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Willmar opens 2AAA with rout

WILLMAR -- The Willmar Cardinals rapped 13 hits to knock out Buffalo 12-5 on Thursday and now will face defending Secton 2AAA champion Eden Prairie on Monday.

Nathanial Swoyer, the winning pitcher, had a double among his three hits to lead the Cardinals.

Austin Adamson, Jake Rambow, Andrew Bangen and Ryan Horning had two hits apiece. Seven different players shared in the RBI total.

Willmar ended the Bison's late-season surge that had reached four straight wins. Willmar had lost to Buffalo 6-4 in the first round a year ago in the double-elimination playoffs.

This year, the first two rounds in all sections are single-elimination.

Before a good turnout of fans who were paying to watch baseball for the first time this spring at Bill Taunton Stadium, the Cardinals quickly got down to business.

Leadoff hitter Austin Adamson doubled through the left-center field gap. Cleanup hitter Andrew Bangen singled and Swoyer hit a liner to the center-field fence. The three-run first inning was followed by a two-run second with Adamson again doubling and Dean Stier and Banging providing singles.

That was enough to chase junior left-hander John Ekstein, Buffalo's top hurler, the first of three Bison pitchers.

Swoyer got the first six Bison in order before the visitors unloaded in the third inning. Five hits -- four of them scorchers -- produced three runs to diminish the Willmar lead temporarily to two.

But Willmar came right back with two more in the third and five in the fourth for a 12-3 advantage.

Buzz Tryggeseth and Cody Ellefson both doubled and singled for the Bison, who hurt themselves with five errors and two glaring base-running mistakes.

Swoyer gave up 11 hits but just one walk and fanned seven over six innings of work.

Monday's game at Eden Prairie is scheduled for 7 p.m. but may be moved up to 5 p.m.

Willmar 12, Buffalo 5

Buffalo (7-14) 003 011 0 -- 5 11 5

Willmar (8-13) 322 500 x --12 13 3

HITTING - Buffalo: Buzz Tryggeseth 2-for-4, 2b, 2 runs; Cody Ellefson 2-for-4, 2b, 2 rbi; Aaron Duske 2-for-4, rbi; Jake Rabusch 1-for-3; Josh Gaughan 2-for-3, 2 runs; Ethan Freer 1-for-3; Jared Wycoff 1-for-2 ... Willmar: Austin Adamson 2-for-5, 2 2b's, 2 runs, rbi; Jake Rambow 2-for-3, rbi; Dean Stier 1-for-4, rbi; Andrew Bangen 2-for-3, rbi; Ryan Horning 2-for-4, 2 runs, rbi; Nathianal Swoyer 3-for-4, 2b, 2 runs, 2 rbi; Derrick Loiselle 1-for-4, 2b, 2 runs, rbi

PITCHING (ip-h-r-er-bb-so) -- Buffalo: John Eckstein (L) 11/3-4-5-3-1-2, Aaron Duske 3-8-7-3-3-0, Ethan Freer 12/3-1-0-0-1-2 ... Willmar: Nathianal Swoyer (W) 6-11-5-4-1-7, Dean Stier 1-0-0-0-0-0

Rand Middleton
Tribune photographer/videographer. Began working in radio and at weekly newspaper in Munising, Michigan, in 1972. Started parttime at West Central Daily Tribune Sept. 1974. Fulltime news/sports beginning Feb. 1979. Married to Tribune news clerk Donna (Miller) Middleton, formerly of Kerkhoven. 2 grown children. 
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