8AA Baseball: Sailer keeps Jackets alive (VIDEO)
PARK RAPIDS -- Luke Sailer kept the No. 11-Perham Yellowjackets baseball season alive with a one-out, bases-loaded single in the last of the seventh scoring J.T. Laughlin to eliminate Warroad 4-3.
Perham entered their last at-bats down one, 3-2.
Ivan Nodsle continued to swing a hot bat. He knocked in Jesse Hein to tie the game.
Perham led early in the game scoring in the first on a sacrifice fly by Gabe Pankonin scoring Joey Lindberg for a 1-0 advantage.
A two-run Ross Merriman homer gave the lead back to Warroad.
The teams traded a run each in the sixth leading to the climactic seventh inning and Sailer's game-winner.
Austin Erickson scored for Perham.
The win pits Perham against Fergus Falls in another elimination round.
The Otters sent Perham to the loser's bracket, ending the Yellowjackets' 17-game win streak behind the arm of ace Zach Rengel.
Rengel fanned 10 batters and allowed only five Perham hits in the 5-2 Section 8AA final four opener.
Perham will likely face Pete Gaustad, the second half of Fergus Falls' one-two punch on the mound.
Gaustad and Hein traded homers early to knot the score at one. Hein's blast went out to straightaway centerfield.
Jack Stigman gave Perham its second lead of the game knocking in Gabe Pankonin in the third inning. The second run for the Jackets would cap their scoring for the game and the lead would not last long.
In the fourth, a two-out error kept the Otter inning alive. Abbot Aho followed the error with a Texas leaguer into short center scoring two runs to put Fergus Falls ahead for good 3-2.
Errors continued to add to the Otter lead. Two on one play in the fifth scored one, followed by Fergus' final run scoring on a squeeze play at the plate.
The Yellowjackets will counter Gaustad on the mound with senior Hein in a game that should be a tight battle.
Perham defeated Fergus Falls 13-6 on April 26. Tim Rasmussen was on the hill for the Otters. Chris Ruther got the win for Perham.
The game will be played in Crookston, Thursday, June 7 at noon.
The winner will face No. 20-Roseau at 2:30 p.m.
Roseau defeated Warroad 5-1 and Fergus Falls 6-1 to advance.
The Rams need only win once to advance to the state tournament.
A loss to the winner of Fergus Falls/Perham will force a final section game for the title Friday, June 8, in Crookston.
First pitch for that game is scheduled for 3 p.m.
Full game statistics were not available immediately.