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Park Rapids Legion ousted from District 6 tournament

Chase Brand went 3 for 7 and played shortstop for the Park Rapids American Legion baseball team at the District 6 tournament. Vance Carlson / Enterprise

After opening with a 4-3 loss to Sauk Centre, the Park Rapids American Legion baseball team was eliminated from the District 6 Division II tournament with a 13-5 loss to Paynesville Thursday at Sauk Centre.

Post 212 played well in Thursday's opener as Sauk Centre scored three times in the fourth inning and once in the fifth to build a 4-0 lead before holding on for the win.

Park Rapids mounted a rally in the sixth inning by scoring three times on singles by Tristin Persons, Sam Eystad, Austin Jerger and Gabe Bagstad.

Jason Haas led off the seventh with a walk, but Sauk Centre retired the next three batters to advance.

Chase Brand doubled with one out in the first to account for Park Rapids' other hit. Ty Karger walked in the second and Brendan Kruchowski walked in the third to account for Post 212's other baserunners.

Will Pickar went the distance, allowing four runs on five hits, one walk and one hit batter while striking out four over six innings.

Park Rapids jumped out to a 3-0 lead before two errors sparked a six-run second inning that helped Paynesville survive in an elimination game.

A walk to Persons, singles by Brand and Eystad, a double by Ty Karger and a single by Haas gave Park Rapids the early lead in the first inning.

Four hits, a walk and a hit batter helped Paynesville take a 6-3 lead with six unearned runs in the second before another error led to two more unearned runs in the third for an 8-3 lead. Paynesville added another run in the fourth.

Kruchowski led off the bottom of the fourth with a double and Persons, Eystad and Karger followed with singles as Park Rapids cut the gap to 9-5.

Paynesville sealed the win as six hits led to the final four runs in the sixth.

Park Rapids had 11 hits with Karger (3 for 4), Brand (2 for 4), Eystad (2 for 4) and Kruchowski (2 for 3) leading the way. Bagstad started and allowed 11 runs (three earned) on nine hits with four strikeouts over five innings. Kruchowski gave up two runs on four hits over the final two innings.

The Legion ended the season with a 9-9 record.

In Thursday's other opening-round games, Pierz defeated Belgrade-Brooten-Elrosa 8-5, Wadena edged Holdingford 1-0 in 12 innings and Albany edged Paynesville 11-10 in nine innings.

Pierz topped Wadena 5-4 and Albany defeated Sauk Centre 11-4 while Pierz advanced to the championship game with a 12-2 win in five innings over Albany. In the losers' bracket, Holdingford ousted B-B-E 9-8 in nine innings, Sauk Centre defeated Holdingford 13-3, Paynesville topped Wadena 2-0, Sauk Centre eliminated Paynesville 6-5 and Albany eliminated Sauk Centre 4-3. Pierz defeated Albany 7-3 in Saturday's championship game.

Pierz advances to the state tournament July 27-30 at New London-Spicer.

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