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Cardinals shot down

WILLMAR -- The Willmar Cardinals first full week of baseball got off to a rough start, losing 8-0 to Central Lakes Conference rival Brainerd at Bill Taunton Stadium on Tuesday.

Senior pitcher Dan Bendzick held the Cardinals hitless for five innings before retiring.

Brainerd, which is off to a 2-0 start in pursuit of a third straight CLC championship, jumped on starter Jordan Smith for five runs over the first three innings.

Willmar (1-1, 1-1) hosts Little Falls on Thursday, Hutchinson on Friday and is at the Marshall Invite on Saturday.

The Cardinals were hitless until the sixth when Derrick Loiselle singled off Brainerd reliever Brett Jenkins to load the bases, after John Sawatzky and Josh Oesterich drew walks.

But Jenkins got Scott Skaalerud on a liner to first and Sam Spaulding on a fly to left.

Kyle Crocker went 3-for-4 and scored three times for the Warriors.

Smith gave up six hits and three earned runs over three innings. He had the other Willmar hits, in the seventh.

Brainerd 8, Willmar 0

Brainerd 221 001 2 -- 8 10 2

Willmar 000 000 0 -- 0 2 3

HITTING - Brainerd: Kyle Crocker 3-for-4, 3 runs; Rob Veith 1-for-4, rbi; Nate Smolke 1-fore-3, 2 rbi; Trevor Howard 2-for-3, 2 runs; Joel Martin 1-for-3, rbi; Dan Bendzick 1-for-2; Cody Stang 1-for-2 ... Willmar: Jordan Smith 1-for-4, Derrick Loiselle 1-for-1

PITCHING (ip-h-r-er-bb-so) -- Brainerd: Dan Bendzick (W) 5-0-0-0-4-8, Brett Jenkins 2-2-0-0-2-1 ... Willmar: Jordan Smith (L) 3-6-5-3-3-2, Scott Skaalerud 3-3-1-1-2-0, John Sawatzky 1-1-2-2-2-1