D-G-F upsets Panthers in playoff opener
Stranding runners on third in the first two innings proved to be difference as the Park Rapids baseball team was upset by Dilworth-Glyndon-Felton in the first round of the Section 8AA tournament Thursday at the Area High School field.
The Panthers had their leadoff runner advance to third in the first two innings, but left them stranded as the Rebels escaped with a 3-2 victory.
D-G-F, the No. 6 seed in the south half of the section, took advantage of Park Rapids mistakes to score twice in the first. After Ryan Hamernik opened the game with a single, Tanner McManus was safe on a throwing error on a bunt. Isaiah Greene was also safe on a bunt to load the bases. An RBI single by Tanner Karger and a sacrifice fly by Chad Johnson gave the Rebels the early lead.
Zach Eystad opened the bottom of the first with a single and advanced to third on a stolen base and throwing error. However, Greene retired the next three batters to leave Eystad stranded.
Rilee Johnson opened the second with a walk and advanced to third on a stolen base and wild pitch. Again Greene retired the next three batters to end that threat.
The Panthers were in the same situation in the third when David Dirks led off with a single and advanced to third on a stolen base and wild pitch. With one out, Dirks failed to tag up on Sam Coborn's fly ball to center field. However, Dirks made up for that mistake by stealing home. Drew Bade followed with a walk and reached third with a stolen base and throwing error and scored when Chris Goplerud's grounder was misplayed. That tied the game at 2-2.
Both Tyler McCollum and Greene cruised through the next three innings.
McCollum gave up a leadoff single to Kyle Johnson and hit Chad Johnson, but left both on base in the fourth. McCollum allowed only a two-out walk to Greene in the next two innings.
Greene was even more effective by retiring the final 12 batters he faced.
D-G-F scored the winning run in the seventh when Hamernik drew a two-out walk from Kyle Goplerud, stole second and scored on McManus' single.
Greene went the distance, allowing only two hits while striking out six as the Rebels improved to 10-10 on the season. D-G-F avenged a 10-6 loss to the Panthers during the regular season.
McCollum allowed two runs on three hits with seven strikeouts over six innings while Goplerud took the loss. Park Rapids ends the season with an 11-9-1 record.