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Fairmont reflects on historic state championship

Cardinals went from elimination bracket to state champs.
Published: Jun. 18, 2022 at 6:39 PM CDT
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MINNEAPOLIS, Minn. (KEYC) -The Fairmont baseball team is this year’s Class AA state champion. The road to the title wasn’t always pretty after falling to the elimination bracket in Section 3AA tourney, but the Cardinals responded to the adversity with a championship mentality.

Here’s a look back at the team’s run to the top.

Not many teams heading to the elimination bracket of a section baseball tournament can turn around and win an extra innings game, then beat the program that sent them to the loser’s bracket not once, but twice to punch a ticket to state. But then again, the 2022 Cardinals aren’t like many teams.

“After we lost that first game to Paynesville, we were like Oh gosh. Just like coach said on the field, he was like, I thought that was it you know,” said Zach Jorgensen, Fairmont senior.

As it turns out, the Cardinals were just getting started. Two of the games against Paynesville were closer than any match-up for Fairmont in the Class AA state tournament after beating Sibley East 8-3, Rochester Lourdes 7-2 and Roseau 7-0.

A number of players caught fire offensively in St. Cloud and Target Field, perhaps none bigger than senior Eli Anderson, who’s five triples set a new state tournament record.

“It’s crazy, he’s a great player like everyone else on this team. It takes some hits like that to get everyone going. His triple gets everyone juiced up. Scores a couple of runs, it’s crazy. Congrats to him, that was an amazing state tournament for him,” Jorgensen added.

The pitching staff delivered with starters going the distance in every state tournament game, and the defense put on a show in the field. The most dominant performance on the mound came in the title game where senior Zach Jorgensen shut-out Roseau allowing just two hits while striking out seven.

“He hasn’t been in that many situations all year. He didn’t pitch much this year, we had him catch most of the year. He’s a gamer. We had two double plays behind him today, we give a lot of credit to our pitchers, we have a very good defense. That’s kept us in games all year. That’s one of our key ingredients,” said Don Waletich, Fairmont head coach.

Just like that, the wait is over for Fairmont baseball’s first state title.

“It’s been too long, let’s put it that way, now it’s here. They better celebrate well,” said Anderson.

This year’s seniors go out on top with a 27-3 record, and will forever be in the history books at Fairmont High School

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