Four-run third inning not enough to defeat Panthers.

    Despite rallying back from a five-run deficit, the Crookston Pirates baseball team could not hold the Park Rapids Area Panthers at bay and ultimately lost 6-5 Thursday at Jim Karn Field.

    “I felt we played a pretty solid game except for the first two innings,” Crookston head coach Mitch Bakken said. “We have battled back from deficits before this year, but if we want to be successful, we have to stop giving up easy runs early in the game.”

    Trailing 5-0 in the bottom of the second inning, Crookston cut its deficit to 5-1 when freshman Leyton Salentine reached base on a fielding error, which allowed junior Drew Dragseth to score from third.

    The Pirates rallied in the third frame by scoring four runs on a groundout, two singles and a double to tie the game at 5-5.

    Park Rapids answered in the top of the fourth, however, as Austin Jerger scored on a Nathan David single, ultimately giving the Panthers a 6-5 victory.

    Crookston’s Blake Kawlewski led the club by going 4-for-4 at the plate with one run scored and one RBI.

    Tim Parr pitched five innings of relief and gave up one run on four hits and two walks while striking out six batters.

    “Tim Parr threw outstanding,” Bakken said. “I want all of our pitchers to take notice that you don’t have to throw 90 mph. You have to change speeds, change locations, and work down in the zone for success. Tim has had two great outings so far this year and will continue to get more work as he improves each game.”

    The Pirates fall to 2-4 on the season with Thursday’s loss.

    Crookston returns to action at 4:30 p.m. Monday at Jim Karn Field to take on Northern Freeze.

    Northern Freeze is a co-op between Marshall County Central and Tri-County.