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Panthers, Cardinals split conference doubleheader

Tanner Hensel delivered a pitch during the first game of a Mid-State Conference doubleheader against Staples-Motley on Tuesday, May 7. Hensel picked up the win in relief in Park Rapids' 2-1 victory. Vance Carlson / Enterprise1 / 2
Ty Karger looked to put down a sacrifice bunt during the first game of a Mid-State Conference doubleheader against Staples-Motley on Tuesday, May 7. Vance Carlson / Enterprise2 / 2

Park Rapids and Staples-Motley used late rallies to split a Mid-State Conference baseball doubleheader at Park Rapids on Tuesday, May 7.

Park Rapids scored two runs in the bottom of the sixth inning for a 2-1 win in the first game while the Cardinals scored four runs in the bottom of the fifth inning to rally for a 6-4 victory in the second game.

In the opener, Staples-Motley scored an unearned run in the fourth to take a 1-0 lead before the Panthers rallied to score the winning runs in the sixth. Gabe Bagstad led off with a single, stole second and advanced to third on Ty Karger's sacrifice bunt. Brendan Kruchowski walked and stole second before Lucas Dickinson lofted a sacrifice fly to score Bagstad with the tying run. Kruchowski advanced to third on the play and scored the winning run on a wild pitch.

Park Rapids had two other chances to score, but left four runners on base. Tristin Persons was hit by a pitch and Bagstad walked, but both were stranded in the first. In the fourth, Kruchowski and Jens Anderson singled, but neither advanced.

The Cardinals also had multiple scoring chances, but left runners on second and third in the fourth, left the bases loaded in the fifth, stranded two runners in the sixth and left two runners in the seventh. Staples-Motley left 11 runners on base in the loss.

Tanner Hensel picked up the win in relief on Bagstad, who allowed three hits and six walks with 11 strikeouts over 5 ⅔ innings. Hensel gave up two hits in the seventh and struck out one.

After managing only three hits in the first game, the Panthers were limited to only four hits in the second game.

Park Rapids took a 1-0 lead in the second on Brody Hagen's double and Hensel's single.

After Staples-Motley capitalized on two errors to claim a 2-1 lead in the bottom of the second, the Panthers scored three times in the fourth for a 4-2 lead. Four errors, a walk to Kruchowski and a single by Hagen gave Park Rapids the lead.

The Cardinals responded by scoring four times in the fifth. Three hits, four walks and an error produced the winning runs.

Karger's double in the fifth was the only other hit for the Panthers. Hensel took the loss as Park Rapids fell to 3-2 in the conference and 3-3 overall. The split gave the Cardinals a 3-4 record in Mid-State games and a 4-6 overall mark.

GAME 1

Staples-Motley 000 100 0...1 5 0

Park Rapids 000 002 x...2 3 2

W-Hensel. L-Olander.

GAME 2

Park Rapids 010 300 0...4 4 3

Staples-Motley 020 040 x...6 6 4

W-Bjerga. L-Hensel.