One year and one loss made all the difference for Fairmont.
The Cardinals’ 2010 state tournament appearance consisted of a jittery team and a quarterfinals loss to eventual state champion Rocori.
They were determined that this year was going to be different. Winning, not just participating, was the objective.
“Last year was a big factor for us,” said Fairmont coach Todd Sukalski. “We knew the routine. We were a lot more comfortable.”
Fairmont averages nearly 10 runs per game, but the Cardinals’ showed they were more than a bunch of sluggers. Logan Peymann pitched a three-hit complete game, allowing just four baserunners after the first inning. And catcher Joey Duflo found the grass behind home plate at Dick Putz Field to his liking, diving and catching at least three foul popups.
Fairmont did generate more than enough offense. Sophomore Ryan Noll tied the game in the top of the second inning with his first career home run and the Cardinals’ four-run fourth was the biggest offensive inning of the day.