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Tribune photo by Rand Middleton Willmar's Tony McCleary slides head first into second barely ahead of the right fielder's throw to St. Cloud Tech shortstop Zach Otte on Tuesday in Willmar. Leading off the Cardinals' half of the fifth inning, McCleary had hit a shot down the right field line to launch a five-run explosion.

Prep baseball: Cardinals' bats save the day

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sports Willmar, 56201
Willmar Minnesota 2208 Trott Ave. SW / P.O. Box 839 56201

WILLMAR -- The Cardinals bats overcame six errors in the field and a batch of walks by the pitching staff to take an 8-6 victory over St. Cloud Tech on Tuesday at Baker Field.

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Willmar scored three runs on three hits in the first and five more in the fifth inning on four hits. The 10 hits were a season high.

The Tigers scored 4 in the top of the seventh to make it tight at the end.

"It's great just to get a win," said coach Mark Stier. "The fielding was not good, the pitching was just OK but we did get men on base. We've got good speed on the bases which we can use when we start hitting like we did today."

Centerfielder Tyler Stegeman, Dean Stier, the winning pitcher; catcher Jason Gunvalson and third baseman Brandon Christensen each had a pair of hits.

McCleary, a left-hand hitting sophomore who bats leadoff, started both rallies by walking in the first and with a double just inside the first-base bag in the fifth.

The Tigers had stranded 9 runners through 3 innings while scoring 2 runs.

Stier went 4Zc innings before departing after issuing his fifth walk. Christensen came over from third but his control was wobbly also and he needed help from Adam Nibaur to get out of the seventh.

Shortstop Patrick Courtney had two of Willmar's 6 miscues but the junior also made a fine backhand stab of a low line drive by Chase Alshire which he converted to an inning-ending double play with the easy toss to Christensen to double off Alex Schlangen, who was at third with one out.

Willmar, which will travel to Sartell for a night game on Thursday, goes to 3-4 in the Central Lakes and 4-7 overall. The last-place Tigers drop to 0-9 and 1-11.

Willmar 8, SC Tech 6

SC Tech 002 000 4-- 6 8 2

Willmar 300 050 x -- 8 10 6

HITTING - St. Cloud Tech: Joe Setrum 1-for-3, Jake Samuelson 2-for-3, Travis Haus 3-for-3, Billy Gagliardi 1-for-3, 2 runs; Austin Eisenreich 1-for-2 ... Willmar: Tony McCleary 1-for-2, 2 runs, 2b; Tyler Stegeman 2-for-2, Dean Stier 2-for-2, 2 runs, rbi; Jason Gunvalson 2-for-3, 2 rbi; Damon Ruter 1-forf-3, 2 rbi; Brandon Christensen 2-for-3, rbi, 2b

PITCHING (ip-h-r-er-bb-so) -- St. Cloud Tech: Austin Klaverkamp (L) 4Zc-9-6-6-2-2, Cody Smelter Xc-2-2-2-1-0, Robert Praetorius 1-0-0-0-0-0 ... Willmar: Dean Stier (W) 4Zc-5-2-2-5-5, Brandon Christensen Xc-0-2-2-3-0, Adam Nibaur (S) 1-3-2-2-0-0

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