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Post 9433 wins 4th straight

Things are starting to click for the Rosemount VFW Post 9433 baseball team.

Coach Rene Jimenez's team used a seven-run fourth inning and a strong relief performance from Jake Turner to extended its winning streak to four games with a 9-4 decision over Farmington VFW Post 7662 Tuesday night in Farmington.

Rosemount got on the board first when Chris Couillard lifted a sacrifice fly to center field that easily scored Chris Adams. Post 7662 responded with a three-run bottom half of the second, which gave them their only lead of the night and chased starter John Cicola. Turner came on in relief and earned the victory, holding Farmington to one run over the final 5 2/3 innings, but coach Jimenez said he was happy with the effort he got from both of his pitchers.

"John did a great job. He faced 11 hitters and only two hit the ball hard. The rest he sawed off, but we didn't make the plays behind him," Jimenez said. "I came out and yelled a little bit and told the defense to tighten it up and Jake came in and threw strikes and they focused on fielding the ball."

Post 9433's offensive focus hit its peak in the top of the fourth inning when 11 batters came to the plate and seven came around to score. The big blow was a grand slam by Couillard over the fence in center field, his second long ball of the summer. Two more runs came in on Farmington errors and Brady Loew scored a run with a ground out.

Rosemount tacked on an insurance run in the top of the sixth when Loew singled, stole second and scored on an RBI single by Adams. Adams and Loew each had two of Post 9433's five hits.

"Everybody has been hitting. We're playing with a lot of confidence and when we get down in the count we don't panic," Jimenez said. "When we're down 0-2 or 1-2 we're not giving up and when the pitcher throws a fastball for a strike we're making them pay. It's just been a fantastic job by the team of executing, picking each other up and playing well as a team."

Jimenez was especially happy with the execution of his team on the base baths. The team stole at least six bases Tuesday, which he said puts pressure on the defense and gives his hitters more opportunities to drive in runs.

"The reason we're scoring so many runs is we're running a lot. Our hitters are being very patient and waiting for guys to steal bases," he said. "We call it creating pressure. We take big leads and disrupt the pitcher. If he's throwing to first we're doing our job. The pitcher could lose focus and make a mistake to the hitter."

Post 9443 will try to continue putting the pressure on its opponents as it faces a busy upcoming schedule of games. They played the first of four straight home contests Wednesday night against Minnetonka. Burnsville comes to town Friday night and Jordan and Edina visit Rosemount for 2 p.m. showdowns on Saturday and Sunday.