Earlier in the season, this was the type of game that went in the other direction for the Faribault baseball team.
Into the doubleheader Thursday night against Austin at Bell Field, the Falcons were determined to show they have learned from the previous contests that have gotten away from them.
Opening the double dip with a 10-0 five-inning victory, thanks to a gem by Hunter Nelson, the Falcons had the chance to complete the sweep into game two.
Battling in the slugfest, Faribault showed that those losses did not come without lesson, holding on to the thrilling 12-11 five-inning triumph for the sweep.
Picking up the first victory, Faribault got a performance that those around the team could sense coming.
“Hunter has been pitching better and better every game. He was untouchable today. It was great to see that out of him,” said coach Charlie Lechtenberg.
Keeping the Packers off the board for the first two innings, the Falcons bats rewarded their pitcher with a crooked number.
Sparked by a Hunter Dillon two-run double, Faribault found itself leading 4-0 at the completion of two innings.
That run support proved to be more than enough for Nelson.
Nelson kept dealing from the rubber, putting up shutout innings while the offense added to the lead.
Leading 9-0 into the bottom of the fifth, the Falcons sat just one run away from ended the contest.
Michael Crone did not let the opportunity go unused as the sophomore came through in the clutch to bring home Nelson, ending the game at 10-0.
Nelson’s final line had the senior take the winning decision via his five innings of one hit ball.
The senior carried a no-hitter into the fourth before the Packers snuck a hit past the Falcons’ infield.
Crone, along with his game winning hit, sparked the offense with his two base knocks and three RBIs.
Faribault 12, Austin 11
Getting the shutout performance in game one, the offense took it upon itself to propel the team to the win in game two.
“We had great at-bats all day,” said Lechtenberg.
Getting the game opened with a bang, the Packers jumped out to the 2-0 lead after the top of the first.
The bottom of the inning began a trend for the contest.
“They would score and we would always answer back. We kept answering every time they would score. It was huge to see,” said Lechtenberg.
Faribault and Austin exchanged rallies all the way into the top of the fifth.
Plating two runs and having the game-tying run in scoring position, the Packers pulled the Falcons into the pressure situation.
Dillon, now pitching and sitting one out away from the save did not waiver.
The Austin hitter got under the Dillon offering, popping the ball up to second base to bring the game to an end.
Having seen those types of games go the other way, Lechtenberg was relieved to be on the winning side.
“It’s great to finish a game out and be on the other end of it.”
Seven different Faribault hitters knocked in a run with Brad Sartor leading the group with two RBIs.
The second win of the day was the Falcons’ third in their last four attempts as the team is starting to round into shape.
“We got off to a rough start there but we have the guys to make a run here and put things together at the right time. If we keep hitting like we are, the pitching comes along and the defense, we are going to be a tough team,” said Lechtenberg.
The Falcons now own a 4-10 record, tying last season’s win total.
Looking to win its third game in a row for the first time since 2013, Faribault travels to Stewartville on Saturday for an afternoon bout.