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Legion opens playoffs with win over Walker

Park Rapids' Jason Haas slid into second base as the ball eluded Walker's Dan Mistic during Wednesday's Subdistrict 6 American Legion baseball playoff game. Vance Carlson / Enterprise

Gabe Bagstad threw a two-hitter in leading the Park Rapids American Legion baseball team to a 13-3 win in six innings over Walker to open the Subdistrict 6 Division II playoffs Wednesday at Park Rapids.

Wadena, which opened with a 14-4 win over Sebeka in six innings, defeated Park Rapids 12-2 in five innings in Wednesday night's second game in this double-elimination tournament.

Post 212 managed only five hits, but took advantage of 15 walks to defeat Walker in the playoff opener.

Walker took a quick 2-0 with a pair of unearned runs off Bagstad. Andrew Dudley reached on an error, stole second, advanced to third on Luke DeWulf's fly ball and scored on a throwing error in the first. In the second, Sam Hitchcock reached on an error, stole second and scored on Dudley's two-out single.

Park Rapids took control by sending 13 batters to the plate and scoring seven runs in the bottom of the second. Austin Jerger's two-run single with two outs was the only hit in the inning. Ty Karger and Brendan Kruchowski walked twice while Luke Dickinson, Dawson Roth, Sam Eystad, Bagstad and Will Pickar also walked in that inning, which also featured a Walker error.

A walk to Jason Haas, an infield single by Eystad, two wild pitches and a sacrifice fly by Bagstad gave Park Rapids a 9-2 lead in the third.

Walker made it 9-3 in the fifth when DeWulf was hit by a pitch, stole second and scored on Jack Naugle's RBI double.

Post 212 ended this game early in the sixth on walks to Karger and Kruchowski, an RBI double by Pickar, a run-scoring grounder by Cameron Hoyt, an RBI double by Tristin Persons and an RBI single by Haas.

Bagstad walked four, hit a batter and struck out five while giving up one earned run in six innings.

DeWulf (three runs, four walks, two strikeouts in 1.1 innings), Dillon McGee (six runs, two hits, seven walks, three strikeouts in 1.2 innings) and Michael Landquist (four runs, three hits, four walks, one strikeout in 2.2 innings) pitched for Walker.

Zac Schertler threw a two-hitter in leading Wadena past Park Rapids in the second game.

RBI singles by Isaac Witthuhn and Schertler gave Wadena a 2-0 lead in the first while RBI doubles by Bryce Cooper and Schertler sparked a three-run third inning as Wadena led 5-0.

Park Rapids cut the gap to 5-2 in the fourth on walks to Haas and Eystad and Karger's two-run double.

An RBI single by Max Phillips and a two-run single by Jake Dykhoff made it 10-2 in the bottom of the fourth before two walks, a hit batter and two errors led to the game-ending runs in the fifth.

Bagstad's one-out double in the second was the only other baserunner for Park Rapids. Eystad (five runs, eight hits, three walks in 2.2 innings), Kruchowski (five runs, four hits, five walks in 1 inning), Haas (two runs, two walks, one hit batter in ⅓ inning) and Persons pitched for Park Rapids, which fell to 8-6 on the season.

Wadena entered as the No. 1 seed while Park Rapids was the No. 2 seed, Walker was the No. 3 seed and Sebeka was the No. 4 seed. Park Rapids played Sebeka Friday with the winner advancing to play Wadena in Friday's championship game. The champion and runner-up advance to the District 6 tournament, which begins Thursday at Sauk Centre.

Wadena sweeps Park Rapids

Wadena closed out the regular season by sweeping a pair of games against Park Rapids on July 6.

Dykhoff threw a three-hitter and struck out seven as Wadena won the first game 2-0.

Haas' leadoff single in the fourth, Jerger's two-out single in the fifth and Eystad's one-out single in the seventh were the only hits for Park Rapids.

Bagstad went the distance, allowing single runs in the third and sixth innings and finishing with a six-hitter with three walks and two strikeouts in six innings.

In the second game, Wadena used a 10-hit attack for a 12-1 win in five innings. Wadena scored eight runs in the first, three runs in the third and one run in the fourth.

Chase Brand doubled and scored on Zach Hocking's single in the third to account for Park Rapids' only run. Brand also singled with one out in the first while Dickinson's two-out single in the fourth and Kruchowski's one-out single in the fifth accounted for Park Rapids' other hits.

Haas started and took the loss.