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Yellowjackets thrive with their backs against the wall

Perham's Dylan Fudge slides into home just before the throw for the game's first run against Park Rapids Area. Jason Groth/FOCUS

The Perham baseball team seems to be real comfortable with their backs against the wall and facing elimination. The Yellowjackets won their third straight elimination game with a 4-1 victory over Park Rapids Area and a 12-0 thrashing of the Frazee Hornets on June 5 in Park Rapids Area.

The comeback kids from last year are now 19-5 this year and held their opponents to just one run in three elimination games. Nick Lindberg has thrown two complete-game victories during that stretch, helping Perham stave off elimination.

The Yellowjackets will get the opportunity to avenge the loss that sent them to the elimination bracket when they take on Wadena-DC on June 7 at noon in Park Rapids.

Perham's Max Tostenson slaps the tag on Park Rapids Area's Lucas Dickinson for the out at third.

Perham vs. Frazee

The Yellowjackets wasted little time in disposing of their Heart O’Lakes Conference rival for the third time this season. The Yellowjackets broke the game open with a six-run third and a five-run fifth. The cushion was more than enough for left-handed pitcher Noah Rooney. The ninth-grader has allowed just two hits against the Hornets in nine innings of work during the season. Rooney pitched four innings and allowed one hit and struck out three. Most importantly, he threw just 48 pitches, meaning he could potentially come back on Thursday.

Michael Benke closed it out by striking out the side in the fifth.

Maddux Kovash and Connor Breitenfeldt had three hits each and drove in four runs apiece. Ryan Kalina added three hits in the game and two runs scored.

Jace Kovash finished with two hits and an RBI, while Ian Christenson had a hit and an RBI as did Dawson Stevens. Rooney and Moser added hits as well in the win.

Thomas Stenger took the loss for Frazee. He allowed six runs on six hits in two innings of work. Tanner Tappe pitched the final three innings and allowed six runs on nine hits.

PER 0 1 6  0 5--12 15 0

FRZ 0 0 0  0 0--0 1 2

WP: Noah Rooney

LP: Thomas Stenger

Perham vs. Park Rapids Area

Nick Lindberg threw his second consecutive complete-game as the Perham Yellowjackets advanced with a 4-1 victory over Park Rapids Area.

Lindberg allowed one run on five hits. He struck out 10 and did not walk a batter.

Nick Lindberg.

Perham used a two-out rally in the sixth to break the game open. With the bases loaded, Rooney was hit by a pitch to score Stevens, which made it 2-1. Moser followed with his second hit of the game when he doubled home two runs, making it 4-1. It was Moser’s second hit of the game. He led the team with two hits and two runs batted in.

Gabe Bagstad took the loss for Park Rapids Area. He allowed four runs in five and two-thirds of work. He struck out five, walked four and hit three batters. He gave up four hits as well.

Perham got on the board first after Dylan Fudge came around to score from second on a pickoff attempt. The throw hit Fudge in the helmet and caromed into centerfield. He took off from second and beat the throw home for the first run.

Park Rapids Area answered with an RBI ground ball to short, which evened the game at one. However, it was all Lindberg on the mound from that point. The senior, who was in command from the start, shut down the Panthers the rest of the way. The senior improved to 6-1 on the season with a miniscule earned run average of 1.23.

Stevens had one hit and reached base four times. He scored two runs as well.

Maddux Kovash scored a run as did Carter Mulcahy. Mulcahy finished with a hit. Perham was stung by solid defense for the most part by Park Rapids Area. They had several well-struck line drives that found the gloves of the Park Rapids Area outfielders.

Jason Haas, Austin Jerger, Bagstad, Ty Karger and Zach Severtson had hits for Park Rapids Area.

PER 0 0 0  1 0 3 0--4 4 1

PRA 0 0 0  1 0 0 0--1 5 2

WP: Nick Lindberg

LP: Gabe Bagstad.

Jason Groth

 Groth is a Minnesota Newspaper Association award-winning Sports Editor of the Perham Focus and the Wadena Pioneer Journal. Groth worked in Grand Rapids as the Sports Director at KOZY/KMFY radio for two years and prior to that he was the Sports Editor/Writer for the Grand Rapids Herald-Review for seven years. 

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