Nimrod used an 8-2 victory at Park Rapids on Saturday, July 27, to win the Lake and Pine League regular-season title and lock up a No. 1 seed for the upcoming Region 14C amateur baseball tournament.
The Gnats jumped out to a 4-0 lead after five innings in this regular-season finale to sweep the season series from Park Rapids and finish 8-2 in Lake and Pine League play. Park Rapids, which lost 5-4 at Nimrod on June 23, ended league play in third place with a 6-4 mark.
Nimrod capitalized on Esox errors to score single runs in the first and second innings. Paul Funk led off the game with a single, advanced to third on two errors and scored on Luke Weniger’s RBI single for a 1-0 lead in the first before Ben Bestland reached on a two-out error and scored on Beau Mertens’ RBI single for a 2-0 lead in the second.
A two-run fifth gave Nimrod a 4-0 advantage as doubles by Alex Brockpahler and Luke Weniger, a single by Jackson Weniger, and a run-scoring grounder by Jason Steinke sparked that inning.
The Esox, who were held to only two baserunners through the first five innings on Kevin Kuhn’s lead-off double in the third and Austin Becker’s hit by pitch in the fourth, scored a run in the sixth on a walk to Zach Hocking, a grounder by Jack Naugle, and an RBI double by Cody Schirmers.
A single by Brockpahler and an RBI double by Jackson Weniger made it 5-2 in the seventh before a walk to Tanner Burgau, a single by Taylor Carlson, a sacrifice fly by Mertens and an RBI triple by Funk made it 7-2 in the eighth.
Singles by Jed Ryan, Schirmers and Ty Karger and a sacrifice fly by Becker produced Park Rapids’ final run in the bottom of the eighth before Luke Weniger reached on an error and scored on a sacrifice fly by Burgau in the ninth to conclude the scoring.
Nimrod finished with 15 hits with Luke Weniger (3 for 5), Funk (2 for 5), Brockpahler (2 for 5), Jackson Weniger (2 for 5), Steinke (2 for 5) and Bestland (2 for 4) leading the way. Funk (one run on two hits with six strikeouts over six innings), Bestland (one run on four hits in two innings) and Brockpahler (two strikeouts in the ninth) combined on a six-hitter.
Nick Jasmer was hit by a pitch and Kuhn singled in the seventh to account for the other baserunners for the Esox.
Schirmers and Kuhn both went 2 for 4 to lead Park Rapids’ offense. TJ Erickson went the distance, walking one and striking out three as the Esox fell to 7-7 overall. Park Rapids committed four errors in the game.
Staples earned the Lake and Pine League’s No. 2 seed for the Region 14C tournament with a 7-3 record. Sebeka was seeded No. 4 with a 4-5 record with Wolf Lake at No. 5 with a 3-7 record and Midway at No. 6 with a 1-8 record in league games.
The Region 14C tournament begins Friday (Aug. 2) with Wolf Lake playing Perham at Perham at 7:30 p.m. and Midway playing Sebeka at 7:30 p.m. at Deer Creek. Park Rapids opens against Deer Creek Saturday (Aug. 3) at 1 p.m. at Perham.
Deer Creek walks off
Travis George walked with two outs and scored on two wild pitches in the bottom of the ninth inning to give Deer Creek a walk-off 4-3 win over the Esox on Friday, July 26, in a preview to the region opener.
Park Rapids took a 1-0 lead in the third when Kuhn walked and scored on two errors.
Wyatt Weber’s two-run single gave Deer Creek a 2-1 lead in the sixth before the Esox tied it at 2-2 in the seventh when Becker singled and scored.
Mitchell Swanson walked and scored to give the Shockers a 3-2 lead in the bottom of the seventh before Park Rapids tied it at 3-3 in the ninth when Becker walked and scored on Jasmer’s RBI double.
Deer Creek scored the winning run in the bottom of the ninth.
Dave Mortensen started for the Esox while Clayton Gallus took the loss in relief.
Brewers rout Midway
The Moorhead Brewers scored 20 runs in the first inning to spark a 31-4 victory at Midway on Saturday, July 27.
Moorhead scored once in the third, three times in the fourth, twice in the fifth and twice in the sixth to build a 28-0 lead before the Snurdbirds scored four times in the bottom of the sixth. The Brewers concluded the scoring with three runs in the seventh.
Sam Beck blasted a two-run home run in the sixth and went 2 for 4. Sam Champa also went 2 for 4 with a run scored and Sean Dormanen went 2 for 4 as Midway finished with eight hits. Ike Kyllonen (1 for 4) and Alexander Jimenez (1 for 4, one run) had the other hits while CJ Maki scored the other run. Chris Baso had the other RBI.
Jimenez started and took the loss as Midway fell to 1-13 on the season by losing for the ninth game in a row.