Isaiah Olson threw a complete game and Cole Ackerman had a pair of RBI singles in leading the Park Rapids baseball team to a 7-1 win over Hawley in a game between Section 8AA teams at the Area High School field on Thursday, May 20.
Park Rapids took a 2-0 lead in the second inning on singles by Josh Crandall and Nick Michaelson and a two-run single by Ackerman.
The Panthers loaded the bases with no outs in the third on singles by Olson and Brody Hagen and a walk to Ethan Eischens, but didn't score.
In the fourth, singles by Chaise Persons and Ackerman and a sacrifice bunt by James Hartig set up a two-run double by Olson. After a single by Hagen, Olson scored on a wild pitch as the Panthers led 5-0.
Hawley scored a run in the fifth before Michaelson walked, stole second and scored on Ackerman's RBI single in the bottom of that inning.
Park Rapids concluded the scoring in the sixth when Hagen reached on an error and courtesy runner Noah Morris stole second, advanced to third on a wild pitch and scored when Crandall's fly ball to center field was dropped.
Hawley fell to 3-11 against section foes and 4-13 overall.
Crookston trailed 5-4 before scoring 12 runs in its final three at bats for a 16-9 win over the Panthers in another section battle at Crookston on Friday, May 21.
Ethan Boll's RBI triple gave Crookston a 1-0 lead in the first before the Panthers tied it at 1-1 in the second when Jaxson Lund singled and scored on Michaelson's RBI single.
Jacob Miller's RBI triple with two out in the bottom of the second sparked a three-run rally as the Pirates claimed a 4-1 lead. Park Rapids countered in the third to tie the game at 4-4 by taking advantage of two errors. Michaelson's single and Hartig's RBI double gave the Panthers a 5-4 edge in the fourth before Crookston rallied.
Ashton Larson's two-run single highlighted a four-run fourth as the Pirates led 8-5. After the Panthers scored a run in the fifth, two errors helped Crookston score four times in the bottom of that inning for a 12-6 advantage.
The Panthers strung together five hits to close the gap to 12-9 in the sixth before Crookston tacked on four more runs in the bottom of the sixth to seal the win.
Hartig (3 for 4), Eischens (2 for 4) and Michaelson (2 for 4) led the Panthers’ 11-hit attack.
The Pirates locked up the No. 5 seed in the North half of Section 8AA in improving to 4-7 against section competition and 7-9 overall. The Panthers remained in the No. 6 spot after falling to 2-5 in section games and 5-13 overall.
Warroad (14-3), Roseau (14-4), Dilworth-Glyndon-Felton (10-6) and Thief River Falls (7-9) are the top teams in the North half of Section 8AA with Bagley (8-8), Hawley and East Grand Forks (2-12) rounding out the standings. Leading the way in the South half are Perham (14-2), Wadena-Deer Creek (14-4), Menahga (13-4) and Breckenridge (13-3).