Jackets sweep Wolverines, eye conference crown
PERHAM — The Yellowjackets pulled into a first place tie with Park Rapids at 9-1 in the Mid-State Conference with a sweep of Wadena-Deer Creek Tuesday at Krueger Field.
Perham pounded out 13 hits and rallied from 4-2 down with a run in the fifth and a pair in the sixth for a 5-4 win in the opener.
Austin Erickson was a perfect 4-4 at the plate and swiped two bags and scored a run. Erickson leads the team with five steals this season.
CJ Mulcahy 3-4 with a double, a run scored, and one RBI.
Dylan Kruzel and Josh Still each had a pair of hits, each with a double, and a run scored.
Tanner Carlson stole a base and scored a run.
Senior Josh Still and junior Kruzel lead the team in hitting. Still is slashing .667/.857/1.524; Kruzel: .490/.844/1.334.
Jake Lueders picked up the win pitching two scoreless innings of two-hit relief. Kruzel started the game, allowed four earned runs on seven hits. He struck out seven and walked four.
Perham took control of the nightcap early putting up crooked numbers in the first three innings busting out to an 8-2 lead.
Sophomore Alec Meyer picked up his team-leading fourth pitching victory of the season.
Meyer allowed two runs in the first before shutting down the Wadena-Deer Creek offense in six innings of work.
Neither run was earned; Meyer fanned 11 batters and walked a pair. Meyer has won all four games he has started this season giving the Yellowjackets a young ace on the hill. In 19 innings pitched, he has a stout ERA of 1.11.
Carlson cleaned up the seventh inning allowing one earned run with a walk and one strikeout.
Carlson accounted for three runs scored, stealing a base, and having the only multi-hit game with two hits, a double, and three RBI.
Still scored twice; Lueders, Mason Malikowski and Mulcahy also scored.
As a team, Perham is batting .343 this season with a team ERA of 2.39. The Jackets are hitting on all cylinders and controlling the games on the mound looking to make a second straight state tournament appearance.
Perham can best last year’s season by assuring a share of the Mid-State title with two wins against Pequot Lakes Thursday at home.
Park Rapids faces Crosby-Ironton in their remaining conference doubleheader Tuesday, May 20. The Rangers are winless in the Mid-State this year.
The Panthers shared the conference crown with Detroit Lakes and Staples-Motley last season. Perham won the Mid-State in 2012 with an 11-1 record, something this year’s club can match with a sweep of the Patriots Thursday.
The Yellowjackets will wrap up the regular season with non-conference games versus Ottertail Central, Frazee and New York Mills.
Perham is 12-1 overall and have won 10 straight games.