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Willmar splits two with Sauk

Jordan Smith went 4-for-4, including this sixth-inning swing leading to a double, to account for half of Willmar's eight hits in Game One at Bill Taunton Stadium on Monday. His line-drive homer in Game Two accounted for Willmar's lone hit. Tribune photo by Rand Middleton1 / 2
Alec Saunders connects for a two-run double in the sixth inning during the first game of a doubleheader Monday, a 7-3 win over Sauk Rapids. Tribune photo by Rand Middleton2 / 2

WILLMAR -- It was the Jordan Smith Show at Bill Taunton Stadium on Monday as Willmar and Sauk Rapids split a Central Lakes Conference twinbill.

The Cardinals (7-3, 8-5) won the first game 7-3 as Smith tossed a six-hitter while striking out 15. At the plate the senior went 4-for-4.

Smarting from the lashing, the Storm (5-5, 7-7) came out counterpunching to level Willmar 12-2 in five innings in the nightcap.

The Cardinals managed only a single hit off Jason Hoppe, who walked one and fanned eight. Smith, leading off the fourth, swatted the first pitch from Hoppe on a line over the right-center field fence.

In Game One, Willmar jumped on Storm starter Tyler Christen at the start.

The first five Cardinals reached base and each scored. Two walks and a hit batter fed RBI hits by Jordan Smith and John Sawatzky.

The Storm got four of their six hits in the fourth inning to produce two runs. Justin Rothstein hit a solo homer to center in the fifth off Smith.

Willmar added two runs in the sixth off Jarrod Mauren, whose relief stint lasted five innings. Matt Odom singled, Smith doubled and Alec Saunders' double chased both home.

Justin Hamann took the loss in Game Two. Winning pitcher Hoppe also supplied three hits and two RBI.

Willmar 7, Sauk Rapids 3

Sauk Rapids 000 210 0 -- 3 6 0

Willmar 500 002 x -- 7 8 1

HITTING - Sauk Rapids: Jason Hoppe 1-for-1, Ethan Prow 1-for-2, rbi; Derek Cagle 1-for-3, rbi; Andy Henkemeyer 1-for-4, Justin Rothstein 2-for-4, 2 runs, solo HR, 3b ... Willmar: Jordan Smith 4-for-4, 2 2b's, rbi, 2 runs; Alec Saunders 1-for-3, 2b, 2 rbi; Adam Fagerstrom 1-for-3, rbi; John Sawatzky 1-for-2, rbi; Matt Odom 1-for-2, 2 runs

PITCHING (ip-h-r-er-bb-so) -- Sauk Rapids: Tyler Christen (L) 0-2-5-5-1-0, Jarrod Mauren 5-6-2-2-2-7, Justin Rothstein 1-0-0-0-0-0 ... Willmar: Jordan Smith (W) 7-6-3-3-3-15

Sauk Rapids 12, Willmar 2

Willmar 000 11 -- 2 1 2

Sauk Rapids 113 52 -- 12 11 2

HITTING - Willmar: Jordan Smith 1-for-2, solo HR, rbi ... Sauk Rapids: David Kroger 1-for-2, 2b, 3 runs; Andy Henkemeyer 1-for-2, 2 runs; Justin Rothsetin 1-for-4, rbi; Jason Hoppe 3-for-4, 2 runs, 2 rbi; Tyler Christen 1-for-2, 2b, 2 runs; John Statz 1-for-2, wb, rbi; Ethan Prow 2-for-2, rbi; Stein 1-for-3, 2b, rbi

PITCHING (ip-h-r-er-bb-so) -- Willmar: Justin Hamann (L) 3-7-7-4-3-2, Scott Skaalerud Zc-2-3-3-2-0, Andrew Bangen Zc-2-2-1-0-0- ... Sauk Rapids: Jason Hoppe (W) 5-1-2-1-1-8