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Perham 14-15's Babe Ruth splits four games

The Perham Babe Ruth team meets Jesse Bucholz at home plate after his two run home run Thursday in Verndale. Submitted photo.

PERHAM -- The Perham Babe Ruth 14-15 Year Old team knew they had their work cut out for them when the week started, with double-headers scheduled against two of the toughest teams in the league: Park Rapids and Bertha-Hewitt-Verndale.

Wednesday, Perham played host to a Park Rapids team that featured a 5-1 record coming into the contest. In game one of the double-header Park Rapids proved to be as tough as their record showed as their ace shut down the Perham offense for all five innings of the game en route to a 3-0 Park Rapids victory. Perham managed only three hits in the game, two off the bat of Dylan Perrine and one from Mason Malikowski.

Perham rebounded to hand Park Rapids their second loss of the season in game number two, defeating the visitors by a score of 3-1. Perham put one run across in the first inning when a Jesse Bucholz double scored Perrine and added two more in the third with RBI singles by Bucholz and Dylan Kruzel. Malikowski was lights-out on the mound, taking a no-hitter into the final inning of the game before surrendering one hit and one unearned run. Malikowski also struck out eight batters in the game.

On Thursday Perham traveled to Verndale looking to hand an undefeated Bertha-Hewitt-Verndale team their first loss. Much like Wednesday's first game, however, the Perham bats were kept mostly in check by a strong opposing ace as Bertha took game one by a score of 2-1. After being no-hit through four innings, Perham mounted a rally in the fifth-and-final inning when Alex Tostenson lead things off with a single and advanced to second when Cole Carignan was hit by a pitch. Dylan Perrine moved the runners up with a sacrifice bunt before an RBI ground out by Jesse Bucholz put Perham within one. Carignan would be stranded at third, however, as the final Perham batter went down swinging.

It didn't take long for Perham's offense to come alive in game two of the double-header as the team knocked out six hits, including three doubles, and scored five runs in the first inning. Bertha answered back with five of their own in the bottom half of the inning but Perham would pull ahead for good in the second when Chandler Rach started a two out rally with a single, stole second, and scored on a Dylan Perrine single. Jesse Bucholz then provided what would be the winning runs for Perham when he blasted a two run homerun over the right field fence. Bertha made things interesting with two fourth inning runs to make the score 8-7, but Patrick Murphy slammed the door on the Bertha rally and picked up the save by pitching a 1-2-3 fifth inning. Rach earned the win, striking out eight Bertha batters during four innings of work.

Things don't get any easier for Perham this week as they travel to Menahga on Tuesday for a faceoff with the team currently atop the Timberline League standings. Menahga is the last team with an undefeated record in the league. On Thursday Perham will play host to Staples for a 5:00 double-header at Matt's Field.