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Braves open season with three victories

Graham Skoog delivered a pitch during Menahga's game against Nevis. Vance Carlson / Enterprise

Al Pietila and Thomas Litzau threw complete games as the Menahga baseball team opened the season with three wins in four games.

Pietila threw a two-hitter and struck out 15 as the Braves opened the season with a 3-0 Park Region Conference win over Sebeka on April 4.

The Braves scored the game's only runs in the seventh inning when Mitch Peterson was hit by a pitch, Isaac Anderson drew a two-out walk, Canton Matson lined an RBI single, Litzau walked, and Graham Skoog and Lars Keranen were hit by pitches.

Litzau went 2 for 2 to pace Menahga's five-hit attack.

Menahga then finished third at the Park Rapids Wood Bat Tournament with a 3-2 quarterfinal win over Nevis on April 7, a 3-1 semifinal loss to Frazee on April 8 and a 7-2 win over Bagley in the third-place game on April 8.

In the win over Nevis, Skoog and Peterson combined on a five-hitter with Peterson earning the win in relief.

Nevis scored twice in the top of the third before the Braves tied it when Charlie Steidler-Thompson and Litzau singled and scored on an error.

Menahga scored the game-winning run in the fifth when Litzau walked, advanced to second on a bunt by Matson and scored on Keranen's RBI double.

Menahga managed only four hits in that game.

Frazee scored single runs in the first, fourth and fifth innings to defeat Menahga in the tournament semifinals.

Singles by Litzau, Peterson and Skoog produced Menahga's only run in the sixth inning as the Braves were held to five hits.

Keranen started and gave up five hits and two runs in four innings while Steidler-Thompson allowed one run on two hits over the final two innings.

Litzau threw a four-hitter with six strikeouts and Pietila went 3 for 4 at the plate with two runs in leading Menahga past Bagley in the third-place game.

Pietila doubled and scored on Litzau's RBI grounder in the first before three walks and Steidler-Thompson's single led to four runs in the fourth. Ed Salmen and Pietila singled and scored the Braves' final two runs in the seventh.