The Perham Pirates kicked off its 2020 season with an 8-7 walk off exhibition win over the Midway Snurdbirds at Krueger Field on June 26.

Gabe Pankonin’s RBI single in the ninth lifted the Pirates to a come-from-behind victory over the Snurdbirds. The two teams will meet again during the annual Fourth of July contest on Krueger Field at 7:30 p.m.

The two teams used a variety of pitchers during the exhibition contest. It was the third game of the season for the Snurdbirds and the first for the Pirates.

Perham's Carter Mulcahy catches the offering and frames the pitch on the corner during Perham's season-opening win over Midway. (Submitted photo)
Perham's Carter Mulcahy catches the offering and frames the pitch on the corner during Perham's season-opening win over Midway. (Submitted photo)

The Pirates raced out to a 3-0 lead, capitalizing on five walks and an error to grab the lead. However, the veteran Snurdbirds rallied back with two runs in the second and three more in the third, taking the 5-3 lead on the Pirates. The Snurdbirds capitalized on several Perham errors, which helped them take the lead. Perham committed seven errors in the game.

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Perham responded with a run of its own in the fourth inning. Maddux Kovash reached on an error and moved up on a single by Chas Melvin. Jace Kovash followed with a single as Perham cut into the lead.

Perham's Maddux Kovash rips a pitch down the third base line against the Midway Snurdbirds during Perham's season-opener at Krueger Field. (Submitted photo)
Perham's Maddux Kovash rips a pitch down the third base line against the Midway Snurdbirds during Perham's season-opener at Krueger Field. (Submitted photo)

However, Midway quickly got the run back in the fifth inning, extending its lead to 6-4.

Perham answered back with a towering blast to right field off the bat of Dawson Stevens. The solo home run cut the lead to one.

Perham eventually tied the game in the seventh when Carter Mulcahy doubled to left. He eventually came around to score after Roo Schmitz reached on an error and Dawson Stevens followed with a double. However, Midway was able to escape further damage.

Midway capitalized on a balk with the bases loaded in the eighth, giving the Snurdbirds the lead at 7-6. Perham answered back with a run in the eighth. A two-out rally was started by Jace Kovash, which was followed by a single by Mulcahy. Schmitz hit a towering fly ball that dropped, however, Mulcahy was thrown out at the plate, keeping the game tied at 7.

After shutting down the Snurdbirds in the ninth, the Pirates closed out with the walk off win. Stevens walked and eventually moved to third on a pair of wild pitches. Pankonin followed with a hard shot single to left, allowing Stevens to score the game-winning run for the Pirates.

Perham's Roo Schmitz delivers to the plate during Perham's exhibition opener with the Midway Snurdbirds. (Submitted photo)
Perham's Roo Schmitz delivers to the plate during Perham's exhibition opener with the Midway Snurdbirds. (Submitted photo)

Jace Kovash picked up the win in relief for the Pirates. He pitched four innings and allowed just one run.

Schmitz pitched into the third inning for Perham in getting the start. Gavin Biegler and Chas Melvin followed in relief for the Pirates.

Jace Kovash, Mulcahy, Stevens and Melvin recorded two hits each for the Pirates, while Biegler, Schmitz, Pankonin and Ruther recorded hits in the win as well.

The Pirates are 1-0 in the exhibition season and return to the diamond with a league game against Midway on July 4 at 7:30 p.m.