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Yellowjackets claim Mid-State baseball title

The Perham dugout celebrates a last at-bat come-from-behind victory over Frazee thanks to David Altstadt's base hit Friday night.1 / 3
Ty Haverland makes a diving play on a sinking liner to right field in Perham's doubleheader split with Detroit Lakes. Perham's game two victory sealed the conference title for the Yellowjackets.2 / 3
Eric Brauch gets checked out after a collision near first base. He would return to the game.3 / 3

A split with Detroit Lakes secured the Mid-State Conference title for the Perham Yellowjackets. The Lakers took the opening game of the doubleheader 8-3, but Perham, behind Jesse Hein on the mound, roared back to clinch the title with an 11-1 victory.

"It was exciting for the kids to win the Mid-State Conference," Head Coach Hans Hanson said. "That was one or our goals going into the season."

Perham was up early in the opener as David Altstadt reached first on a fielder's choice and worked his way around the bases to give Perham a 1-0 lead. The Yellowjackets would add a run in the second when Jordan Hein drew a two-out walk and advanced around the base paths on past balls to score and put Perham up 2-0.

Hein scored the only other Perham run in the seventh inning. He singled; Altstadt flared a base hit to right field. Hein scored on a fielder's choice to shortstop by his brother Jesse Hein.

After falling behind 2-0, the Lakers scored in each of the five remaining innings sending Perham starter T.J. Studer to the bench in the fourth.

Ben Galifus pitched all seven innings for the victory. He allowed two earned runs on nine hits. He struck out six and walked only one Yellowjacket batter.

Studer took the loss pitching four innings, surrendering five runs. He fanned a pair and walked five. Chris Ruther pitched the fifth through seventh innings allowing three earned runs on five hits. He struck out four.

The nightcap was a completely different ballgame. Jesse Hein held the Lakers hitless throwing Perham's second no-hitter of the season, en route to an 11-1 victory.

The win clinched the conference championship for the Yellowjackets who finished conference play with a record of 11-1. The Lakers were second a game back at 10-2. The Lakers and Yellowjackets were the only Mid-State teams to finish conference play with records above .500.

Pequot Lakes finished 5-7; Wadena-Deer Creek is 6-6 and Park Rapids Area was 4-6, with two games to play. Staples Motley finished conference play 2-8 with two games remaining versus winless Crosby-Ironton.

Gabe Pankonin was perfect from the plate in game two versus Detroit Lakes reaching on two singles and he was hit by a pitch. He came around to score all three times he batted.

Hein helped himself out with two hits and two runs scored.

The Lakers got on the board when Nate Baker reached first base on an error. He advanced on a wild pitch and scored from third on a sacrifice fly to cut the Perham lead to 8-1.

The Yellowjackets sealed the game in the bottom half of the fourth scoring three more times.

"We are playing well right now and need to be if we are going to compete in the section tourney," Hanson said. "I am happy with our pitching and defense. We need to improve on our hitting approach."

Perham 4, Frazee 3

The Yellowjackets hosted the Hornets Friday night and fans from both towns in a rowdy and packed grandstand and Krueger Field were treated to a pitching duel between Frazee's ace Matt Brower and Perham sophomore Eric Brauch.

Brauch was injured in the top of the second on a play at first base. He was down for a few minutes but returned to the mound.

His next two pitches were strikes and he eventually struck out Hayden Hoskins.

Richard Hoffman led off the bottom of the second with a long double to the gap. Studer walked and an attempted sacrifice bunt from Mac Link was good for a base hit to load the bags with nobody out.

Chris Ruther knocked Hoffman in on a fielder's choice to second base.

David Stoll made it 2-0 with a base hit that scored Studer.

The game would remain 2-0 into the sixth, with both teams threatening but unable to score.

In the sixth, the Hornets would cross the plate three times to take their first lead of the game, 3-2.

That score would hold up to last at-bats for the Jackets.

Ruther was beaned; Stoll was unsuccessful on two attempts to sacrifice and eventually walked. Ty Haverland got a successful sacrifice bunt down moving Ruther and Stoll to second and third base.

David Altstadt lined a sinking drive off the right fielder's glove allowing Ruther and Stoll, the game-winning run, to score.

Perham improves to 14-5 overall on the season and will end regular season play with a non-conference game at Dilworth-Glyndon-Felton Thurs., May 26.

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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