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Ridgewater alum Farfan, Blue Anchors stifle Stingers

Alexandria starting pitcher Onas Farfan, who spent the past two seasons at Ridgewater, delivers a pitch in the first inning against the Willmar Stingers on Friday at Bill Taunton Stadium in Willmar. The Blue Anchors won 10-4. Tribune photo by Tom Larson

WILLMAR — The last game Onas Farfan pitched was May 10 for the Ridgewater Warriors. He lost 3-1 to Rochester Community and Technical College.

On Friday, pitching for the Alexandria Blue Anchors, the 5-foot-10 lefthander shut down the Willmar Stingers in a 10-4 Blue Anchors win at Bill Taunton Stadium.

Farfan was born in the U.S. but spent his early childhood in Venezuela before returning to attend Cooper High School in Robbinsdale. He played for Ridgewater the past two seasons.

 “I feel like this is my home,” Farfan said. “I played here many times. I’m not with the Stingers, but I’m representing Ridgewater and Willmar and I’m proud of it.”

Farfan, a commit to NCAA Division II University of Mary (Bismarck, North Dakota) for next season, held the Stingers to two runs on six hits over six innings while striking out four.

The only trouble he got into came in the fourth when Willmar put runners on second and third with one out, but Farfan escaped with just a run allowed. 

The Stingers scored one more in the sixth on Frankie Rios’ RBI groundout, and two in the ninth on RBI hits from Reagan Fowler and Nick Rivera.

Farfan had a 4.58 ERA with a 1-5 record for Ridgewater during the spring, but looked much better than that on Friday, changing speeds and mixing his pitches.

“If we would’ve gotten (Farfan) out of the stretch a little bit we would’ve had more success,” Stingers’ manager Drew Saberhagen said. “He did a good job out of the windup and he flipped that breaking ball up there and had a good fastball.”

The Blue Anchors gave him plenty of support, starting with Jordan Lee scoring on a passed ball in the first inning. Lee homered in a two-run third, and the Anchors tagged Willmar starter T.J. Whidby for four more in the fifth opening up a 7-1 lead.

“I thought T.J. pitched fine,” Saberhagen said. “There were two hard hit balls. Other than that, ground balls found their way through. The easiest thing to defend is a pop fly, so they did a good job of keeping the ball on a line and on the ground.”

It was Farfan’s Blue Anchors debut.

“It was a nice win, the guys really supported me,” he said. “I’ve got to stay healthy and hopefully help the team win.”

It was not Farfan’s first taste of the Northwoods League, as he pitched in four games for the La Crosse Loggers last summer, but it was still quite a change from the MCAC competition he was seeing last month.

“It’s tough,” Farfan said. “Most of the guys are Division I or Division I and I come from a little school. These guys are amazing. Last year (with La Crosse) it was really competitive. I feel glad to be in the Northwoods League for a second year.”

Ben Brewster

Ben Brewster covers the Willmar Stingers and other area sports, as well as laying out the daily sports section cover for the West Central Tribune. Follow him on Twitter @benbrewster.

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