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Perham Babe Ruth 13's second at state

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The Perham Babe Ruth 13-year old team finished second in the state tournament in Paynesville on July 20 and 21. Members of the team consisted of, front row, from left: Logan Schepper, Levi Kruzel, Gage Aanenson, Brock Melgard, Chandler Mickelson, Lane Dilley, Derek Zitzow, Brekken Wokash and Mason Happel. Second row, from left: coach Dave Vetsch, Tesfaye Young, Ben Trites, Jaxon Vetsch, Blaiz Schmidt, Braylon Rach, Coach Mark Schmidt and Coach Mike Baso. Submitted photo

The Perham Babe Ruth 13-year old baseball team secured second place at the State Tournament in Paynesville, Minn., on July 18-21.

The trip opened with Perham winning its pool by capturing a game on the opening day and two more the following day. Perham defeated Breckenridge 4-3 behind strong pitching from Blaiz Schmidt, Derek Zitzow and Levi Kruzel. Braylon Rach came up with several key hits as well.

Perham followed with a victory over Little Falls, who defeated New York Mills for third place, 7-1. Lane Dilly got the win on the mound. Head coach Mike Baso said the team played good defense behind him and had another solid display of hitting at the plate.

Perham closed out pool play with a 26-1 victory over Warroad, which secured the No. 1 seed for Perham entering the bracket portion of the tournament. In the first game of the bracketed round, Perham edged out Dilworth-Glyndon-Felton 3-1. Perham fell behind early but battled back and finished strong. Schmidt earned the win, while Kruzel shut the door in relief.

Perham advanced to face a familiar foe in the semifinals when they squared off with New York Mills. Perham won a back-and-forth affair 17-10. Perham fell behind 8-3 against Mills, but rallied for a 9-8 lead. New York Mills threatened again but it was Perham, who pulled away with a 17-10 win.

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Perham was edged out in the championship game by Waite Park 11-7. Perham fell behind but rallied back for a 7-6 lead, yet it was Waite Park, who was able to pull away in the final innings. Perham threatened with a pair of hits in the seventh, but a line out and two more outs ended the game. Perham finished the tournament with a 5-1 record and outscored its opponents 64-27 on its way to a second place finish.

Baso said every single player contributed in many of the games in some capacity.

"It was a true team effort of always battling and stepping up when called upon," Baso said. "We are proud of the team. Several tournament directors, officials, umpires and other teams commended the Perham team and fans on its display of sportsmanship and high level of effort."

Related Topics: BASEBALL
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