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Aitkin sweeps Panthers in pair of one-run games

Aitkin followed a walk-off win by holding off a late rally to sweep a Mid-State Conference baseball doubleheader from Park Rapids at Aitkin on Friday, May 17.

Landon Goble's walk-off sacrifice fly with one out in the bottom of the ninth inning gave Aitkin a 9-8 win in the first game before the Gobblers completed the sweep by jumping out to a 10-2 lead and holding off a late Park Rapids rally for a 10-9 victory in six innings in the second game.

In the opener, the Panthers jumped out to a 4-0 lead in the first behind three errors, a double by Brendan Kruchowski and a single by Lucas Dickinson. After Aitkin tied it with four runs in the second, two errors and a single by Jens Anderson gave Park Rapids a 5-4 lead in the third. The Gobblers scored three times in the third and once in the fifth before Park Rapids forced extra innings as Gabe Bagstad's RBI triple made it 8-6 in the sixth and doubles by Ty Karger and Anderson and singles by Brody Hagen and Joey Stachowski sparked a two-run seventh.

Anderson went 2 for 4 and Hagen scored three runs for the Panthers, who had nine hits. Dickinson started and gave up seven runs on six hits over the first three innings before Anderson finished up and took the loss by allowing two runs on five hits and five walks in 5 ⅔ innings of relief.

The Gobblers scored three times in the third, twice in the fourth and four times in the fifth to take a 10-2 lead in the second game before Park Rapids rallied. Singles by Cameron Hoyt, Tristin Persons, Karger and Hagen led to two runs in the fifth before a single by Tanner Hensel, doubles by Hoyt and Bagstad, and two errors produced five runs in the sixth as this game was called after six innings because of darkness.

Bagstad (2 for 4), Karger (2 for 3) and Hoyt (2 for 2, three runs) led the Panthers' nine-hit attack. Kruchowski started and took the loss, surrendering 10 runs on 11 hits, two hit batters and three walks over 4 ⅓ innings. Isaiah Olson allowed one hit in 1 ⅔ innings of relief.

The sweep gave Aitkin an 8-0 record in the conference and 13-4 overall mark while the Panthers fell to 3-6 in Mid-State games and 3-9 overall with their seventh loss in a row.

GAME 1

Park Rapids 401 001 200...8 9 3

Aitkin 043 010 001...9 11 5

W-Olson. L-Anderson.

GAME 2

Aitkin 103 240...10 12 4

Park Rapids 101 025...9 9 4

W-Olson. L-Kruchowski.