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Late rally helps Legion earn split with Staples

Park Rapids' Hunter Carnell delivered a pitch in the first game of an American Legion baseball doubleheader against Staples on Wednesday, June 12. Vance Carlson / Enterprise1 / 2
Tanner Hensel made a running catch in left field during Park Rapids' American Legion baseball debut against Staples on Wednesday, June 12. Vance Carlson / Enterprise2 / 2

It took the Park Rapids American Legion baseball team 10 innings to produce a run in a season-opening doubleheader against Staples on Wednesday, June 12.

That's all it took for Post 212 to salvage a split.

After being held to one hit in a 10-0 loss in five innings in the first game and failing to reach base during the first four innings of the second game, Post 212 took advantage of three Staples errors to rally for a 6-5 win in five innings in the nightcap for the split.

Staples' Josh Kossan allowed only a two-out single to Ty Karger in the fourth inning in tossing a shutout in the opener. Kossan walked four and struck out four over five innings.

Post 212 had only had five other baserunners with four coming on walks to Tanner Hensel in the first, Chaise Persons and Hensel in the third, and Cole Ackerman in the fifth. Ackerman also reached on an error in the second.

Karger started and took the loss, allowing seven runs on five hits and nine walks with seven strikeouts over four innings. Hunter Carnell gave up three runs on one hit and three walks in the fifth. Staples scored five runs in the first, single runs in the second and fourth, and three runs in the fifth.

In the second game, Sam Sauber had a perfect game going through four innings before Park Rapids rallied for the win.

Staples scored twice in the first, twice in the third and once in the fourth to build a 5-0 lead.

Karger started Park Rapids' comeback by reaching on an error to start the fifth. Singles by Brendan Kruchowski and Ackerman, a walk to Hensel, and two more errors set up a game-winning RBI single by Brody Hagen with two outs.

Kruchowski earned the win, allowing five runs on three hits and six walks while striking out seven in a complete-game performance.

Park Rapids hosts Wadena in another doubleheader on Monday (June 17) starting at 5 p.m. at the Area High School field. Post 212 travels to Staples on June 19 and to Wadena on June 26. The league playoffs are set for July 19-21.

Clayton Hoyt is coaching the Legion team this summer.

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