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Panthers stay alive in playoffs with victories over Breckenridge, D-G-F

Kyle Goplerud leaped to avoid the tag by Breckenridge catcher Justin Jirak in the fourth inning of Park Rapids' 13-3 Section 8AA playoff victory Thursday.1 / 2
Kody Walsh slid in with a stolen base during Park Rapids' 13-3 Section 8AA playoff victory over Breckenridge Thursday.2 / 2

     Wins over Breckenridge and Dilworth-Glyndon-Felton kept the Park Rapids baseball team alive in the Section 8AA tournament.

     The Panthers, the No. 2 seed in the south, opened the playoffs with a 13-3 win in six innings over No. 7 Breckenridge Thursday at Park Rapids.

     At Perham Saturday, No. 3 Perham held the Panthers to three hits in a 6-1 victory before Park Rapids stayed alive in the double-elimination portion of the tournament by ousting No. 4 D-G-F 8-5.

     Perham and Roseau entered Tuesday’s play as the only undefeated teams. Park Rapids played Crookston and Detroit Lakes played Thief River Falls in the elimination round. The section finals are set for Thursday at a site to be determined.

Offense keys win in opener

     The Panthers belted out 15 hits in eliminating Breckenridge in six innings via the 10-run rule.

     Park Rapids jumped out to a 4-0 lead in the first inning on two walks, an RBI double by Drew Bade, singles by Chris Goplerud and Brad Eischens, an error, a passed ball and a double steal.

     Cory Gartner’s infield single, Josh Severtson’s bunt single and Kyle Goplerud’s RBI single led to another run in the second.

     After Breckenridge used an error, a hit batter, three walks and a passed ball to score three runs in the third, the Panthers answered with a pair of runs in the bottom of the inning on singles by Jordan McCollum and Eischens, an error and a sacrifice fly by Severtson.

     Severtson’s solo homer in the fifth made it 8-3 before the Panthers ended the game with a five-run sixth. Chris Goplerud singled with one out before Eischens and Paul Prenevost walked with two outs. Kody Walsh’s two-run single and Severtson’s two-run double made it 12-3 before Severtson scored the final run on a throwing error.

     Severtson went 3 for 4 with four RBI while Kyle Goplerud, Chris Goplerud and Eischens went 2 for 3 to lead the offense. McCollum earned the win with 3 2/3 innings of two-hit relief.

     Breckenridge ended the season with a 3-12 record.

Erickson pitchers Perham past Panthers

     Austin Erickson threw a three-hitter and didn’t allow an earned run as Perham sent the Panthers into the losers’ bracket.

     Eric Brauch’s two-run double in the third, an error in the fifth, Jack Stigman’s two-run single in the sixth and Joey Lindberg’s sacrifice fly in the seventh accounted for Perham’s runs.

     The Panthers scored an unearned run in the fourth when Bade reached on an error, Chris Goplerud singled and Bade scored on another error.

     Gartner’s single in the third and Paul Prenevost’s single in the fifth were the only other hits for the Panthers.

     Tyler McCollum took the loss, allowing six runs on eight hits and two walks while striking out seven.

     Perham improved to 14-5.

Panthers stay alive with win over D-G-F

     The Panthers combined 10 hits with six D-G-F errors to stay alive in the tournament.

     After D-G-F scored three times in the first, the Panthers scored once in the bottom of that inning, twice in both the second and third innings, and three times in the fourth for the win.

     Kyle Goplerud reached on an error and scored on an error in the first. Eischens reached on an error, Severtson singled and Eystad had a run-scoring grounder in the second. Dirks doubled, Jordan McCollum reached on an error and Eischens lined an RBI triple to account for the two runs in the third. Singles by Severtson and Eystad, a walk by Bade, a two-run single by Dirks and an RBI single by Jordan McCollum concluded the scoring in the fourth.

     Bade, Dirks and Severtson all went 2 for 3 to lead the Panthers. Gartner started, allowing four runs for the win. Kyle Goplerud gave up one run in three innings of relief for the save.

     D-G-F ended the season with an 11-5 record.

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