The Cannon Falls Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) Post 4452 baseball team ended its regular season Sunday with a sweep of a double header against Faribault. The Bombers head into the playoffs with a 10-9 overall record but are still waiting to find out who they will play to open their division tournament, which determines who moves on to Districts.
The Bombers played five games over the past week, including two double headers over the weekend. They beat the Rochester John Marshall Rockets 8-7 on the road Wednesday, July 7. The game came down to the wire as Cannon Falls led 8-6 heading into the bottom of the seventh. The Bombers got the first two outs, then John Marshall got two straight singles. With runners on second and third, John Marshall hit a ground ball up the middle which Cannon Falls barely got to. The throw to first was off the mark and the runner on third scored, but then the Bombers were able to throw the runner that started on second out at the plate to end the game.
Jon Banks pitched 5 ⅔ innings and gave up six runs (four earned) on six hits and three walks with six strikeouts to earn the win. Tyler Johnston got the final out of the sixth and first two of the seventh for Cannon Falls before he was relieved by Jaden Winchell, who got the final out and the save. Winchell led the Cannon Falls offense, going 3-for-4 at the plate with two RBIs. Sam Shepersky added two hits and two RBIs while four other Bombers had one hit.
The day before its sweep of Faribault, Cannon Falls also played a double header at Northfield. The Bombers lost both games in close contests. They lost game one 4-1 and then were edged out in the second 2-1.
Head coach Bucky Lindow said that there are still teams in their league who have games to play, but predicted the Bombers would most likely get between a four and six seed out of 16 teams. Right now, Cannon Falls is sixth in the standings tied with Winona and just a half game behind Red Wing. The Wingers have one game left while Stewartville still has three games remaining and could jump into that four-through-six range. If Red Wing wins their game, they will be No. 4, but should they lose it could result in a three-way tie that would mean tiebreakers.
The league is split into four pods of four, which will each play its own division tournament, hosted by the top seed. The winner of each division tournament (so four teams) advances to Districts. The No. 1 seed hosts eight, nine and 16; two hosts seven, 10 and 15; three plays against six, 11 and 14; and then four has five, 12 and 13. Each division tournament is double elimination and division tournament play will be July 17-19.