Cardinals prevail in pitchers' duels
Gunner Johnson and Jordan Riewer outpitched Dan Ricke and Kevin McMorrow as Staples-Motley swept a Mid-State Conference baseball doubleheader from Park Rapids Tuesday at Staples.
Johnson threw a seven-hitter and struck out 12 as the Cardinals won the first game 5-2. Ricke allowed five hits and two earned runs in a complete-game loss.
Riewer followed with a two-hit, eight-strikeout performance as Staples-Motley completed the sweep with a 2-0 victory. McMorrow allowed only four hits in another complete-game effort for the Panthers.
In the first game, the Panthers jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the first inning on singles by Paul Dirks and Tucker Coborn, an RBI double by McMorrow and a sacrifice fly by Cory Odland.
The Panthers managed only singles by Tucker Coborn in the third and seventh innings and singles by Sam Coborn in the fifth and seventh innings the rest of the way.
Staples-Motley used two errors to score three times in the third, an error to score once in the fourth, and an error to score once in the fifth.
Tucker Coborn went 3 for 4 and Sam Coborn went 2 for 3 to lead the Panthers' seven-hit attack.
Singles by Tucker Coborn and McMorrow in the first inning were the Panthers' only hits in the second game.
McMorrow lost his shutout in the fifth when the Cardinals scored what proved to be the game-winning run. Staples-Motley added an insurance run in the sixth to end conference play with a 12-0 record. The Cardinals are 18-1 overall and ranked No. 2 in the latest state Class AA poll.
Park Rapids fell to 2-8 in the conference and 6-11 overall. The Panthers conclude conference play by hosting Pequot Lakes in a make-up doubleheader Tuesday.
Homers spark Otters' win
An 11-run second inning and four home runs sparked Fergus Falls to a 23-5 five-inning victory at Park Rapids Monday.
After giving up four runs in the first inning, the Panthers responded by scoring three times in the bottom of the inning. With two outs, Tucker Coborn singled and scored on McMorrow's double. Odland followed with a two-run homer.
The Otters then sent 14 batters to the plate in the second as homers by James Evenson and Spencer Kidder helped give Fergus Falls a 15-3 cushion.
The Otters scored once in the third and six times in the fourth to build a 22-3 advantage. Pete Gaustad and Derick Viger hit homers in the fourth inning.
Lead-off walks to Odland and Ricke, Jack Mercado's RBI double and Nick Belfiori's sacrifice fly led to Park Rapids' final two runs in the fourth.
McMorrow went 2 for 3 as the Panthers were held to only five hits. Dan Pike started and took the loss. Levi Erickson and Odland finished up as the three pitchers allowed 14 earned runs on 18 hits and 12 walks.
Gaustad struck out 11 for the win as the Otters improved to 12-6.