The Grand Rapids baseball team erased an early 3-0 deficit against Hermantown to come away with an 8-3 win Thursday, advancing the Thunderhawks to the winners bracket game of the Section 7AAA tournament.
After defeating Hibbing in the opener, 12-2, in six innings, Grand Rapids put together another strong game at the plate against the Hawks, connecting on 13 hits Thursday.
To start the game, the Hawks took advantage of a leadoff walk, followed by a one-out single and another walk. Aaron Pionk delivered a two-RBI single with two outs, then Reese Fish drove in a run to give Hermantown the 3-0 advantage.
Grand Rapids answered in the third inning. Grant Anderson had a leadoff single, Owen Linder drove in Anderson with a double, then Jack Peart had an RBI double. Wyatt Zuehlke tied the game with an RBI single.
After a scoreless fourth inning, the Thunderhawks broke the game open in the fifth inning, scoring five runs on seven hits. It started with a one-out single from Collin Dibb. Peart reached on an error which allowed Dibb to score. Zuehlke connected on an RBI double to stretch the lead to 5-3. Wyatt Holcomb singled, Alex McBride followed with an RBI single, then Kodi Miller doubled in a run and Gideon Beck capped off the inning with an RBI single.
Ty Karnes pitched a complete game, allowing six hits with five strikeouts.
Zuehlke, Peart, Linder and Beck each had two hits.
In the opening game Tuesday against the Bluejackets, Hibbing scored the opening run of the game in the first inning before the Thunderhawks plated two runs in the second inning then broke the game open in the fifth, scoring three runs to take an 8-2 lead.
Peart had a leadoff triple to open the second inning then came around to score on a squeeze bunt from McBride. Beck reached on an error which scored the second run.
In the third inning, Linder doubled and Peart followed with an RBI single to extend the lead to 3-1.
Beck doubled with two outs in the fourth inning and came around to score on an RBI single from Anderson. Linder drove in the Thunderhawks’ fifth run with another double.
The fifth inning was started with Peart being hit by a pitch and a walk from Zuehlke. A squeeze bunt from Holcomb scored a run then McBride connected on a two-run double to make it an 8-2 game.
Grand Rapids closed the game out in the sixth inning with RBI singles from McBride and Miller. Anderson drove in a run with a sacrifice fly. Pinch-runner Andrew Sunberg scored the game-ending run on an RBI single from Linder.
Beck picked up the win on the mound throwing all six innings, allowing one earned run on six hits with five strikeouts.
Linder and Peart each finished with three hits, while McBride and Beck had two.
Grand Rapids will play Duluth Denfeld in the winners bracket game Saturday in Princeton.
Raiders, Warriors seasons end
In Section 7AA, Greenway won its first two games of the tournament Tuesday, taking down Proctor, 2-1, in the first round, then defeating Eveleth-Gilbert, 8-0.
The Raiders fell to Duluth Marshall 11-1 Thursday, then were eliminated by Eveleth-Gilbert, 4-2, ending their season.
In Section 7A, No. 4 Deer River was eliminated from postseason play after a 7-4 loss to No. 5 North Woods Tuesday in Virginia.
Frank Villeneuve had three hits and drove in two runs for the Warriors, while Robert Moore had two hits with two RBIs.