TJ Erickson picked up a pair of pitching wins as the Park Rapids Esox amateur baseball team won a pair of Lake and Pine League road games last weekend.
Erickson earned the win in relief as the Esox edged Wolf Lake 6-5 on June 29 and pitched a complete game in Park Rapids' 9-6 victory at Midway on June 30. Those two wins gave the Esox a 5-2 league record and 6-4 overall record this summer.
In the win at Wolf Lake, the Esox jumped out to a 5-0 lead before Ty Karger plated Riley Massie with the game-winning run in the ninth inning to give Park Rapids the win.
Austin Becker was hit by a pitch and scored on three wild pitches as Park Rapids took a 1-0 lead in the second before a four-run third inning extended the lead to 5-0. Nick Jasmer singled and Clayton Gallus walked to open the inning before a sacrifice bunt by Massie set up a two-run single by Zach Hocking. After an infield single by Karger and a walk to Becker, Cody Schirmers lined a two-run single to cap off the inning.
Wolf Lake made it 5-1 in the bottom of the third on a walk to Max Knoll, a double by Derek Pihlaja and an RBI grounder by Al Pietila, who also had a two-out triple in the first and a double in the fifth.
After the Wolf Pack tied the game at 5-5, Karger produced the game-winner in the ninth.
Gallus started and allowed five runs over the first 7 ⅔ innings before Erickson finished up. Park Rapids shut out Wolf Lake 2-0 in the season opener.
A four-run fifth inning powered the Esox past Midway.
Midway led 3-2 after the first inning before Park Rapids scored four times in the fifth, once in the sixth and twice in the seventh for the win. The Snurdbirds scored single runs in the third, fifth and seventh innings.
Midway finished with 13 hits with Alexander Jimenez (4 for 5 with a double and a home run, three RBI and two runs), Sam Beck (2 for 5 with a homer and two runs) and Stetson Burkman (2 for 5 with a run) leading the way. Steve Wetterling (1 for 4 including a double and a run), Chris Baso (1 for 5 with a run), Ray Mueller (1 for 5), Sam Champa (1 for 4 including a double and an RBI) and CJ Maki (1 for 4) rounded out the Snurdbirds' offense.
Burkman went the distance, allowing five earned runs on nine hits and two walks with five strikeouts. The loss dropped Midway to 1-6 in league play and 1-8 overall. Park Rapids defeated Midway 15-4 in seven innings in the first meeting this season.
Dent used a four-run fourth inning to spark an 8-3 win over Midway on June 29.
Cory Odland, Beck and Baso scored on run-producing hits by Baso and Burkman during a three-run third inning. The Snurdbirds had 10 hits with Beck, Baso and Jimenez all going 2 for 4. Burkman, Mueller (who doubled), Champa and Quincy Jantz all went 1 for 4.
Jimenez started and took the loss, giving up six runs (three earned) on six hits and three walks with three strikeouts in 3 ⅔ innings. Baso allowed two runs (one earned) on one hit and one walk with three strikeouts in three innings before Ike Kyllonen struck out one over the final 1 ⅓ innings.
Midway travels to Nimrod on Saturday (July 6) and hosts Wolf Lake on Sunday (July 7) in a pair of Lake and Pine League games. Park Rapids resumes league play with a game at Staples on July 13 and a home game with Sebeka on July 14. All those games start at 1:30 p.m.