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Tribune photo by Rand Middleton Willmar pitcher Cole Christensen kicks and deals in the third inning against Sauk Centre on Tuesday at Baker Field. The junior right-hander threw six innings for his first varsity win.

Prep baseball: Willmar shuts down Storm

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WILLMAR — The heat and the wind brought out the best in the Willmar Cardinals baseball team on Tuesday during a 10-2 win over Sauk Rapids.

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With the temp tickling 90 and the west wind rushing across Baker Field at say, 25 mph, the Cards compiled 11 hits.

Four players had two hits each: Patrick Courtney, Brett Swanson, Brandon Christiansen and Austin Rambow.

That was more than enough support for junior right-hander Cole Christensen. He went six innings; the Storm got to him only in the fourth when they lashed together four of their 8 hits.

Freshman Isaac Kobenia pitched the seventh giving up one hit, fanning two.

Willmar (2-7, 2-9) had only one error in the high winds which made playing right and center field  harrowing.

Sauk Rapids (5-6, 6-6) got two hits each from Charlie Oltz, the losing pitcher, and No. 9 hitter Nic Kuechle.

Willmar travels to Rocori on Thursday for two games with the Spartans (8-2, 8-3).

Willmar 10,

Sauk Rapids 2

SR          000 200 0 — 2  8  4

Willmar                213 004 x —10 11 1 

HITTING – Sauk Rapids: Charlie Oltz 2-for-4, 2b; Nick Kuechle 2-for-3, rbi; Cole VanHalbeck 1-for-1, rbi … Willmar: Patrick Courtney 2-for-4, rbi, 2 sbs; Brett Swanson 2-for-3, 2 runs, 2b; Tony McCleary 1-for-3, 2 runs; Brandon Christiansen 2-for-4, 2 runs, rbi; Austin Rambow 2-for-3, 3 rbi; Tyler Stegeman 1-for-3, 2 rbi; Austin Smith 1-for-2, rbi; Cole Hagen 0-for-4, run; Josh Warne 0-for-3, run

PITCHING (ip-h-r-er-bb-so) – Sauk Rapids: Cole Oltz (L) 2X\c-7-6-6-1-4, Jordan Schlichting 2X\c-3-2-0-2-2, Justin Thorson X\c-1-0-0-0-2 …. Willmar: Cole Christensen (W) 6-7-2-2-2-3, Isaac Kobenia 1-1-0-0-0-2

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Rand Middleton

Covers Willmar and area high schools and Ridgewater College, plus amateur baseball, stock car racing and fitness events in summer. Writes weekly column since 1980. Began working in radio and at weekly newspaper in Munising, Michigan, in 1972. Started parttime at West Central Daily Tribune Sept. 1974. Fulltime beginning Feb. 1979. Married to Tribune news clerk Donna (Miller) Middleton, formerly of Kerkhoven. 2 grown children. 

(320) 214-4334
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