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Perham falls in Minnesota Class 2A state baseball championship game

Kasson-Mantorville scored three runs in the first inning and controlled play in an 8-1 victory over Perham in the Minnesota Class 2A state final. Paul Gregersen/Special to the FOCUS

MINNEAPOLIS – The Perham Yellowjackets were unable to overcome a shaky first inning and fell to No. 5 Kasson-Mantorville 8-1 in the Minnesota Class 2A state baseball championship Monday at Target Field.

Perham starter Eric Brauch walked the first two batters, followed by four singles and a sacrifice bunt, as Kasson-Mantorville built a 3-0 lead in the opening inning.

“Give credit to Kasson,” Perham head coach Hans Hanson said. “They jumped out to a three-run lead and that’s huge.”

Perham added an error to the inning when catcher CJ Mulcahy threw the ball away past third baseman Jack Stigman and into left field, allowing Wade Starkey to trot in from third base with the second and game-winning run of the game.

Perham answered in the second inning.

Brauch and JT Laughlin hit back-to-back singles with nobody out and Austin Erickson moved them to second and third on a sacrifice bunt.

Designated hitter Joey Lindberg hit a sacrifice fly to center field to score Brauch for the lone Yellowjackets run.

Perham managed only five hits in the game off Kasson-Mantorville’s starter Joey Hyde. Laughlin had two of those hits – a pair of singles.

“I wish we could have hit the ball well and everything else would have just fallen in, if we’d have just hit,” Lindberg said.

Kasson-Mantorville added three insurance runs in the fourth and two more in the sixth to blow the game open.

Other than Brauch and Laughlin, no Yellowjackets players touched third base in the game.

“These kids wanted to be here,” Hanson said. “They played great baseball at the end of the season, maybe not so much today, but overall they really played as a team. I’m so proud of these guys. What an experience they had.”

Brauch (5-2) took the loss giving up six runs in four innings. He walked four and struck out one.

Hyde pitched a complete game allowing one run on five hits for the victory ending his season with a record of 9-2. He walked three and fanned five.

Jayden Prigge, Charlie Oertli and Collin Ripley all had two hits for the KoMets. Donovan Ripley had two RBIs.

The victory was the first baseball championship for Kasson-Mantorville in their third trip to the state tournament. They had previous trips in 2005, and 2011.

Perham’s runner-up finish was the school’s best finish in eight trips.

Perham 010 000 0–1 5 2

Kasson-Mant. 300 302 x–8 12 1

P–Brauch, Stigman (4), Still (6) and Mulcahy. KM-Hyde and Ripley. W–Hyde. L–Brauch.

Robert Williams

Robert is the Sports Editor of the Detroit Lakes Tribune. Williams worked prior as the Sports Editor in Perham for the Focus, a Forum Communications newspaper, from 2010-14. 

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