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Amateur Baseball: Silver Pirates split in Menahga

The Perham Silver Pirates senior men's amateur baseball team split a pair of games at the Menahga Tournament over the weekend as they defeated Fergus Falls 11-1 in five innings - then turned around and lost to a very good, St. Peter team, 12-2. St. Peter was the State runner-ups last year.

Gary Lackey was the star of the game in the Fergus Falls win as he was nearly perfect on the mound, finishing with 12 strike outs, including 10 of the last 11 he faced, and allowing just two hits. He was also 2-for-3 at the plate and drove in three runs.

Offensively, Lackey punished the ball with his line drives while his battery mate, Aaron Anderson also had two hits and a pair of RBI. Larry Mollins and Brad Kempe also picked up a pair of hits while Steve Sheets, Jon Kotaska and Jim Belfiori each chipped in a single safety. The team collected 11 hits in all and had no errors in the field. Fergus Falls committed four fielding errors.

St. Peter came into the tournament with their guns a blazing as they picked up 15-hits and 12-runs in the five inning contest.

Things looked good for the Silver Pirates in the top of the first as Mollins, Sheets and Jason McClellan singled to load the bases for Kotaska. But the third baseman, snared Kotaska's ground ball and turned it into a 5-2-3 double play to end the threat. Kotaska did drive in a run with a double in the fourth inning.

Schmid didn't have his best stuff against St. Peter but the fellers from the South weren't bad hitters either! Schmid went three innings before he turned the ball over to Kotaska, who faced seven hitters in two innings, fanned three while giving up two hits and one run.

Sheets and Belfiori both had a pair of hits as the team collected nine safties in all. McClellan turned in a Web-Gem as he snared a ground ball up the middle for an out and Kotaska snatched a hard hit ball at third to lead the Silver boys defensively!

The Silver Pirates stand at 4-2 as they prepare to host Menahga-Sebeka in a Northwest League game at Al Krueger Field Saturday, July 18 at 8 p.m.