Isaiah Olson’s RBI single with one out in the bottom of the ninth inning gave the Park Rapids baseball team a 2-1 win over Bagley at the Area High School field on Thursday, May 27.
James Hartig drew a one-out walk and stole second before scoring the game-winner on Olson’s single in the regular-season finale.
Both teams had chances to win this game in regulation as Bagley ended up leaving 11 runners on base while the Panthers left nine runners stranded.
Bagley opened the scoring in the first, but Park Rapids starter Noah Larson prevented further damage by leaving the bases loaded.
The Panthers tied it at 1-1 in the third when Ethan Eischens coaxed a one-out walk and Josh Crandall was hit by a pitch. Jaxson Lund was out on a fielder’s choice grounder, but a throwing error on an attempted double play enabled Eischens to score the tying run.
That was all the scoring until the ninth.
Olson singled and Eischens walked in the first; Mason Yliniemi reached on a two-base error and Hartig singled with two outs in the second; Cole Ackerman walked in the fourth; Brody Hagen was hit by a pitch in the fifth; Ackerman walked in the seventh; and Eischens and Nick Michaelson walked in the eighth to account for the Panthers’ other baserunners.
Olson went 2 for 3 as the Panthers managed only three hits. Larson allowed one run on five hits and three walks with two strikeouts over the first 6 ⅔ innings before Hagen earned the win with 2 ⅓ innings of hitless relief. Hagen walked two and struck out three as Park Rapids improved to 3-6 against Section 8AA opponents and 6-14 overall.
Alec Norum and Brett Merschman also pitched well for the Flyers. Norum allowed one unearned run on two hits with eight strikeouts over 7 ⅔ innings before Merschman took over in the eighth as Bagley fell to 1-2 in section games and 9-10 overall.