Prep baseball: Willmar nipped by Sartell
SARTELL -- Sometimes it just takes a break here or there to spark a team. The Willmar Cardinals haven't seemed to find one yet.
Trailing 3-2 in the top of the seventh, Willmar loaded the bases against Sartell starter John Schuman with one out. Tim Rodgers hit a hard groundball, but the Sartell shortstop gobbled it up and turned a double play to end the game.
That left Willmar (0-5, 0-9) still seeking its first win after several close losses.
Sartell's three runs, all unearned, came in the last of the fourth inning. With one out, A.J. Frank hit a double and the next batter reached on an error. A Sartell runner was then hit by a batted ball for the scond out before Grant Salk uncorked a three-run homer.
Willmar took a 1-0 lead in the top of the fourth when Dean Stier led off with a double, stole third base and scored on Jason Gunvalson's sacrifice fly.
After Sartell (3-3, 5-4) put its three runs on the board, Willmar's Ryan Lawler hit a solo homer to center field in the top of the fifth to cut the deficit to 3-2.
Nathanial Swoyer absorbed the loss despite allowing only four hits and no earned runs. He walked two and struck out three. Gabe Amon hurled two scoreless innings of relief.
Schumann finished with a six-hitter with one walk and seven strikeouts.
Sartell 3, Willmar 2
Willmar 000 110 0 -- 2 6 2
Sartell 000 300 x -- 3 5 2
HITTING - Willmar: Dean Stier 1-for-3, 2b; Ryan Lawler 1-for-3, solo HR, rbi; Jacob Damhof 1-for-3; Ryan Horning 2-for-3; Damon Ruter 1-for-2 ... Sartell: A.J. Frank 2-for-3, 2b; Jordan Roob 1-for-3; Grant Salk 2-for-3, 3-run HR, 3 rbi
PITCHING (ip-h-r-er-bb-so) -- Willmar: Nathanial Swoyer (L) 4-4-3-0-2-3, Gabe Amon 2-1-0-0-0-1 ... Sartell: John Schuman (W) 7-6-2-2-1-7