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Tuesday's Mid-State Conference season openers for the Park Rapids baseball and fastpitch softball teams and the home opener for the Park Rapids track and field teams have been rained out. Park Rapids was scheduled to host Staples-Motley in a baseball doubleheader while the Panthers were scheduled to play a softball doubleheader at Staples today. Those games will be rescheduled for a later date.
Both Park Rapids golf teams opened the Northern Pines Conference season by sweeping titles Tuesday at Blueberry Pines. Tate Usher tied for medalist honors with a 41 on the par-36 course to lead the Park Rapids boys to first place in the 10-team field with a four-golfer score of 180 while Olivia Wallace claimed runner-up honors as the Panthers took first in the girls meet with a three-golfer round of 146 in the first meet of the season. Jackson Leckner's 45 and a pair of 47s by Jacob Bittmann and Cody Dravis rounded out Park Rapids' winning team score in the boys meet.
Al Pietila and Thomas Litzau threw complete games as the Menahga baseball team opened the season with three wins in four games. Pietila threw a two-hitter and struck out 15 as the Braves opened the season with a 3-0 Park Region Conference win over Sebeka on April 4. The Braves scored the game's only runs in the seventh inning when Mitch Peterson was hit by a pitch, Isaac Anderson drew a two-out walk, Canton Matson lined an RBI single, Litzau walked, and Graham Skoog and Lars Keranen were hit by pitches. Litzau went 2 for 2 to pace Menahga's five-hit attack.
Three winning efforts and five runner-up finishes led the Park Rapids girls track and field team to the title at Tuesday's Wadena-Deer Creek Invitational. Lydia Kantonen won the 3,200-meter run in 12:11.33 and Hannah Morgan took first in the long jump with a distance of 14 feet, 3.50 inches as the Panthers compiled 138 points to top the 10-team field. Osakis was second with 111 points while United North Central finished ninth with 21 points.
Jack DeWulf and Adam Thompson both went 4 for 5 to ignite a 20-hit attack that led the Nevis baseball team to a 15-0 Northland Conference win over Northome-Kelliher Tuesday. Nevis scored three runs the first inning and three runs in the third inning before a six-run seventh inning concluded the scoring.
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.
Mike Baumgartner is counting on more success from the Park Rapids boys tennis team this spring. A year ago, the Panthers went 0-13 in dual meets while posting records of 1-14 at No. 1 singles, 2-13 at No. 2 singles, 0-15 at No. 3 singles, 1-14 at No. 4 singles, 4-11 at No. 1 doubles, 1-14 at No. 2 doubles and 2-13 at No. 3 doubles.
Foley won titles at No. 1 singles and No. 2 singles to capture the team title at Saturday's Park Rapids Invitational boys tennis tournament at the Depot Courts and Century School courts. Foley finished with 28 points to top the eight-team field. Detroit Lakes was second with 23 points and Perham took third with 22 points. Park Rapids was eighth with 2 points. Nick Porozinski and Connor Shaw finished seventh at No. 1 doubles while Gunnar Larson and Casimir Simonson finished seventh at No. 3 doubles to account for Park Rapids' two wins.
Charlie Dormanen is counting on a veteran Menahga baseball team to make another deep run in the Section 5A tournament. For the second year in a row, the Braves ended the season by winning three games during the Section 5A playoffs. Menahga entered last year's section tournament as the No. 4 seed in the West and finished the season with an 11-13 overall record. Nine players return from that team hoping to improve on last year's section seed and sixth-place finish in the Park Region Conference with a 6-8 record.
With only one senior on last year's team that finished with a 10-12 overall record, head coach Bill Dent is expecting a winning record from the Nevis baseball team this spring. The Tigers are looking to improve on last year's 8-6 record for fourth place in the Northland Conference standings and get past the first round of the Section 5A playoffs after being eliminated with an 8-0 loss to Menahga in last spring's tournament opener.