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14C: Stigman stifles Nimrod, Perham moves on in postseason

Perham's Jon Schmitz makes a sliding catch in right field as Perham's Eric Hendrickx tracks the ball as well down the line. Jason Groth/FOCUS1 / 2
Perham's Jack Stigman delivers to the plate against the Gnats. Stigman went the distance, shutting out the Gnats in a 14C elimination game in New York Mills. Jason Groth/FOCUS2 / 2

The Perham Pirates were clicking on all cylinders as they eliminated the Nimrod Gnats from the Region 14C Tournament with a 4-0 victory at Russ Jacobson Field in New York Mills on Aug. 6.

Jack Stigman was dealing on the mound for Perham. He was rarely tested in holding the Gnats off of the scoreboard for nine innings. It extended a scoreless streak for Nimrod. They were held scoreless in their two losses, after opening the tournament with a 10-0 whitewashing of Bertha.

The Gnats threatened once in the fifth inning against the Perham ace, but he recorded a strikeout and a groundout to eliminate the threat. Stigman scattered five hits during his complete game effort. He struck out eight and walked one batter.

Stigman wasn’t just delivering on the mound for the Pirates, he had a big day at the plate as well. He finished with three hits, including a double, and a run scored in the 4-0 victory.

The defense played well behind Stigman, committing just one error on a low throw. Right fielder Jon Schmitz made a couple of sliding catches, while Gavin Biegler made some strong defensive plays at shortstop.

The Pirates raced out to a 3-0 lead in the third inning. Dylan Perrine led off with a single, but was forced out at second on a bunt attempt by Josh Still. Stigman followed with his second hit of the day. Gabe Pankonin dropped in a single to right, scoring Still with the game’s first run. Biegler followed with a two-run double, giving Perham the three-run lead.

Gabe Pankonin drives in a run with a single to right.

Biegler played a role in Perham’s insurance run in the sixth inning. He roped a double to the gap in left centerfield, leading off the inning. Eric Hendrickx followed with an RBI single, giving Perham the 4-0 lead.

The lead was more than enough for Stigman, who continued his strong pitching performance through the tournament. He was strong against Midway, but was even better against Nimrod. Only one Nimrod base runner reached third base against Stigman, while four advanced to second.

Dylan Perrine gets to the bag for the force out.

Seven of the nine Pirates in the lineup belted out hits in the win. Stigman finished with three hits, while Biegler added a pair of doubles, two runs batted in and a run scored. Hendrickx finished with two hits as well, including a run batted in. Pankonin, J.T. Laughlin, Roo Schmitz and Dylan Perrine added hits in the victory for Perham.

Alex Brockpahler took the loss for Nimrod. He allowed four runs on 10 hits. He struck out five and walked one batter. Paul Funk pitched the final two innings for Nimrod. He allowed a hit and fanned two batters. He walked one in his two scoreless innings of relief. Steve Funk finished with two hits for Nimrod, while Paul Williams, Paul Funk and Ben Bestland had hits.

Perham returns to the diamond at 6:30 p.m. when they take on either New York Mills or Detroit Lakes at Krueger Field in another elimination game on Aug. 6.

Jason Groth

 Groth is a Minnesota Newspaper Association award-winning Sports Editor of the Perham Focus and the Wadena Pioneer Journal. Groth worked in Grand Rapids as the Sports Director at KOZY/KMFY radio for two years and prior to that he was the Sports Editor/Writer for the Grand Rapids Herald-Review for seven years. 

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