In the nearly 100 degree heat, the Perham Yellowjackets were shut out by the Wadena-Deer Creek Wolverines 5-0 in the Section 8AA tournament Thursday, June 10, in Deer Creek.
Wadena-Deer Creek scored early on a single by Payton Rondestvedt in the first inning and added three more runs in the second inning on a single by Josh Dykhoff, an error by the Yellowjackets, and a single by Connor Davis. Davis also drove in a run in the fourth inning.
Josh Dykhoff started for the Wolverines, pitching four innings and giving up zero hits while striking out seven batters. Tony Kreklau came on in relief and pitched the final three innings, allowing two hits and striking out one.
The Yellowjackets got their first hit of the game in the fifth inning, when Rian Solberg hit a line drive double to center field. Austin Aanenson collected the only other hit for Perham in the game, hitting a line drive single to center field in the sixth inning.
Finn Diggins was on the mound for the Yellowjackets. He gave up five runs on five hits over seven innings and struck out eight batters in the contest.
WDC's game against Perham was their second of the day; they defeated Roseau 8-4 in the early game to advance. Head coach Kyle Dykhoff talked about some of the challenges the team faced playing two games in the heat.
"We knew it was going to be hot so we made sure our kids stayed hydrated, and we had to ask two of our players to basically pitch and catch almost every inning with the exception of the end of the Roseau game, and Tony (Kreklau) and Josh (Dykhoff) found a way to dig deep when you don't have a lot in the tank and when it's hot like this," Dykhoff said. "I'm proud of the team and I'm proud of those two for grinding out two victories today."
Looking ahead to the title game, Coach Dykhoff said, "Playoff baseball comes down to throwing strikes and making the plays that should be made, and if we can do that, I feel like we're going to be there in the end, and hopefully it turns in our favor."
Perham head coach James Mulcahy talked about the loss and what the Yellowjackets have to do in the title game.
"Josh Dykhoff did a nice job coming back on a limited pitch count," Mulcahy said. "He established his fast ball early and we did not make the adjustments, kind of like the first time we saw them in the regular season game. Once again, kind of like that game, we tightened up. We didn't make some of our throws in the field and we kind of mis-played a ball or two, which just helps him get momentum.
"It's a good team, and you cannot give them any extra outs, any extra pitches, and they made us pay for it. So, we have to go back and make those same adjustments we did a couple weeks ago, and do what we've been doing all through the playoffs."
The teams will face each other Friday, June 11, in Deer Creek for the section title and a trip to the state tournament.
Wolverines 5, Yellowjackets 0
WDC 1 3 0 1 0 0 0 - 5 7 1
PER 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 - 0 3 1
WP-Josh Dykhoff (WDC)
LP-Finn Diggins (PER)
WDC-Tony Kreklau 1R; Josh Dykhoff 1-4, 1R, 1RBI; Payton Rondestvedt 1-4, 2RBI; Connor Davis 2-3, 2RBI; Connor Davis 2-3, 2RBI; Isaac Hamann 1-4; Tyson Barthel 1-2; Evan Lunde 1R; Carson Kern 1-3, 1R; Simon Kreklau 1R
PER-Rian Solberg 1-3; Logan Pulju 1-3; Austin Aanenson 1-2
WDC-Josh Dykhoff 4IP, 7K; Tony Kreklau 3IP, 3H, 1K; PER-Finn Diggins 7IP, 5R, 3R, 3BB, 8K