Panthers sitting at .500 after splitting four games
Going 2-1 against Mid-State Conference opponents kept the Park Rapids baseball team in third place in the conference standings.
Park Rapids split a conference doubleheader against Staples-Motley Thursday at Staples, following a 9-2 win in the first game with a 9-6 loss in the second game.
After dropping a 13-11 decision to Section 8AA rival Frazee Friday at Park Rapids, the Panthers defeated Aitkin 7-5 in a conference game Saturday morning at Park Rapids in a contest that was suspended because of darkness on May 1.
Park Rapids is now 3-3 in the conference and 6-6 overall. Pequot Lakes leads the Mid-State standings with a 6-0 record while Detroit Lakes ended conference play with a 6-4 record. Aitkin sits at 3-4, Staples-Motley is 3-6 and Crosby-Ironton is 2-6 with one week left of the regular season.
Panthers, Cards split
The Panthers belted out 29 hits, but had to settle for a split at Staples.
A 14-hit attack sparked Park Rapids to the win in the first game.
The Panthers opened the scoring by pushing across five runs with two outs in the fourth inning behind singles by Gabe Bagstad, Cameron Hoyt, Zach Severtson, Tristin Persons, Ty Karger and Austin Jerger to take a 5-0 lead.
Persons singled and scored on Karger's grounder in the sixth for a 6-2 lead before singles by Zach Hocking, Brendan Kruchowski, Hoyt, Severtson and Jason Haas produced the final three runs in the seventh.
Persons (2 for 4), Haas (2 for 3), Krutchowski (2 for 4), Hoyt (2 for 4) and Severtson (2 for 4) led the offense as Severtson started and picked up the win.
Park Rapids stranded 11 runners on base, including three on third base, as the Cardinals salvaged the split by winning the second game.
Luke Dickinson and Haas singled and Severtson walked to set up a two-run double by Karger and an RBI single by Jerger in the second as the Panthers trailed 5-3.
Park Rapids tied the game at 5-5 in the fifth on a double by Kruchowski, an RBI single by Nathan David and an RBI double by Dickinson before the Cardinals scored four times in the sixth to take the lead for good. A double by Karger and an RBI single by Krutchowski ended the scoring in the bottom of the sixth.
Haas (3 for 4), Karger (3 for 4), Jerger (2 for 4), Krutchowski (2 for 3) and Dickinson (2 for 3) led the Panthers' offense as Jerger took the loss.
Staples-Motley is now 1-4 against Section 8AA opponents and 4-11 overall.
Frazee rallies for win
Frazee faced an early 8-3 deficit before rallying for the win Friday in this battle of Section 8AA rivals after the start of the game was delayed 30 minutes because of rain.
After the Hornets scored three times in the first, the Panthers used a walk to Persons and Haas' run-scoring grounder to score in the bottom of that inning before pushing across seven runs in the second on singles by Kruchowski, Hocking, Bagstad, Hoyt, Persons, Haas, Karger and Jerger.
Frazee scored six times in the fourth and four times in the fifth to take a 13-8 lead. Persons doubled and scored on an error in the sixth while Hoyt and Haas scored on Karger's two-run double with two outs in the seventh to conclude the scoring.
Persons (2 for 4), Karger (2 for 5), Kruchowski (2 for 4), Hocking (2 for 4) and Hoyt (2 for 3) led Park Rapids' offense.
Frazee improved to 7-6 against section teams and 9-7 overall while the Panthers fell to 4-4 against section opponents.
Panthers top Aitkin
Park Rapids scored twice in the top of the fifth inning to defeat Aitkin Saturday morning in the completion of a suspended game.
Persons and Haas scored on grounders by Karger and Hocking to take a 2-0 lead in the first while Persons' two-run single capped a three-run second inning as the Panthers led 5-4 when this game was suspended.
Singles by Karger and Hocking set up a two-run single by Kruchowski in the fifth for a 7-4 lead as the Panthers prevailed.
Persons went 2 for 2 at the plate and picked up the win as the Panthers finished with eight hits.
Aitkin now has an 8-7 overall record.
East Grand Forks (11-2), Dilworth-Glyndon-Felton (13-1) and Warroad (7-4) top the Section 8AA North standings with Park Rapids, Thief River Falls (7-8), Hawley (5-7), Roseau (6-7), Bagley (3-10) and Crookston (2-13) following.
In the Section 8AA South standings, Pequot Lakes (13-1), Perham (12-2), Wadena-Deer Creek (15-2) and Breckenridge (10-6) top the list with Frazee, Ottertail Central (7-8), Staples-Motley and Barnesville (2-11) following.