WILLMAR — After 13 losses to open the spring — all road games vs. upper division opponents — Ridgewater College got just what it needed at Baker Field on Saturday afternoon in the first game of a doubleheader:
Onas Farfan pitched a brilliant six-hitter in a 2-1 victory over a Fergus Falls’ lineup that had produced 23 runs in a sweep of Anoka-Ramsey the day before.
And clutch hitting. Down 1-0 heading to the bottom of the sixth, Brady Smith’s (Litchfield) medium-deep fly to center allowed Dan Blackstad, who had walked and advanced to third base on a wild pitch and then a passed ball, to score on a close play at the plate.
In the bottom of the seventh, tied 1-1, Brandon Christensen (Willmar) walked, Matt Schmitz (Brooten) singled and after a sac bunt by Lucas Kruse (St. Clair), Brandon Roelike (Belgrade) was walked to load the bases with one out.
That brought up Warriors’ leadoff hitter Mitch Champagne, who had lined into a double play his previous at bat. Facing reliever Brady Weller (Brooten), Champagne drove the ball hard toward the gap in right-center, plating Christensen and triggering the Warriors’ first celebration of the season.
“It was a fastball down the middle. I saw it and thought this is my opportunity,” said Champagne, who is from Coleman, Wis., near Green Bay.
Farfan, a sophomore left-hander from New Hope, who pitched well down in Iowa, was locked in a dual with the Spartans’ Pete Gaustad (2-0, 0.00 ERA coming in).
“I threw all fastballs,” said the former Robbinsdale Armstrong pitcher. “Maybe four or five breaking balls”, adding that his fastball has been timed at “90 or 91.”
Roelike was 2-for-2 before receiving an intentional pass from Weller, his former BBE teammate and with Schmitz town-team teammates on the Elrosa Saints.
Ridgewater 2, Fergus Falls 1
Fergus (2-1, 13-3) 010 000 0 — 1 6 1
Ridge (1-0, 1-13) 000 001 1 — 2 5 2
HITTING – Fergus Falls: Gunnar Linstaedt 1-2, sac; Austin Hanson 0-3, rbi; Carter Paulson 1-3 r, Tanner Picht 1-for-4, sb … Ridgewater: Mitch Champagne 1-for-4, rbi; Dan Blackstad 0-for-1, r; Matt Schmitz 1-for-3, Brady Smith 0-2, SF, sb; Brandon Christenson 1-2, r, sb; Matt Schmitz 1-3, Brandon Roelike 2-2
PITCHING (ip-h-r-er-bb-so) — Fergus Falls: Pete Gaustad (L, 2-1) 6-4-1-1-2-3, Brady Weller 0-1-0-0-1-0… Ridgewater: Onas Farfan (W, 1-2) 7-6-1-0-1-6
Fergus Falls 9, Ridgewater 0
Former Morris/Chokio-Alberta star Jake Torgerson handcuffed Ridgewater in the second game of the MCAC doubleheader at Bill Taunton Stadium.
Torgerson, a 2013 MCA grad, allowed just three hits and struck out seven in seven innings of work.
Former Lac qui Parle Valley pitcher Brandon Bornhorst took the loss for the Warriors.
Fergus Falls 212 011 200 — 9 10 0
Ridgewater 000 000 000 — 0 3 3
HITTING – Fergus Falls: Peter Gaustad 2-4 rbi-2 r-2, Gunnar Linstaedt 2-3 r-2 bb-2 … Ridgewater: Gideon Burnham 1-3, Brady Smith 1-3, Tyler Donner 1-2
PITCHING (ip-h-r-er-bb-so) — Fergus Falls: Jake Torgerson (W) 7-3-0-0-1-7 … Ridgewater: Brandon Bornhorst (L) 6-6-7-5-0-0, Bryan Shaw 1 3-2-2-2-0-1, Eric Smith 1-0-0-0-1-1, Cal Swedzinski 1-0-0-0-1-0