Wolverines split with Perham in season debut
David Najjar kept the tough Perham Yellowjackets at bay with the help of errorless defense Tuesday as the Wadena-Deer Creek Wolverines gained a split in their regular season opener.
Najjar gave the Wolverines 5 1/3 innings on the hill in a 3-1 victory over Perham in Game 2. The WDC righty walked five and fanned five. Kenny Sakry backed him up with 1 2/3 innings of strong relief work.
Najjar, Jake Krause and Ryan Redfield scored for the Wolverines and Matt Laughlin doubled.
Laughlin was credited with a fielding gem at third base in the bottom of the sixth after the Yellowjackets had loaded the sacks.
Ivan Nodsle was Perham's top bat with two hits in three trips.
The Wolverines suffered a 7-3 loss in Game 1 as the Yellowjackets exploded for five runs in the second inning.
"One bad inning kept us from sweeping Perham, but anytime you can get a win versus a great team like Perham, you have to be happy with the team's performance," WDC Head Coach Kyle Dykhoff said.
WDC's biggest loss in Game 1 was a hand injury to starting catcher Jake Rude. Christian Berg came in to take over Rude's position.
Perham pitcher Jesse Hein went five innings on the hill for Perham and struck out 10 while walking only two. Mark Schumacher mopped up with two innings of hitless relief,
Gabe Pankonin was WDC's biggest headache at the plate going 3-for-4 with three RBIs and two runs.
Krause and Sakry both combined for two hits, two runs and one RBI in the loss. Jonathan Goeden had one safety and one RBI.
Redfield pitched six frames for the Wolverines. Redfield was touched for nine hits, five earned runs and two walks while fanning four.
The Yellowjackets fell to 2-3 on the season.
Perham 7, WDC 3
WDC 100 200 0 - 3 7 1
Perham 050 101 x - 7 9 1
Ryan Redfield and Jake Rude, Christian Berg; Jesse Hein, Mark Schumacher (6) and Gabe Pankonin
WP- Hein; LP- Redfield
WDC 3, Perham 1
WDC 003 000 0 - 3 6 1
Perham 010 000 0 - 1 6 1
David Najjar, Kenny Sakry (6) and Christian Berg; Dylan Ellingson, Brady Sazama (6) and C.J. Mulcahy
WP- Najjar; LP- Ellingson