David Dirks delivered two clutch hits and TJ Erickson struck out 19 batters in a complete-game effort as the Park Rapids Esox rallied for a 5-4 victory in 11 innings over Sebeka in a Lake and Pine League amateur baseball game at Park Rapids on Sunday, July 14.
Sebeka held a 4-2 lead before the Esox mounted a late rally.
Clayton Gallus reached on an error, advanced to second on a walk to Erickson, and scored on two wild pitches as Park Rapids narrowed the gap to 4-3 in the eighth.
In the ninth, Jack Naugle reached second on a throwing error, moved to third on a wild pitch and scored on Dirks' two-out single to tie the game at 4-4 and force extra innings.
After a scoreless 10th inning, Austin Becker was hit by a pitch to open the bottom of the 11th and scored the winning run on Dirks' double to center field.
The Stingers jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the first inning before Gallus blasted a solo home run in the second to make it 2-1. Sebeka added two more runs in the fifth for a 4-1 lead before Naugle led off the bottom of the fifth by being hit by a pitch and scored on Ty Karger's RBI double.
Park Rapids had plenty of other scoring opportunities, but couldn't capitalize in leaving 14 runners on base.
In the first, Karger lined a two-out double, but was stranded. Kevin Kuhn followed Gallus' homer with a single and Nick Jasmer reached on an error, but both were left on base in the second. Dirks and Erickson walked in the fourth, but didn't advance while Dirks walked and Erickson was hit by a pitch in the sixth as both were left stranded. Riley Massie singled and Naugle walked with one out in the seventh, but neither advanced. Jasmer also walked in the eighth as two more runners were left on base. Park Rapids left the bases loaded in the 10th when Erickson and Jasmer walked and Naugle was hit by a pitch. Dirks finally delivered the game-winner in the 11th.
Karger went 2 for 6 and Dirks went 2 for 4 to pace Park Rapids' seven-hit attack.
Erickson went the distance for the win, allowing four runs on seven hits with three walks. Erickson retired 17 of the final 23 Sebeka batters, allowing three hits and two walks over the final six innings. The other Sebeka batter reached on an error.
Sebeka defeated the Esox 5-2 on May 12.
The win lifted Park Rapids to 6-3 in the league and 7-5 overall. Nimrod tops the league standings at 7-2 with Staples joining the Esox at 6-3. Sebeka fell to 3-4 while Wolf Lake (3-6) and Midway (1-8) complete the Lake and Pine standings.
Park Rapids travels to Deer Creek for a night game on July 26 before concluding Lake and Pine League play with a home game against Nimrod on July 27 starting at 1:30 p.m.
Staples top Esox
Staples jumped out to a 6-0 lead in a 6-1 win over the Esox in a league game at Staples on Saturday, July 13.
Staples managed only three hits against Naugle and Dave Mortensen, but took advantage of 12 walks for the win.
Zach Hocking went 2 for 4 while Naugle, Karger, Mortensen, Dirks, Brendan Kruchowski and Jed Ryan contributed a hit each as the Esox finished with eight hits. Park Rapids avoided the shutout when Dirks walked and scored on Ryan's RBI double in the ninth inning.
Park Rapids defeated the Lumberbats 10-5 on June 2.
Esox top Midway
The Esox belted out 10 hits in a 9-6 league victory at Midway on June 30.
Cody Schirmers (2 for 3, two runs), Becker (2 for 4, two RBI) and Mortensen (2 for 5, one run, one RBI) led Park Rapids' offense. Karger (1 for 5, two runs), Erickson (1 for 5, one run, one RBI), Austin Jerger (1 for 1, one RBI) and Jasmer (1 for 3, two runs) also contributed hits while Hocking scored the other run.
Erickson pitched a complete game, allowing five earned runs on 10 hits and one walk with five strikeouts.
The Esox defeated Midway 15-4 on June 1.