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EGF ends Jacket streak at 11

Perham catcher Gabe Pankonin tags out Park Rapids' Danny Pike, who was trying to score on a fly ball, in last week's doubleheader sweep of the Panthers. Pankonin had a monster game against East Grand Forks going 3-5 at the plate and making five assists from the dish.1 / 2
Perham shortstop Jordan Hein receives congratulations from his teammates after scoring the first run of the game against the Green Wave by way of an inside-the-park home run.2 / 2

The East Grand Forks Green Wave baseball team snapped Perham's win streak at 11 games with a 9-4 victory over the Yellowjackets in extra innings.

Perham catcher Gabe Pankonin was the silver lining in the loss picking five Green Wave runners off the base paths.

Pankonin got started early.

Leadoff hitter Ryan Hammargren reached on a base on balls and stole second. Between pitches, Pankonin gunned a strike to the bag to pick him off.

Pankonin struck again when East Grand Forks clean-up hitter Tanner Dahlen tried to steal second. Another Pankonin strike to second ended the inning.

Both teams were kept off the board in the first two innings.

Jordan Hein led off the home half of the third and laced a line drive to the right field corner for a triple. An errant throw to get him at the bag at third sailed over the Michal Kinzler's head at third allowing Hein to score on an inside-the-park home run for an early 1-0 Perham lead.

Starting pitcher David Altstadt cruised through the first four innings striking out the side in the second and retiring the Green Wave in order in the fourth.

In the bottom half of the fourth, Perham scored again. With two out, Eric Brauch walked, moved to third base on a Richard Hoffman single and scored on a base hit by Hein.

Perham's 2-0 lead did not last long as East Grand Forks put up three runs in the top of the fifth. Mike Aubol, Kinzler and Hunter Aubol all came around to score on two hits and a Yellowjacket error.

Altstadt was pulled after the fifth inning. He faced 22 batters, allowing only four hits and three runs, all earned. He walked three and struck out six. With the game tied at his exit, a decision would go to the bullpen.

Perham tied the game in the bottom of the fifth. Pankonin led off the inning with a single, stole second and advanced to third base on a past ball.

Mark Schumacher grounded to shortstop to bring Pankonin home and tie the score at three.

East Grand Forks started the sixth inning with back-to-back singles from pinch hitters Blake Larson and Neil Nagel.

A third base hit of the inning by Kinzler would score Larson to give East Grand Forks a 4-3 advantage.

As was the norm for this game, Perham answered in the same inning.

Brauch singled and scored after Perham loaded the bases and Pankonin was hit by a pitch for a RBI the hard way.

Green Wave starter fanned Jesse Hein to end the inning with the bags full.

Pankonin was back to his tricks in the seventh.

Jordan Osmundson and Dahlen reached base on Mark Schumacher walks, but Pankonin single-handedly ended the last regulation inning threat by gunning down to first base to pick off Osmundson and Dahlen on successive at-bats.

He was not done yet, but Green Wave manager Garret Hjelle was. He had seen enough at this point and took his argument of the Dahlen call at first base to the umpiring crew.

He was promptly tossed from the game.

Schumacher struck out Chase Grabow to end the inning. Pankonin's two assists, in order, made for one of the more unique scorebook innings.

2-3, 2-3, K.

Perham took to the plate with last at-bats for the victory but Green Wave reliever Moser struck out Schumacher, walked Mac Link, but induced Brauch to ground into an inning ending double play.

Neither team scored in the eighth inning but Pankonin pulled one out of his hat for the fifth time.

Mike Aubol singled and attempted to steal second and get in scoring position. Pankonin gunned him out with enough room to spare Coach Hjelle would have no argument from outside the ballpark fence.

The Green Wave got to Schumacher in the ninth scoring five times to put the game away.

The Yellowjackets loaded the bases in their last at-bats but Moser shut the door when Brauch flew out to right field to end the game.

Moser was credited with the win and rightfully so, as he was the difference in the later innings. In three innings of work, he retired Perham in order in the seventh and eighth inning. He allowed two hits, walked one and struck out a pair.

Schumacher took the loss.

The loss is the first notch in Perham's column since the opening two games of the season. Perham's remains atop the Mid-State Conference with a perfect record of 10-0. Their Section 8AA record of 9-3 is tops in the north half of the section. The Yellowjackets are 11-3 overall.

Robert Williams

Sports Editor at the Detroit Lakes Tribune. Williams worked prior as the Sports Editor in Perham for the Focus, a Forum Communications newspaper, from 2010-14. 

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