The fifth annual Bash, formerly known as Bisch Bash, took place on Saturday at Portage Park in Cohasset and one of the main events of the day featured Taconite squaring off with Grand Rapids in American Legion Baseball action.
Taconite was hoping to make it two straight Bash victories over Grand Rapids after last year’s 1-0 victory over Grand Rapids. In that game, Jordan Peratalo pitched a complete-game shutout and Bazil Zuehlke delivered a solo home run.
The table was set for another close game on Saturday, after Grand Rapids defeated Taconite, 11-3, earlier in the week. Neither team could get much going offensively against pitcher’s Jeff Korpi (Taconite) and Tanner Shepard (Grand Rapids).
Grand Rapids eventually broke through in the fourth inning with runners on first and third and two out. Ethan Rajala took off for second trying to get into a run down to allow Nick Johnson to score. However, Korpi’s throw to second was errant which allowed Johnson to score the game’s first run.
Taconite had several opportunities to either tie the game or take the lead in the lead. In the fifth inning, Kole Kalisch singled with two outs. Kadin Kalisch followed with a line drive that hit off the fence in left and put runners on second and third. However, Shepard worked his way out of trouble by inducing a fly ball.
That was the story of the game for Taconite. Taconite stranded nine runners in scoring position and left runners on second and third, three times in the game.
However, Taconite eventually broke through in the seventh inning to tie the game at one. Kole Kalisch doubled to right-centerfield to start the rally. With Kole Kalisch attempting to steal third, Kadin Kalisch hit a line drive single up the middle which scored Kole Kalisch to even the game at one.
It stayed that way until the eighth when Grand Rapids earned a walk off victory. Kenn Hasbargen led the inning off with a double. He moved to third on a ground ball and Kyle Stram was hit by a pitch to put runners on the corners. Nick Johnson followed with a line drive single to plate Hasbargen with the game-winning run.
Neither starter factored in the decision. Korpi went six and two-thirds allowing one run on four hits. He walked three and struck out three. Tyler Peterson suffered the loss, pitching one inning of relief allowing one run on two hits.
Tanner Shepard went seven innings for Grand Rapids. He allowed one run while scattering nine hits. He struck out three and walked three. Kyle Stram earned the win in relief. He pitched a scoreless eighth inning.
Kole Kalisch had two hits and a run scored while Kadin Kalisch had two hits and a run batted in. Pat Shea, Justin Guyer, John Labine, Taylor Lantz and Tyler Peterson recorded hits in the game for Taconite.
Grand Rapids vs. Hibbing
Grand Rapids returned to the diamond for its second game of Bash 5 when they faced off with Hibbing in a District 8, Division 1 contest. The bats remained quiet for Grand Rapids as they dropped a 6-0 decision to Hibbing.
Ricky Brandt earned the shutout win on the mound for Hibbing. He allowed only four hits while striking out three and hitting two batters.
A.J. Allison paced the Hibbing attack with four hits and two runs batted in. Joe Kanipes finished with three hits including a double and Jeff Perunovich finished with two hits as well for Hibbing.
Kenn Hasbargen had two of the four hits for Grand Rapids. Noah Johnson suffered the loss on the mound. He went six innings allowing four runs, three earned, on nine hits while walking one.