Panthers open season with pair of victories
A pair of four-run innings led the Park Rapids baseball team to a pair of victories at the 17th annual Park Rapids Invitational Friday and Saturday.
The Panthers scored four times in the fourth inning to spark a 5-2 win over Hawley in the first game Friday night. That game was shortened to five innings because of darkness.
After dropping a 15-7 decision to Greenway in Saturday's semifinals, the Panthers rebounded to score four times in the fourth inning in a 9-8 win over Staples-Motley in the third-place game.
Frazee edged Greenway 5-2 in the championship game, Hawley defeated Wheaton 10-7 for fifth place and Sebeka defeated Menahga 11-3 for seventh place in Saturday's other finals.
Panthers open tournament with win
Singles by Levi Erickson, Chris Goplerud and Tyler Ridlon ignited the four-run fourth inning as the Panthers rallied to defeat Hawley.
Hawley led 2-0 before the Panthers scored the final five runs. Singles by Sam Coborn and Cory Odland led to the game's final run in the fifth.
Odland picked up the win, striking out 10 and allowing two hits and two unearned runs in five innings.
Greenway advances to title game
Greenway belted out 13 hits against three Park Rapids pitchers to advance to the title game.
The Panthers faced a 5-0 deficit before scoring twice in the fourth on a double by Odland, an RBI single by Chris Goplerud and an error.
Greenway regained control by scoring seven times in the fifth for a 12-2 advantage.
Park Rapids extended the game by scoring twice in the fifth and twice in the sixth. In the fifth, singles by Ridlon and Odland set up a two-run double by Erickson. Singles by Chris Goplerud and Rilee Johnson and a double by Tyler McCollum led to two runs in the sixth.
Zach Eystad singled, stole two bases and scored on Erickson's sacrifice fly to end the scoring in the seventh.
Chris Goplerud went 3 for 4 and Odland went 2 for 3 to lead the Panthers' 10-hit attack. Kyle Goplerud started and took the loss.
Panthers edge Cardinals
Eystad's RBI single scored pinch-runner Kody Walsh with the winning run in the bottom of the seventh inning as the Panthers defeated Staples-Motley.
After the Cardinals took a 3-0 lead in the first, Drew Bade singled and scored in the first; Johnson and Eystad singled to produce a run in the second; and Bade's single and Chris Goplerud's two-run homer pulled the Panthers to within 5-4 in the third.
The Panthers claimed a 8-7 lead with a four-run fourth. Jordan Eischens, Ridlon and Eystad singled to set up a bases-clearing double by Coborn. Erickson followed with a single to give the Panthers the lead.
Staples-Motley tied the game in the sixth before Johnson opened the bottom of the seventh by being hit by a pitch. After a walk to Eischens, Eystad lined his game-winning single.
Bade and Eystad each went 3 for 4 to lead the Panthers' 12-hit attack. David Dirks picked up the win with two innings of relief. Cory Gartner started and pitched the first five innings.