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Shane Hendrickson tries to break up the double-play relay from Nimrod's Cody Pulju. Brian Basham/Forum Communications

Lake and Pine League Game of the Week

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MIDWAY -- While the Perham Pirates jaw and rumble with each other and opposing teams and the New York Mills Millers try to stabilize the dugout from the head coach on down, up the road in Midway the Snurdbirds just continue to put up victories.

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Midway swept a doubleheader over rivals Wolf Lake 13-4 and Nimrod 10-6 on a hot Sunday at Matt Leritz Field.

The victories clinch the Lake and Pine League North division title and give the Snurdbirds a bid to the upcoming Region 16C tournament in Perham to be played in early August.

The Nimrod Gnats were poised to spoil the nightcap of the home double-dip scoring twice in the first inning.

The top two Gnats in the order, Zack Johnson and Paul Funk, scored. Johnson walked, moved to third on a Funk single and scored on a base hit by Cody Pulju.

Funk scored when Pulju was caught in a hotbox between first and second. Snurdbird second baseman Zach Etter elected to get the early out and allow Funk home plate for the 2-0 Gnats lead.

Midway's top pair in the lineup, Drew Rasmussen and Shane Hendrickson duplicated the Gnats first-inning efforts, both scoring to tie the game at two in the third.

Rasmussen reached on an error charged to Funk at shortstop and joined the trot home on Hendrickson's two-run homer off Nimrod starter Alex Brockpahler.

In the home half of the fourth, Snurdbirds' catcher Steve Wetterling hit a one-out double off the Menahga Concrete sign in left-center and scored on a single by Robert Weaver to put the Snurdbirds up 3-2.

The Gnats retook the lead scoring twice in the top half of the fifth inning.

Funk scored on a single by Steve Funk.

Gunner Johnson reached on an error at second base and worked his way around the bags to get home on a past ball to give the Gnats their last lead of the game 4-3.

While the game was close for the first half of nine innings, it blew up in favor of the Snurdbirds in a messy six-run fifth inning.

Brockpahler was chased from the mound after walking Hendrickson and Wetterling with singles given up to Etter and Kyle Dormanen in between the bases on balls.

All four batters scored.

Hendrickson scored on a RBI single by Dormanen. Etter sauntered home after a bases-loaded bean of Derek Dormanen.

Wetterling scored from third base on a sac fly to right field by Mike Baso.

Brad Lusti added a two-RBI double to plate Dormanen and Weaver to cap the six-run rally pushing the Snurdbird lead to 9-4.

Two Gnats' errors made four of the six runs in the fifth unearned.

Derek Dormanen scored the 10th run for Midway in the sixth on a monster, solo shot over Old Glory and into the cornfield behind the left-centerfield fence.

Brockpahler and Sean Smuda scored for Nimrod in the top half of the sixth after a Midway pitching change for the 10-6 final.

Brad Lusti came on in relief of starter Jake Lund. Lusti walked the bases loaded and was jinxed by an error at first base.

Johnson scored Brockpahler on a deep sacrifice fly to centerfield. The error at first base allowed Smuda to score.

Lund was not the pitcher of record after pitching 4.2 innings. He allowed four runs, one earned, on six hits. He walked and struck out three Gnats.

Lusti calmed down after the two unearned runs allowed. He earned the victory allowing one hit in 4.1 innings pitched, walking four and fanning four.

Brockpahler took the loss pitching four innings. Four of his seven runs allowed were earned. He walked six, struck out three and scattered five hits.

Pulju and Todd Woelfel each made relief appearances for the Gnats. Pulju allowed three runs.

The Snurdbirds had done enough damage for the win by the time Woelfel took the hill.

Lusti was 1-4 with a pair of runs batted in; Derek Dormanen also knocked in a pair. He was 1-2 at the plate.

Weaver was the only batter with a multi-hit game. He was 2-4, two singles, with one RBI.

Lake and Pine League

Nimrod Gnats at Midway Snurdbirds, Sunday, July 8, Matt Leritz Field, Midway.

NIM 200 022 000 - 6 7 5

MID 002 161 00X - 10 9 3

Nimrod

AB R H Bi

Z. Johnson 4 1 1 1

P. Funk 4 2 1 0

G. Johnson 4 1 0 0

Pulju 5 0 1 1

S. Funk 4 0 1 1

x-Woelfel 1 0 0 0

Smuda 2 1 1 0

x-Unknown 1 0 0 0

Brockpahler 2 1 0 0

Williams 2 0 1 0

xNeuman 1 0 0 0

Bestland 2 0 1 0

x-Shequen 2 0 0 0

Totals 34 6 7 3

Pitching (ip-h-r-er-bb-k): NIM: Brockpahler (LP) 4-5-7-4-6-3; Pulju 2-3-3-1-0-0; Woelfel 2-1-0-0-0-0.

Midway

AB R H Bi

Rassmussen 5 1 0 0

Hendrickson 2 2 1 2

Etter 3 1 1 0

x-Marjamaa 2 0 0 0

Lund 2 0 0 0

x-Dormanen 3 1 1 1

Wetterling 3 2 1 0

x-Bo. Lusti 1 0 0 0

D. Dormanen 2 2 1 2

Weaver 4 1 2 1

x-P. Lusti 1 0 0 0

Baso 3 0 0 1

x-Mickelson 1 0 1 0

Br. Lusti 4 0 1 2

Totals 36 10 9 9

Pitching (ip-h-r-er-bb-k): MID: Lund (WP) 4.2-6-4-1-3-3; Br. Lusti4.1-1-2-0-4-4.

Follow @eotsports on Twitter for live game updates and immediate links to stories when posted.

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Robert Williams
Robert has been the Sports Editor for the Focus since 2010 covering multiple state and national championship teams and is a mainstay at state tournaments each season covering the successful, athletic programs of Perham and New York Mills High Schools.
(218) 346-5900 x223
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