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Panthers salvage a split with Patriots

Getting the clutch hits in the second game helped the Park Rapids baseball team salvage a split of a Mid-State Conference doubleheader at Pequot Lakes Tuesday.

After stranding five runners in scoring position in a 4-3 loss in the first game, the Panthers produced clutch hits in the late innings to spark a 7-4 victory in the second game.

In the first game, a walk by Cody Schirmers and double by Dylan Walsh set up Kevin Vaadeland's two-run single as the Panthers claimed a 2-1 lead in the third.

Pequot Lakes rallied to claim a 4-2 lead before a single by Schirmers and RBI triple by Walsh ended the scoring in the seventh.

Schirmers, Walsh and Vaadeland had two hits each to lead the Panthers' eight-hit attack. Vaadeland took the loss, allowing three runs on six hits over four innings.

In the second game, a three-run fifth inning sparked the Panthers to the split.

Schirmers doubled and scored in the first before Vaadeland walked and scored in the third to give the Panthers a 2-1 lead. A single by Paul Dirks, an RBI double by Walsh, and singles by Tucker Coborn and Vaadeland in the fourth gave Park Rapids a 4-1 advantage.

Dan Pike, Blake Olson and Cory Odland opened the fifth inning with singles and all scored for a 7-2 advantage.

The game was called after five innings because of darkness after Pequot Lakes scored twice.

Vaadeland, Olson and Dirks had two hits each while Coborn picked up the win with a complete-game effort.

"I thought things went very well," said Park Rapids head coach Jeremy Anderson. "We had chances to win the first game, but we couldn't get the big hit. We came back and played well in the second game."