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Pirates rebound with victory over Bluffton

The Perham Pirates were hoping to erase the sour taste left in their mouths after a tough 7-1 shellacking from the New York Mills Millers when they traveled to Bluffton to take on the Braves on July 17. While it wasn't how they drew it up, the Pi...

The Perham Pirates were hoping to erase the sour taste left in their mouths after a tough 7-1 shellacking from the New York Mills Millers when they traveled to Bluffton to take on the Braves on July 17. While it wasn't how they drew it up, the Pirates were able to leave Bluffton with a 6-4 victory.

The Pirates built up an early 4-1 lead after three innings, however a pair of untimely miscues allowed the Braves to rally back and tie the game at four. The Pirates were able to capitalize on a pair of Bluffton mistakes in the late innings, enabling them to pull out the 6-4 road victory.

The victory secured the No. 4 seed for the Pirates in the Region 14C playoffs. The Pirates ended the Hi-10 season with an 8-7 record. The Pirates will play the fifth place team from the Lakes and Pine League in the first round of the playoffs, starting on Friday, July 29 at Krueger Field. Currently, Perham would face Park Rapids, however, they have a trio of games remaining on their schedule.

The Braves jumped ahead in the first, capitalizing on a pair of walks issued by Alec Meyer. Meyer's early wildness enabled the Braves to jump ahead, 1-0, when Kyle Dykhoff delivered a two-out, run scoring single. However, Meyer settled in from that point on. He pitched five innings of two-hit ball, allowing just the first inning run. He struck out one, while walking two batters.

The Pirates turned the early deficit around quickly with a crooked number in the second inning. J.T. Laughlin led the inning off with a sharp single and moved to second on a bunt by Eric Hendrickx. With two outs, Chris Ruther delivered a double, scoring Laughlin, evening the game at one. Jaden Meyer followed with a high arching drive over the fence in left field, lifting the Pirates to a 3-1 lead.

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Hendrickx extended the Pirates' lead in the third inning when he launched a double down the left field line, scoring Cole Schmitz, who ran for Gabe Pankonin, making it 4-1.

However, the Pirates went silent offensively in the middle innings, allowing the Braves to hang around. The Braves capitalized on a pair of miscues in the sixth, eventually tying the game at four.

Yet, it was the Pirates that capitalized on the game's biggest miscue. Pankonin was hit by a pitch and advanced to second on a wild pitch. With two outs, Hendrickx lifted a fly ball into left center, which was misplayed by Sam Tellers, allowing Pankonin to score the eventual game-winning run.

Perham tacked on another run in the ninth when Pankonin delivered an RBI single, scoring Nathan Currier, who was running for Jaden Meyer, making it 6-4.

Jack Stigman earned the win in relief. He went two innings, allowing three runs on three hits. He struck out three, while walking three batters.

Gavin Biegler earned the save in relief. He went two innings, allowing one baserunner on a walk. He struck out two.

Kevin Tumberg was saddled with the loss in relief. He went six innings, allowing two runs on four hits. He struck out three, walked one and hit one batter.

Pankonin finished with two hits and an RBI for Perham, while Laughlin added two hits as well. Meyer finished with two hits and two RBIs for the Pirates in the win. Hendrickx and Ruther added a hit as well.

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Perham finished the regular season with a 10-7 record overall, while going 8-7 in Hi-10 play.

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