The Bluffton Braves used a late rally to hold off the Perham Pirates and secure the Hi-10 Division Championship with a 7-2 victory in 11 innings at Krueger Field on July 24.
The Pirates rallied to tie the game in the bottom of the ninth, but the Braves scored five runs in the 11th and picked up the victory. Jake Dykhoff picked up the win in relief. He pitched seven innings, allowing just one run. He struck out 15 batters and gave up a pair of hits.
Skylar Mursu closed the door in the 11th. He gave up a lead off walk and then retired the Pirates in order to close out the win.
Perham jumped ahead in the first inning. Josh Bollig walked and moved to second on a bunt. He advanced to third on a ground ball and scored on a wild pitch for the game's first run.
However, Bluffton came back with a pair of runs in the fifth inning. Preston Warren singled home Dustin Geiser, who doubled to start the frame. Justin Dykhoff hit a sacrifice fly to score the second run, giving Bluffton the 2-1 lead.
It stayed that way until the ninth inning when Roo Schmitz roped a single. However, he was thrown out on a close play at the plate when Perrine tripled after the ball was lost in the outfield. Jack Stigman followed with a fly ball that was ruled dropped, allowing Perrine to score the tying run for Perham. Jake Dykhoff worked out of the inning with back-to-back strike outs.
Kurt Mursu singled and moved up on a walk to Warren. Hamann followed with an RBI single, scoring one and an error allowed another to score. Justin Dykhoff singled and moved up when Sam Tellers reached. Bluffton followed with a bunt which plated two, securing the five run lead for the Braves.
Schmitz went nine innings for Perham and did not factor in the decision. He gave up two runs on 10 hits. He struck out six batters. Jack Stigman took the loss. He went two innings and gave up five runs on four hits. He struck out four batters.