A day after seeing a late lead at Staples vanish in a 10-7 loss on Saturday (July 25), the Park Rapids Esox were hoping to avoid another late-inning collapse against Perham.

That didn’t happen as the Esox suffered their seventh loss in a row.

Perham trailed 9-6 before sending 14 batters to the plate and scoring nine runs in the eighth inning to rally for a 16-10 amateur baseball victory at Park Rapids on Sunday (July 26).

The Esox led 3-1 in the third, 8-6 in the fifth and 9-6 in the seventh before the Pirates took control in the eighth. The two teams put 43 runners on base while combining for 28 hits.

After Dawson Stevens’ solo home run in the second gave Perham a 1-0 lead, the Esox countered by scoring three times in the third. Riley Massie led off with a double and scored on Ty Karger’s two-out homer. Brendan Kruchowski followed with a single and scored on Zach Hocking’s RBI double to put Park Rapids in front.

An RBI double by Stevens and Eric Hendrickx’s sacrifice fly gave Perham a 4-3 lead in the fourth before the Esox tied it at 4-4 in the bottom of that inning when Massie reached on a two-out error and scored when Nick Jasmer was caught in a rundown.

Carter Mulcahy’s RBI double gave Perham a 6-4 edge in the fifth, but the Esox responded to claim an 8-6 lead in the bottom of the inning. Cody Schirmers led off with a double and Kruchowski reached on an error. TJ Erickson’s RBI single, Jed Ryan’s two-run double and Massie’s RBI single made it 8-6.

A single by Hocking, a bunt single by Erickson and Massie’s RBI single gave Park Rapids a 9-6 advantage in the seventh before the Pirates rallied in the eighth.

RBI singles by Gavin Biegler, Andrew Smith and Stevens; a bases-clearing double by Chris Ruther; an RBI double by Biegler; and two errors sparked that pivotal inning.

The Pirates added another run in the ninth before Park Rapids concluded the scoring in the bottom of that inning when Erickson doubled and scored on Ryan’s RBI single.

Park Rapids pounded out 16 hits, but left 10 runners on base. Massie (3 for 5, two runs, two RBI), Erickson (2 for 4, two runs) and Ryan (3 for 5, three RBI) led the Esox’s offense. Schirmers (2 for 5), Karger (2 for 5, two RBI) and Hocking (2 for 5, two runs) also had multiple hits as Park Rapids fell to 1-7 against Region 14C teams and 1-9 overall.

Erickson started and took the loss, allowing 15 runs (12 earned) on 12 hits and four walks while striking out three in 7.2 innings. Ryan finished up, giving up two walks and one run with two strikeouts.

Stevens went 4 for 5 with four runs and three RBI to pace the Pirates, who improved to 2-2 this summer.

The Esox will end the regular season with a pair of Lake & Pine League games against Midway at Menahga at 8 p.m. on Saturday (Aug. 1) and a game at Sebeka at 1:30 p.m. on Sunday (Aug. 2).

Staples rallies

Staples faced a 4-3 deficit before scoring three times in the seventh and four times in the eighth to defeat the Esox in a Lake & Pine League game at Staples on July 25.

Schirmers reached on an error and scored on Kruchowski’s two-out RBI single for a 1-0 lead in the third. A walk to Jasmer, a single by Schirmers, a sacrifice bunt by Karger, a walk to Kruchowski and Hocking’s RBI single gave the Esox a 3-2 lead in the fifth. After the Lumberbats tied it in the bottom of that inning, Schirmers was hit by a pitch and scored on Kruchowski’s RBI double in the seventh for a 4-3 edge.

Staples claimed a 10-4 lead in the late going before the Esox concluded the scoring in the ninth on singles by Karger and Kruchowski, a two-run triple by Erickson, and an RBI grounder by Ethan Eischens.

Kruchowski (3 for 4, two RBI), Erickson (2 for 3, two RBI) and Schirmers (1 for 3, three runs) led Park Rapids’ nine-hit attack. Clayton Gallus took the loss, giving up 10 runs (nine earned) on seven hits and five walks with four strikeouts in 7-plus innings. Hocking entered in the eighth, allowing one hit and one walk with one strikeout.

The loss dropped Park Rapids to 1-4 against Lake & Pine League opponents.