The Perham Sting Junior Legion team was eliminated from the district playoffs after losing 3-2 to the Bemidji Woodpeckers Tuesday, July 20, at Krueger Field in Perham. The Sting beat the Moorhead Golds 7-4 in an earlier game before being knocked out by Bemidji.
In the game against Moorhead, Perham got things started in the first inning, when Blaiz Schmidt hit into a fielder's choice, allowing Austin Aanenson to score. The Sting added four more runs in the second inning, with Mason Schepper, Aanenson, and Ben Shumansky all driving in runs.
Moorhead got on the board in the third inning, scoring two runs, but Perham answered back in the fourth with two runs of their own, with Aanenson and Evan Kovash both driving in runs.
Moorhead tried to make a late comeback in the seventh inning, scoring two runs with two outs on the board before pitcher Conner Colliton forced a ground out to end the game and advance the Sting to the second game against Bemidji.
Colliton gave up four runs on eight hits over seven innings in the contest, striking out three.
The second game against Bemidji was the second match-up between the teams in as many days. Bemidji defeated Perham on Monday, forcing the Sting to play and beat Moorhead before facing the Woodpeckers again.
Both teams scored in the first inning. Perham's Shumansky drove in Aanenson to take the lead, but Bemidji answered in the bottom of the first when Hunter Brodina scored on a line drive single to center field. The Sting then turned a double play when Bemdji's Will Zellmann hit a fly ball to left fielder Colliton. Ty Lundeen scored for the Woodpeckers after tagging up.
The Sting tied the game at two in the fourth inning. With one out, Shumansky advanced to third base on a wild pitch. Austin Schmelz then hit a sacrifice fly to center field, allowing Shumansky to score. The tie would be short-lived, however, as Bemidji added one run in the fifth inning to take the lead and seal the Sting's fate. With one out, Cam Justice hit a sacrifice fly to center fielder Mason Schepper, allowing Brodina to score Bemidji's third run of the game.
The Sting threatened in the top of the seventh inning. After Casey St. John walked Schmidt, he struck out the next two Perham batters, Schmelz and Omar Briseno. With two outs, Gage Aanenson hit a line drive and reached on an error by the Bemidji center fielder. Schmidt advanced to second. Colliton was then intentionally walked, loading the bases for the Sting. The Woodpeckers sealed their victory when Schepper hit a ground ball to the shortstop Peyton Neadeau and was thrown out at first base.
Evan Kovash was on the mound for the Sting, allowing three runs and nine hits in six innings, striking out two and walking zero.
Bemidji now advances to the state tournament. The Sting's season ended with two losses, both to the Woodpeckers.
Sting 7, Golds 4
MHD 0 0 2 0 0 0 2 - 4 6 5
PER 1 4 0 2 0 0 x - 7 6 4
WP-Conner Colliton (PER)
PER-Austin Aanenson 2-4, 2R, 1RBI; Evan Kovash 1-2, 1R, 1RBI; Ben Shumansky 2-3, Blaiz Schmidt 1RBI; Austin Schmelz 1R; Gage Aanenson 1R; Ben Trites 1-1; Mason Schepper 2R
PER-Conner Colliton 7IP, 8H, 4R, 1ER, 3K, 2BB
Woodpeckers 3, Sting 2 (Game 2)
PER 1 0 0 1 0 0 0 - 2 3 1
BEM 2 0 0 0 1 0 x - 3 9 2
WP-Casey St. John (BEM)
LP-Evan Kovash (PER)
PER-Austin Aanenson 1-2, 1R; Ben Shumansky 2-3, 1R, 1RBI; Austin Schmelz 1RBI
PER-Evan Kovash 6IP, 9H, 3R, 2K; BEM-Casey St. John 7IP, 3H, 2R, 5K, 3BB