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Yellowjackets continue perfect start with sweep of Barnesville

Perham's Max Tostenson swings at the pitch during Perham's doubleheader sweep over Barnesville at Reed Field on May 10. Jason Groth/FOCUS1 / 2
Perham's Maddux Kovash scoops up the ground ball at short against Barnesville. Jason Groth/FOCUS2 / 2

The perfect start continued for the Perham baseball team when they disposed of Barnesville 3-2 and 11-5 on May 9 at Reed Field in Barnesville.

The Yellowjackets are now 10-0 after the sweep and sit on top of the Heart O’Lakes Conference with a 10-0 mark. The Yellowjackets have two games remaining in conference play and have all but locked up the conference for the second straight season. Last year, the Yellowjackets shared the conference crown with the eventual Section 8AA Champion, Dilworth-Glyndon-Felton. The Yellowjackets swept the Rebels earlier in the season to give them a leg up in the conference.

The Yellowjackets had to battle their way back from a few blunders in game one. The Yellowjackets had two runners picked off the bases in scoring position and another run into a tag at third base with one out. However, the Yellowjackets were able to overcome those miscues as they earned the narrow 3-2 win.

The Yellowjackets threatened in the first inning when they loaded the bases with one out. However, Caleb Ott worked out of it when he induced a fly ball for the second out and followed with a strikeout to end the inning.

Perham got on the board first when Carter Mulcahy walked with the bases loaded in the second inning. Ott worked out of trouble again when a runner was picked off of third base.

Barnesville struck for a pair of runs in the third against Dawson Stevens. Sam Askegaard singled and scored as did Jackson Wahl. However, Stevens worked out of the jam, stranding two on base in the inning.

Stevens settled in after the third inning and shut down the Trojans for the most part. He allowed two runs on six hits. He struck out eight batters while walking three in seven innings of work.

Perham eventually tied the game in the sixth inning. Max Tostenson singled and stole second, before coming around to score on an RBI single by Chayse Solberg.

The Yellowjackets grabbed the lead in the eighth inning. Stephen Lindberg and Solberg reached on a walk, which was followed by a bunt from Sam Still. The throw was errant to third, allowing Benke to score, who was running for Lindberg, to make it 3-2.

Finn Diggins shut the door down in the eighth, getting help from his defense as Maddux Kovash and Josh Jeziorski teamed to turn a double play in the middle. Diggins struck out the final batter of the game for the save for Perham.

Kovash finished with a pair of hits, while Noah Rooney, Stevens, Tostenson and Solberg finished with one each.

Connor Morse took the loss. He allowed one run on two walks. He struck out one batter in an inning of relief.

Perham wasted little time in game two after falling behind in the first. The Yellowjackets scored three in the first, added a run in the third, four in the fourth and three in the sixth, cruising to the 11-5 win.

Carter Mulcahy finished with two hits and two runs batted in for Perham. Kovash added a pair of hits and a run batted in as well. Sam Still, Rooney, Stevens and Alex Stoll all had hits as well. Rooney, Stevens, Jeziorski, Kovash and Stoll each drove in a run.

Michael Benke picked up the win on the bump. He allowed five runs, three earned on three hits. He struck out three and walked three. Diggins pitched the final inning in relief. He struck out one and gave up one hit.

Morse took the loss for the second straight game. He allowed seven runs, six earned on seven hits in three innings of work. He struck out two and walked three.

The Yellowjackets return to action at 5 p.m. when they take on Renville County West at the Max Bat Tournament in Glenwood on May 10.

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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