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Prep Baseball: Timely hitting drops Cardinals

ST. CLOUD - Willmar's Caleb Ditmarson had a gem on his hands until a two-run double in the sixth to put St. Cloud Apollo on top for good in the Section 5AAA tournament with a 3-2 win.

Willmar's Drey Dirksen tags St. Cloud Apollo's Lukas Theisen at the plate following a squeeze bunt in Thursday's Section 5AAA game in St. Cloud. Jake Schultz / Tribune
Willmar's Drey Dirksen tags St. Cloud Apollo's Lukas Theisen at the plate following a squeeze bunt in Thursday's Section 5AAA game in St. Cloud. Jake Schultz / Tribune
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ST. CLOUD - Willmar's Caleb Ditmarson had a gem on his hands until a two-run double in the sixth to put St. Cloud Apollo on top for good in the Section 5AAA tournament with a 3-2 win.

Ditmarson allowed one run in the second but went on a tear in the middle innings on the way to striking out seven batters in six innings. The Cardinals used back-to-back doubles by Garrit Kooistra and Zak Madsen to tie and eventually take the lead but it was Lukas Theisen who spoiled Ditmarson's day with a two-run double for the win.

"I felt pretty confident today," Ditmarson said. "I left just a couple of balls up today and he took advantage of it. I did the same thing to him earlier in the game so as soon as I threw it I knew (he would hit it)."

The Willmar pitcher scattered seven hits over six innings. He appeared to be in trouble in the fifth after the Cardinals took the lead but head coach Tom DeBoer said he had confidence in his righthander.

"As soon as I walked out there, he said, 'I know, I'm leaving the ball up,'" DeBoer said. "So I asked what he was going to do about it and he knew what to do. He was composed. Every time Caleb goes out there he gives a gutty performance. He's fielding everything and he knows what he needs to do to become a better ballplayer and he's willing to work for it. That's what I want."

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Aside from Willmar's two doubles, DeBoer's team struggled to convert on scoring chances. The Cardinals only finish with five hits but left six batters on base.

"I don't know if it was an off day (for our hitters) but we just fouled off pitches we normally hit," DeBoer said. "We hit a lot of balls hard but we just missed that timely hit and they didn't. It's frustrating, but that's baseball."

The Cardinals now move to the losers bracket where they'll take on Sauk Rapids at noon Saturday at Dick Putz Field in St. Cloud.

St. Cloud Apollo 3, Willmar 2

Willmar 000 020 0-2 5 1

SC Apollo 010 002 x-3 7 1

Hitting - Willmar: Dalton Rambow 1-3, Brayden Sunder 1-1, Garrit Kooistra 1-3 2b r, Zak Madsen 1-3 2b rbi r, Caleb Ditmarson 1-3 ... St. Cloud Apollo: Joey Atkinson 1-1 r, Lukas Theisen 2-3 2b rbi-2

Pitching (ip-h-r-er-bb-so) - Willmar: Ditmarson (L) 6-7-3-2-2-7 ... St. Cloud Apollo: Atkinson 5-4-2-1-1-1, Peter Nelson (W) 2-1-0-0-1-3

Related Topics: BASEBALL
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