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Pitching propels Panthers to tournament title

Will Pickar delivered a pitch during Saturday's game against Bagley. Vance Carlson / Enterprise

Tristin Persons, Will Pickar and Sam Eystad turned in quality starts in pitching the Park Rapids baseball team to the title at the 22nd annual Park Rapids Tournament.

Park Rapids opened with a 13-1 five-inning win over Cass Lake in Friday's quarterfinals, followed with an 8-1 win over Bagley in Saturday's semifinals and edged Frazee 1-0 in Saturday's championship game.

The Panthers' pitching staff combined to allow only two runs on eight hits and 11 walks with 23 strikeouts in the three games. Offensively, the Panthers had 17 hits and capitalized on 24 walks and six hit batters to score 22 runs.

Menahga defeated Bagley 7-2 for third place, Nevis defeated Wheaton 5-3 for fifth place and Staples-Motley defeated Cass Lake 15-5 for seventh place in this eight-team wood bat tournament.

Panthers win opener

Persons threw a two-hitter and struck out 13 in leading the Panthers past Cass Lake in the quarterfinals.

Park Rapids combined 11 walks and two hit batters with six hits to advance to the semifinals.

Persons was hit by a pitch, Jason Haas walked and Sam Eystad walked to open the first inning. All three scored on passed balls to give Park Rapids a 3-0 lead.

Ty Karger singled, Nathan David was hit by a pitch, and Dawson Roth, Persons, Haas, Eystad and Pickar walked as the Panthers extended their lead to 8-0 in the second.

A walk to Roth and a single by Haas led to another run in the third before a four-run fourth gave the Panthers the win via the 10-run rule. Austin Jerger, Zach Hocking and Karger singled before walks to Roth and Persons and a single by Haas capped off Park Rapids' scoring.

Haas went 2 for 2, Karger went 2 for 3 with two runs scored and Roth scored three runs to pace Park Rapids' offense. Persons and Eystad also scored two runs each.

Panthers defeat Bagley

The Panthers combined five timely hits with nine walks and three hit batters to defeat Bagley in the semifinals.

A two-out single by Eystad, an RBI double by Jerger and an RBI single by Hocking gave Park Rapids a 2-1 lead in the first inning.

Haas was hit by a pitch and scored on a balk in the third inning before Persons and Haas walked and scored in the fifth when Jerger was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded and Hocking lofted a sacrifice fly.

Park Rapids ended the scoring in the sixth on lead-off walks to David, Roth and Persons, and a two-run double by Haas.

Pickar threw a three-hitter with six strikeouts. Haas went 2 for 2 and joined Persons with two runs scored.

Panthers edge Frazee

Eystad threw a three-hitter with four strikeouts as the Panthers edged Frazee in the title game.

The Panthers scored the game's only run in the second. Pickar and Karger singled and Gabe Bagstad walked to load the bases with no outs. Frazee's Logan Wacker struck out the next three batters, but a wild pitch on a third strike on what would have been the third out enabled Pickar to score what proved to be the only run in the game.

Park Rapids produced singles by Eystad and Pickar in the third and a single by Eystad in the fifth the rest of the way.

Frazee mounted a threat in the sixth, but left the bases loaded. Eystad retired the side in the seventh for the complete-game victory.

Eystad and Pickar both went 2 for 3 to pace a six-hit attack as Park Rapids improved to 3-1.

Tigers finish 5th

Nevis rebounded from a quarterfinal loss to Menahga to capture the consolation title Saturday.

Menahga prevailed 3-2 in the tournament opener against Nevis Friday night, but the Tigers regrouped to defeat Staples-Motley 14-6 in the consolation semifinals Saturday morning and Wheaton 5-3 in the consolation title game Saturday afternoon.

In the opener against Menahga, the Tigers scored their runs in the top of the third. Adam Thompson singled, Jack DeWulf walked and both scored on RBI singles by Jack Landquist and Luke DeWulf.

Menahga tied the game in the bottom of the third and scored the winning run in the fifth.

Nevis managed only four hits in the game with Thompson going 2 for 3 with two stolen bases. Jack DeWulf started and allowed two unearned runs on three hits and seven walks while striking out four in four innings. Luke DeWulf took the loss, allowing an unearned run on one hit and two walks in the fifth. Dillon McGee pitched a scoreless sixth.

A 17-hit attack sparked the Tigers past Staples-Motley.

The Cardinals jumped out to a 3-1 lead in the first before Nevis scored three times in the second and four times in both the fifth and seventh innings to take control.

Dan Mistic, Michael Landquist and Sam Hitchcock all went 3 for 5 with Mistic belting a pair of doubles, scoring twice and driving in a pair. Jack DeWulf went 2 for 5 and stole two bases, Luke DeWulf went 2 for 3 with two runs and two RBI, Michael Landquist scored twice, Thompson went 2 for 4 with three runs scored and McGee also drove in a pair of runs.

McGee earned the win in relief of Derek Lindow. Lindow gave up two runs in the first before McGee pitched the final 6.2 innings, allowing four runs on five hits with nine strikeouts.

In the consolation title game, the Tigers scored twice in the first and added single runs in the fourth, fifth and sixth innings to defeat Wheaton.

Jack DeWulf and Mistic both went 2 for 4 with a run and an RBI. Luke DeWulf, Dudley and Thompson also scored runs while Jack Landquist and Ben Soldwisch each drove in a run. Luke DeWulf picked up the win, allowing three runs on five hits while striking out six in 5.1 innings. Dudley allowed one hit over the final 1.2 innings for the save.

Jack DeWulf and Thompson combined on a three-hitter as the Tigers opened the season with a 14-1 Northland Conference win over Laporte on April 4.

Nevis scored three times in the first, once in the second, three times in the third, once in the fourth and six times in the fifth as this game ended after five innings because of the 10-run rule.

Jack DeWulf went 2 for 3 with two runs, Jack Landquist went 2 for 4 with three runs and two RBI, Mistic went 2 for 4 with three RBI, Michael Landquist went 2 for 3 with two RBI and Hitchcock went 2 for 3 with an RBI to lead Nevis' 14-hit attack while Thompson scored three runs.

Jack DeWulf picked up the win, allowing one hit and striking out seven in three scoreless innings.