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Kasson-Mantorville scored three runs in the first inning and controlled play in an 8-1 victory over Perham in the Minnesota Class 2A state final. Paul Gregersen/Special to the FOCUS

State Baseball Final: Kasson-Mantorville upends Perham 8-1

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sports Perham, 56573
Perham Minnesota 222 2nd Avenue SE 56573

MINNEAPOLIS — The Perham Yellowjackets were unable to overcome a shaky first inning and fell to the No. 5-Kasson-Mantorville KoMets 8-1 in the Minnesota Class 2A state baseball final Monday afternoon at Target Field.

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Perham starter Eric Brauch walked the first two KoMets he faced followed by four singles and a sacrifice bunt, as Kasson-Mantorville built a 3-0 run in the first inning.

“Give credit to Kasson,” Perham Head Coach Hanson said. “They jump out to a three-run lead and that’s huge.”

Perham added an error to the inning when catcher CJ Mulcahy threw the ball away from third baseman Jack Stigman and into left field allowing Wade Starkey to trot in from third base with the second run of the game and the eventual game-winner.

Perham answered in the second inning.

Eric Brauch and JT Laughlin hit back-to-back singles with nobody out and Austin Erickson moved them to second and third on a sacrifice bunt.

Designated hitter Joey Lindberg hit a sacrifice fly to centerfield to score courtesy runner Tanner Carlson, running for Brauch, with the lone Yellowjacket run.

Perham managed only five hits in the game off KoMets’ starter Joey Hyde.

Laughlin had two of those hits, a pair of singles.

“I wish we we could have hit the ball well and everything else would have just fell in, if we’d have just hit,” Lindberg said.

“We pitched really well throughout the whole tournament,” said Hyde.

Kasson-Mantorville added three insurance runs in the fourth and two more in the sixth to blow the game open and an 8-1 final.

Other than Brauch and Laughlin both reaching third base, Brauch eventually scoring via Carlson, in the second inning - no Yellowjackets touched third base in the game.

“These kids wanted to be here,” Hanson said. “They played great baseball at the end of the season, maybe not so much today, but overall they really played as a team. I’m so proud of these guys. What an experience they had.”

Brauch (5-2) took the loss giving up six runs in four innings.He walked four and struck out one.

Hyde pitched a complete game allowing one run on five hits for the victory ending his season with a record of 9-2. He walked three and fanned five.

Jayden Prigge, Charlie Oertli and Collin Ripley all had two hits for the KoMets. Donovan Ripley had two RBIs.

The victory was the first baseball championship for Kasson-Mantorville in their third trip to the state tournament. They had previous trips in 2005, and 2011. Perham’s runner-up finish was the school’s best finish in eight trips.

PER  010 000 0 -  1  5  2
K-M   300 302 X -  8 12  1

Eric Brauch, Jack Stigman (4), Josh Still (6) and CJ Mulcahy. Joey Hyde and Collin Ripley. WP: Hyde. LP: Brauch.

 
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