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Baseball: Section 8AA champion Yellowjackets advance to state

Eric Brauch allowed only one hit in Perham's 5-2 victory over Roseau to clinch the 8AA championship. Robert Williams/FOCUS

CROOKSTON — Eric Brauch pitched a complete game, one-hitter, leading the Perham Yellowjackets to the Class 2A Section 8 baseball championship Thursday by a final score of 5-2 over the defending 8AA champion Roseau Rams.

Brauch took a no-hitter into the sixth inning. Roseau cleanup hitter Alex Halstengard hit a two-RBI single to break up the bid and get the Rams only hit of the game.

“I was looking in the sixth at the no hits and thought, ‘Man, this could really happen.’” Brauch said. “I’ll take it. We got the W and are going to state.”

“Nobody can hit us right now and I’m liking it,” catcher CJ Mulcahy said.

Brauch fanned 10 batters, walked two and only faced runners in scoring position in the sixth inning.

“Our pitching has been outstanding all year,” Head Coach Hans Hanson said. “We’re also starting to consistently make plays and hit the ball with runners in scoring position.”

Perham never trailed in the game taking a 1-0 lead in the fourth when Mulcahy singled and scored from third on an error.

The Yellowjackets bumped the lead to 3-0 in the fifth as Josh Still and courtesy runner Tanner Carlson scored. Still scored from third on a past ball. Carlson, ran for Brauch who hit a soaring double to left center and scored on a single by JT Laughlin.

Roseau scored their two runs in the top of the sixth on Halstengard’s base hit to cut the lead to one.

Perham answered in the bottom half on a two-RBI double by Mulcahy for the 5-2 final. Brauch retired the bottom third of the Rams’ order to end the game.

Still, Mulcahy and Laughlin all had two hits each. Still scored twice. Mulcahy had two RBIs, Laughlin one.

“We have a mixture of talent and teamwork,” Mulcahy said. “We’re really smacking the ball; we’re moving runners over. It’s really doing something for us. We’re getting the W’s.”

Austin Halvorson took the loss pitching five innings, allowing four runs, two earned. He walked two and struck out one.

Perham stranded nine runners and ended the fourth and fifth innings with the bases loaded. Only five Rams touched bags in the game and three were left on base.

Perham (16-5) has won seven consecutive games and 10 of the past 11.

“We started to stay after practice, started taking batting practice by ourselves and we all just came up and said this is the turning point in the season,” Brauch said.

“The kids are starting to have fun and we’re seeing success,” said Hanson.

The Class 2A state touranament will be held in St. Cloud at Dick Putz and Joe Faber fields June 13-14. The title game will be held at Target Field in Minneapolis Monday, June 17. The top five teams will be seeded and the three remaining teams will be matched up by a random draw.

ROS 0000020– 2 1 3

PER 000122x– 5 9 2

Halvorson, Krahn (6) and Norby. Brauch and Mulcahy.  W–Brauch. L–Halvorson. 2B–PER-Mulcahy, Brauch. 

View more photos from the section title game on Twitter @PerhamSports
Robert Williams

Robert is a Minnesota Newspaper Association award-winning Sports Editor at the Detroit Lakes Tribune. Williams worked prior as the Sports Editor in Perham for the Focus, a Forum Communications newspaper, from 2010-14. 

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