Perham remains perfect, sweeps Panthers to repeat as Mid-State Conference champs

In order to win the Mid-State Conference title, the Park Rapids baseball team needed to play flawless ball in order to sweep a doubleheader from Perham Tuesday at the Area High School diamond.

In order to win the Mid-State Conference title, the Park Rapids baseball team needed to play flawless ball in order to sweep a doubleheader from Perham Tuesday at the Area High School diamond.

Unfortunately, eight errors proved costly for the Panthers in this battle of two of the state's top Class AA teams as Perham was able to defend its conference title by following a 4-0 win in the first game with a come-from-behind 10-6 win in 10 innings in the second game.

Perham entered this game with a 107-20 edge in runs scored against its opponents and ranked No. 2 in the Class AA poll while the Panthers held the No. 7 ranking in the state. Following Tuesday's doubleheader, Perham remained undefeated with a 15-0 record while the Panthers had their eight-game winning streak snapped to fall to 13-3 on the year.

Philip Moenkedick pitched a gem in the opener, allowing only two singles and striking out 11 as the Yellowjackets posted their fourth shutout of the season.

A single, an error on a pickoff attempt and a double by Isaac Stoll gave Perham a 1-0 lead in the first inning. Two dropped fly balls led to another run in the third before two singles, an error and a sacrifice fly produced the final two runs in the fifth.


Chris Bruhn pitched well for the Panthers, allowing only four hits while striking out four in a complete-game effort.

Moenkedick retired the first 10 batters he faced before Zach Lehrke singled in the fourth. Kyle Blanchard's single with two outs in the fifth was the only other baserunner for the Panthers.

Moenkedick improved to 5-0 on the season and lowered his ERA to 0.26.

Perham remained undefeated on the season by rallying from a 5-0 deficit in the second game to earn the sweep and claim the conference title with a 12-0 record.

Park Rapids, which fell to 8-3 in conference play, jumped out to a 4-0 lead in the first inning. Singles by Curtis Tolle and Lehrke opened the inning before Grant Dierkhising was safe on an error on a bunt. Tom Juberian's two-run single and Eli Donatelle's run-scoring grounder capped the inning.

In the second, Brandon Gartner walked, stole second and scored on Tolle's RBI single for a 5-0 advantage.

Perham scored twice in the third on two walks and RBI singles by Marcus Hendrickson and Eric Weller and made it 5-3 in the sixth on a double by Ben Warne and a sacrifice fly.

The Yellowjackets forced extra innings by scoring twice in the seventh. A single by Weller and a walk to Dylan Anderson ended the night for Gartner. Bruhn took over and gave up an RBI double to Andy Kratzke to tie the game.


Anderson's RBI single gave Perham a 6-5 lead in the eighth, but the Panthers tied the game on a walk to Lehrke, a single by Dierkhising, and two-out walks to Donatelle and Blanchard.

Perham put the game away in the 10th as three walks, an error and Kratzke's RBI single sparked a four-run outburst off Donatelle.

(Game 1)

Perham 101 020 0......4 4 0

Park Rapids 000 000 0......0 2 5


Tolle 3 0 0 0

Lehrke 3 0 1 0


Dierkhising 3 0 0 0

Juberian 3 0 0 0

Bruhn 3 0 0 0

Donatelle 2 0 0 0

Boterman 0 0 0 0

Blanchard 2 0 1 0

Walsh 0 0 0 0

Gartner 2 0 0 0


Haas 1 0 0 0

Olson 1 0 0 0

Totals 23 0 2 0

Moenkedick and Kratzke; Bruhn (7IP, 4R, 4H, 4K, 1BB, 1HBP) and Lehrke. W-Moenkedick, 5-0. L-Bruhn, 3-1.

(Game 2)

P er 002 001 210 4.....10 13 2

PR 410 000 010 0......6 8 3



Tolle 5 1 3 1

Lehrke 3 2 1 0

Dierkhising 4 1 2 0

Juberian 5 1 1 2

Bruhn 5 0 1 0

Donatelle 2 0 0 1

Walsh 0 0 0 0

Blanchard 4 0 0 1


Haas 2 0 0 0

Olson 2 0 0 0

Gartner 2 1 0 1

Totals 34 6 8 6

Schmitz, Weller (5), Stoll (6), Hendrickson (9) and Kratzke; Gartner (6IP, 5R, 7H, 5K, 6BB), Bruhn (2IP, 1R, 5H, 0K, 1BB), Donatelle (2IP, 4R, 1H, 0K, 3BB) and Lehrke. W-Hendrickson, 1-0. L-Donatelle, 3-1. 2B: Tolle 1. SB: Gartner 2.

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