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Panthers rely on solid pitching to sweep Rangers, top Prowlers

Drew Bade had to dive back to first base on a pickoff attempt during Park Rapids' 4-3 win over Thief River Falls Tuesday.

Belting out 44 hits sparked a three-game winning streak as the Park Rapids baseball team climbed above the .500 mark.

A 13-hit attack led the Panthers to a 4-3 win in nine innings over Thief River Falls in a Section 8AA battle Tuesday at the Area High School field.

Prior to that game, the Panthers used 31 hits to sweep a Mid-State Conference doubleheader at Crosby-Ironton on Monday. The Panthers followed a 14-4 win with a 20-3 victory in a pair of five-inning games.

Panthers edge Prowlers

The Panthers scored twice in the bottom of the seventh to tie TRF at 3-3 and extend the game before winning it in the ninth.

Cory Odland singled and scored on Drew Bade's single in the second as the Panthers tied the game at 1-1.

TRF scored single runs in the third and fifth to take a 3-1 lead before the Panthers tied the game in the seventh on singles by Rilee Johnson and Zach Eystad, a sacrifice fly by Chris Goplerud and a run-scoring grounder by Levi Erickson.

Three errors helped Sam Coborn score the winning run in the ninth.

Bade went 4 for 4 while Eystad went 3 for 5 to pace the Panthers' offense. Tyler McCollum picked up the win in relief of Odland. Those two combined for one earned run on 11 hits with 14 strikeouts.

The win gave the Panthers a 9-7 record while TRF fell to 10-3 on the season.

Panthers sweep Rangers

A nine-run fourth inning in the first game and a 14-run fifth inning in the second game sparked the Panthers to the sweep over Crosby-Ironton.

In the first game, an RBI double by Erickson and an RBI single by Bade led to three runs in the first while an RBI single and RBI triple by David Dirks sparked the nine-run fourth. Eystad also had a pair of RBI singles in that inning and Coborn and Bade contributed RBI singles.

Eystad went 3 for 4 and Dirks went 3 for 3 to lead the Panthers' 14-hit attack. Erickson went the distance for the win.

In the second game, the Panthers pounded out 17 hits to complete the sweep.

Coborn's two-run triple helped lead to five runs in the third before the Panthers sent 18 batters to the plate and scored 14 times in the fifth. That inning featured an RBI double by Kyle Goplerud, a two-run triple by Coborn, two-run singles by Ridlon and Andy Waller, and RBI singles by Odland, Coborn and Eystad.

Coborn went 3 for 5 with five RBI, Odland went 3 for 3 with three RBI and Ridlon went 2 for 4 with three RBI to lead the Panthers. Cory Gartner went the distance for the win.

Park Rapids improved to 6-5 in the conference while C-I fell to 0-12 in conference play and 0-17 overall.

Perham sweeps Panthers

Perham's 23 hits led to a conference doubleheader sweep over the Panthers on May 10.

Odland had a pair of RBI singles as the Panthers lost the first game 14-4 in five innings while Eystad had a two-run double in the second, an RBI single in the third and an RBI single in the sixth as Perham completed the sweep with a 10-8 win in the second game.