Braves pick up three victories

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Al Pietila and Graham Skoog pitched the Menahga baseball team to three victories last week.

Pietila earned the win in the Braves' 14-2 six-inning victory over Bertha-Hewitt/Verndale May 2 at Bertha, Skoog was the winning pitcher in Menahga's 4-3 win over Walker-Hackensack-Akeley at Walker Thursday and Pietila went the distance in a 6-3 win at Pillager Friday.

In the Park Region Conference win over BHV, Charlie Steidler-Thompson scored on an error in the first before a double by Pietila and singles by Steidler-Thompson and Mitch Peterson made it 2-1 in the third. A six-run fourth inning pushed the lead to 8-1 as three walks, two hit batters, and singles by Nolan Haataja, Thomas Litzau and Skoog sparked that inning. A double by Peterson and singles by Pietila, Steidler-Thompson, Isaac Anderson and Litzau led to three runs in the fifth before singles by Pietila and Steidler-Thompson set up a three-run home run by Peterson to conclude the scoring in the sixth.

Pietila went 3 for 4 with four runs, Steidler-Thompson went 3 for 3 with three runs and two RBI, Peterson went 3 for 4 with three runs and five RBI, Anderson went 2 for 3, and Litzau went 3 for 5 with two RBI to pace Menahga's 16-hit attack. Pietila allowed one run on three hits with seven strikeouts over the first four innings before Peterson (one unearned run on four walks with two strikeouts) and Lars Keranen (one hit and three strikeouts) each pitched an inning.

The Braves took advantage of their five hits to score twice in the first, once in the third and once in the fifth to defeat W-H-A.

Pietila walked and Steidler-Thompson singled to set up a two-run single by Peterson in the first inning; a single by Pietila and a wild pitch led to another run in the third; and Keranen's double and Steidler-Thompson's sacrifice fly accounted for the game-winning run in the fifth.

Keranen went 2 for 3 while Skoog picked up the win by allowing one unearned run on three hits and four walks over four innings. Steidler-Thompson gave up two hits and two runs in two innings before Keranen pitched a scoreless seventh for the save.

Pietila tossed a seven-hit complete game, allowing one earned run with five strikeouts as the Braves defeated Pillager in another conference game.

Keranen singled and scored on an error in the second; singles by Steidler-Thompson and Anderson and a double by Peterson led to two runs in the third; and doubles by Steidler-Thompson and Anderson, an error, a single by Skoog and a sacrifice fly by Keranen produced the final three runs in the fifth.

Steidler-Thompson went 3 for 4 with two runs and Anderson went 2 for 4 with two RBI to lead Menahga's 10-hit attack.

Menahga improved to 6-2 in the conference and 9-3 overall while BHV fell to 3-7 in conference play and 3-8 overall and Pillager dropped to 5-5 in the conference and 7-6 overall. Parkers Prairie tops the conference standings with a 9-1 record. W-H-A, which was rated No. 7 in last week's state Class A poll, fell to 5-1.