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VFW team opens season with sweeps

Cory Gartner attempted to score on a wild pitch during a VFW baseball game against Wadena.1 / 2
Paul Prenevost had to dive back to first base on a pick-off play during a VFW baseball game against Bagley.2 / 2

Dave Otterness needed the help of the Akeley VFW to give some Park Rapids baseball players a chance to play ball this summer.

A group of 16-year-olds were too old to play Babe Ruth ball and would be used sparingly on the Park Rapids American Legion team. In order to give these players a chance to play regularly this summer, the Akeley VFW Post 8508 agreed to sponsor a team in Park Rapids.

Those players have made the most of that opportunity by opening the season with a pair of doubleheader sweeps.

The VFW defeated Wadena 7-4 and 11-1 on June 13 and swept Bagley 9-0 and 15-2 on June 16.

In the season opener against Wadena, Kyle Goplerud allowed two hits and struck out 12 while Paul Prenevost scored two runs in the first game. John Massie, Ian Johnson and Kyle Goplerud all chipped in a hit.

David Dirks allowed three hits while Chris Goplerud scored three times to spark the win in the second game. Zach Eystad went 2 for 3, Kyle Goplerud went 2 for 3 with two runs, Dirks scored twice, and Ian Johnson, Tanner Otterness and Kody Walsh had a hit apiece.

Eystad's no-hitter led the VFW past Bagley in the first game of their doubleheader. Eystad also scored two runs while Dirks went 2 for 2. Prenevost had a hit and scored twice.

Cory Gartner hit a home run, scored twice and pitched the VFW to the sweep in the second game. Dirks went 4 for 4 with three runs, Walsh went 2 for 4, Otterness went 2 for 4 and Prenevost scored twice in that win.