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Winning pitcher Jesse Hein, left, looks on as Eric Brauch, #11, throws to Ivan Nodsle at first base for an inning-ending out in the fifth inning of Perham's conference title clinching victory over Staples-Motley Saturday. Bob Williams/FOCUS

Yellowjackets cruise to Mid-State title

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STAPLES -- Jesse Hein and Jacob Vetsch battled on the mound for three innings before Perham blew the game open in the middle innings en route to an 8-1 victory over Staples-Motley and the Mid-State Conference title.

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"The kids have played well and worked hard," Perham Head Coach Hans Hanson said.

The win gives No. 20-2A ranked Perham a conference mark of 10-1 with one game to play. Staples-Motley is two games back at 8-3.

Both teams were evenly matched in the early stages of the game.

"A bunch of overachievers in that dugout," Staples-Motley Head Coach John Reiwer said about his club.

Vetsch held Perham to just one hit - a Gabe Pankonin single to lead off the game - until the Yellowjackets scored twice in the fourth.

Ivan Nodsle, Ty Haverland and Pankonin loaded the bases for Jack Stigman.

Stigman was beaned for the second consecutive at-bat and knocked in a run for his efforts.

Haverland scored the game-winning run from third base on a past ball.

Hein was in control of the Cardinals lineup for six solid innings. He allowed only four hits, one earned run, walked two and fanned five.

Staples-Motley's only threat came in the fifth when the bases were loaded with Cardinals with one out.

Hein induced ground ball outs to Eric Brauch at third base from number nine hitter Brent Sterriker and leadoff Austin Redemske to end the threat.

Vetsch, who got out of jams with runners in scoring position in the first three innings finally gave way in the middle frames pitching 5 1/3 innings, allowing seven runs on six hits. He walked four and struck out six to take the loss.

Mark Schumacher pitched a perfect seventh inning to seal the game for Hein.

Tyler O'Brien led the Cardinals going 1-2 with the only home RBI coming in the fifth inning when O'Brien's base hit scored Jordan Wick. Wick reached on a one-out double.

JT Laughlin was the only Yellowjacket with more than one hit. He was 2-4 with a single, double and one RBI. Laughlin scored twice.

Brauch was 1-4 with a double that scored Pankonin and Stigman in the sixth.

Pankonin was 1-3 with two stolen bases, one of second, the other third base; he scored once.

Stigman and Ruther had a RBI each.

Perham committed only one error to the Cardinals' three.

The Yellowjackets stranded seven base runners; the Cardinals left three on the bags.

The scope of the game as it lengthened was played out in rundowns between second and third base for both teams.

Redemske was caught in no-man's land between the bags and was swiftly tagged out by Hein in the third to end the inning.

Brauch found himself in a similar plight in the sixth but managed to elude a tag at third on an error by relief pitcher Blake Petrich. Brauch would score on a Laughlin double.

The two teams concluded conference play today in the second game of the doubleheader. Perham earned the sweep with a 9-5 win.

Perham is 15-3 overall. After starting the season 2-3, the Yellowjackets have reeled off 13 straight victories.

Yellowjackets results

Perham at Staples-Motley, Saturday, May 19.

PER 000 224 0 - 8 7 1

S-M 000 010 0 - 1 4 3

PERHAM

AB R H Bi

Pankonin 3 1 1 0

Stigman 2 1 1 1

Brauch 4 1 1 2

Hein 3 1 1 0

Laughlin 4 2 2 1

Ruther 3 0 0 1

Nodsle 1 1 0 0

x-Biegler 1 0 0 0

Ellingson 2 0 0 0

x-Lindberg 1 0 0 0

Haverland 4 1 1 0

Totals 28 8 7 5

Pitching (ip-h-r-er-bb-k): PER: Hein (WP) 6-4-1-1-2-5; Schumacher 1-0-0-0-0-1.

STAPLES-MOTLEY

AB R H Bi

Redemske 3 0 0 0

Petrich 3 0 0 0

Jenkins 2 0 1 0

Busker 3 0 1 0

Jansson 3 0 0 0

Wick 3 1 1 0

White 2 0 0 0

O'Brien 2 1 1 1

Sterriker 2 0 0 0

Totals 23 1 4 1

Pitching (ip-h-r-er-bb-k): S-M: Vetsch (LP) 5.1-6-7-7-4-6; Petrich 1.2-1-1-0-0-3.

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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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