game and he shut down the Falcons.

The Panthers started the bottom of the sixth with a walk then a sacrifice bunt got the tying run into scoring position. The No. 9 hitter had a single scoring the tying run.

The second out was recorded when the Panthers were thrown out trying to steal third again.

A error allowed one of the base runners to advance and then an error in the outfield led to the eventual game-winning run scoring for Rochester Century.

Six Faribault errors were recorded in the final two innings,

Century completed the improbable comeback from a seven-run deficit without needing to bat in the bottom of the seventh inning.

Our State Farm Insurance Faribault agents Faribault players of the second game were sophomore Austin Rendler with three hits and an RBI and Payton Miller with a three-hit game. The players of the game feature is a service of Faribault State Farm agents Tony Langerud and Jason Krohn.

The Basilleo's delivery of the game was the delivery Faribault didn't make to first base in the fifth inning that would have ended the inning with just one run scored by Rochester Century.

Peyton Miller Pitches for Faribault
Peyton Miller Pitches for Faribault
Future Falcon Plays Catch at Rochester Century
Future Falcon Plays Catch at Rochester Century

Other Saturday baseball scores:

  • Burnsville 2, Rosemount 0
  • Eagan 5, Bemidji 0
  • Eagan 4, Grand Rapids 2
  • Red Wing 5, Rocori 3

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