Legion qualifies for district tournament
Will Pickar threw a six-hit complete game as the Park Rapids American Legion baseball team qualified for the District 6 Division II tournament with a 9-1 victory over Sebeka in a subdistrict elimination game Friday night at Park Rapids.
Justin Dykhoff followed with a two-hitter in leading Wadena to an 11-1 victory in five innings over Post 212 in Friday night's subdistrict championship game.
Sauk Centre and Elrosa will host the District 6 tournament, which begins Thursday morning. Park Rapids will carry a 9-7 record in Thursday's first-round game against Sauk Centre. That game begins at 11 a.m. at Sauk Centre. The winner of that game plays Thursday night at 7:30 against the winner between Paynesville and Albany at Elrosa with the loser playing either Paynesville or Albany Thursday night at 6:30 at Sauk Centre.
The other first-round games in this double-elimination tournament pit Belgrade-Brooten-Elrosa against Pierz and Wadena against Holdingford. The tournament continues through Saturday with a final game, if necessary, set for Sunday. The district champion advances to the state Division II tournament July 27-30 at New London-Spicer.
Pickar was in control as Post 212 eliminated Sebeka in Friday night's first game to earn a trip to the district tournament.
Sebeka took a 1-0 lead in the first inning when Mason Dailey led off with a double and scored on Al Pietila's RBI single.
Pickar, who finished with seven strikeouts, allowed only eight baserunners the rest of the game. Charlie Steidler-Thompson was hit by a pitch in the first; Dailey reached on an error and Steidler-Thompson walked in the third; Dailey and Pietila singled in the fifth; Tom Litzau singled and Isaac Tellers was hit by a pitch in the sixth; and Pietila singled in the seventh.
Park Rapids tied the game at 1-1 in the bottom of the first when Tristin Persons walked and scored when Chase Brand's single was misplayed.
Jason Haas led off the third with a single, stole second and scored on Brand's two-out single to give Post 212 a 2-1 lead.
Austin Jerger singled and Gabe Bagstad was hit by a pitch to lead off the fourth. Jerger scored on a throwing error while Bagstad scored on a wild pitch for a 4-2 advantage.
A five-run sixth inning sealed the win. Haas reached on an error, Cameron Hoyt walked and Persons singled to load the bases with one out. After Brand drew a walk, Sam Eystad lined a three-run double. Eystad scored on Bagstad's two-out double.
Brand (2 for 3), Eystad (2 for 4) and Haas (2 for 3) led Park Rapids' 10-hit attack. Tellers started and took the loss for Sebeka.
Park Rapids' offense was shut down in Friday night's second game as Wadena capped off an undefeated run in the subdistrict tournament.
Wadena scored a run in the first, three runs on four walks in the second, three runs on three walks in the third, one run in the fourth and three runs in the fifth to end this game early via the 10-run rule.
Jerger led off the fourth with a double and scored on a two-out error to account for Park Rapids' lone run. Persons led off the first inning with a double to account for Post 212's other hit.
Persons started and took the loss. Haas, Jerger and Luke Dickinson finished up as those four pitchers combined for 13 walks and six hits.