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Willmar trumps St. Cloud Tech

ST. CLOUD -- Three Willmar pitchers combined on a two-hitter to lead the Willmar Cardinals to a 6-1 season-opening win over St. Cloud Tech Thursday.

The game was also the Central Lakes Conference opener for both teams.

Jordan Smith struck out six and walked two in four innings of work. Nathaniel Swoyer pitched two hitless innings of relief and Scott Skaalerud pitched the seventh and gave up an unearned run.

The Tigers' used four pitchers, who combined to hold Willmar hitless for six innings.

The Cardinals held a 2-0 lead until the seventh inning, when they broke out for four runs.

The Cardinals capitalized on a couple of errors and a walk in the top of the seventh when Alec Saunders hit a two-run double.

Saunders went 1-for-3 with three RBI on the day for the Cardinals.

Willmar's Logan Birkland and John Sawatzky followed Saunders' lead in the seventh with run-scoring singles.

St. Cloud Tech scored its lone run in the bottom of the seventh off the bat of Bryce Cash.

Mitch Voight had the other hit for the Tigers.

Willmar 6, St. Cloud Tech 1

Willmar 001 010 4 -- 6 3 1

St. Cloud Tech 000 000 1 -- 1 2 2

HITTING - Willmar: Alec Saunders 1-for-3, 2b, 3 rbi; John Sawatzky 1-for-4, rbi; Logan Birkland 1-for-4, rbi ... St. Cloud Tech: Bryce Cash 1-for-4, rbi; Mitch Voight 1-for-3

PITCHING (ip-h-r-er-bb-so) -- Willmar: Jordan Smith (W) 4-2-0-0-2-6; Nathaniel Swoyer 2-0-0-0-0-0 Scott Skaalerud 1-0-1-0-3-0 ... St. Cloud Tech: Ryan Spengler (L) 3-0-1-0-4-3; Brady Anderson Zc-0-1-1-2-0; Tyler Wieber 3-3-4-0-2-4