Senior Baseball: Silver Pirates win pair of games to improve to 7-2
The Silver Pirates had a good week as they knocked off Brainerd, 6-0, at Al Krueger Field last Thursday evening, then traveled to Fergus Falls on Sunday and picked up a come from behind, 5-2 victory.
Perham struck early in their win over Brainerd. In the bottom of the first, Larry Mollins led off with a single and was chased home by a double from Jason McClellan. Jon Kotaska then reached on an error and eventually scored on a double by Jim Nelson that also brought McClellan to the plate. With one out, Ray Sailer picked up his first hit in eight years (Sailer just returned to baseball after an eight year layoff) and Steve Sheets followed up with a single to plate Nelson. The dust finally settled and the Silver Pirates had a 4-0 lead.
McClellan picked up another RBI in the fourth with a ground out to short. Nelson and Sailer each had two hits for the winners while Mollins, McClellan, Sheets and Brad Kempe collected solo hits.
Kotaska was the real story, as he notched another victory on the mound. He pitched a three-hit shutout with 10 strikeouts. His battery-mate, Erin Anderson, helped the cause with a nice catch on a foul pop-up.
In the Fergus Falls contest, both pitchers controlled the game until the seventh inning. Fergus Falls managed a run in the first inning without getting a hit, thanks to a pair of walks. Fergus also had a threat in the second as they picked up two hits and a walk but pitcher Gary Lackey helped his own cause as he neatly pounced on a bunted ball and fired a perfect strike to second for a force out. Lackey settled down for the rest of the game as he struck out nine, while walking four and allowing four hits, before a blister on his throwing hand forced Kotaska to the mound in the seventh. Kotaska would end up picking up his second win of the week.
The Silver Pirates trailed 1-0 heading into the seventh when Lackey led off with a perfect bunt single. Jim Belfiori kept it going with a single and both he and Lackey moved up on a wild pitch. Lackey scored on another pitchers miscue, to tie the game, 1-1. This set up the key play of the game as Belfiori was camped on third and Steve Sheets came to the plate. Sheets took the sign for a suicide squeeze but fouled it off. With two strikes, Sheet's got the sign again but this time he laid down a dandy bunt and Belfiori came across with the go ahead run.
Perham added three more insurance runs in the seventh. Dan Miller walked and Kempe singled to chase Miller home. Mollins singled and Kotaska delivered a two-run double to finish the scoring for Perham. The Silver Pirates needed those final runs, as Fergus picked up a run of their own in the seventh.
The Elder Pirates, now 7-2 on the season, faced Urbank Wednesday night at Krueger Field and will end the regular season with the league tournament in Urbank on Sunday, Aug. 16.