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Trojan baseball: Cardinals take control over Trojans

Brian Korthals/Daily Globe Worthington Trojan Turner Hagen slides into home as Luverne catcher Logan Norman looks to tag him during Wednesday's game in Worthington. Hagen was called out on the play.

WORTHINGTON -- Josh Slieter, Matt Overgaard and Gunnar Olson each hit a three-run homer as the Luverne Cardinals improved to 12-4 overall and 8-2 in the Southwest Conference with a 14-9 baseball win over the Worthington Trojans Wednesday at the Minnesota West field.

Slieter, Olson and Overgaard each went 2-for-4, while Overgaard added a three-run double; knocking in six runs total in the game. Olson earned the LHS pitching win, pitching well through five innings after surviving a five-run Worthington first. The Cardinals scored 11 consecutive runs and turned a 6-3 WHS advantage after two into a 14-6 LHS lead four innings later.

"We've had our issues with consistency -- playing two solid innings in a row; two hours in a row," LHS head coach Mike Wenninger said. "But we've been getting a lot better at staying with the game lately. The guys stuck with it after losing the early three-run lead and we got it right back the next inning."

Nate Ray and Deron Soderholm each hit RBI doubles in the Trojans' five-run first, answering Slieter's three-run dinger in the game's opening half-inning. However, a pair of baserunning mistakes limited the Trojans to a Blake Rogers RBI double in the second. The baserunning mistakes, combined with a two-out Trojans' error in the third that allowed three runs to score on Overgaard's double, shifted the game's momentum from the Trojans' favor to the visitors.

"We didn't play our best baseball today, that's for sure," said WHS head coach Stacy Sauerbrei, whose Trojans fall to 5-4 overall and 4-2 in the SWC. "Both offensively and defensively, we struggled and made some mental errors that we shouldn't be making."

Tristan Sorensen suffered the loss on the hill, pitching into the fifth, before Overgaard's homer chased him from the game. Ray pitched two innings in relief of Sorensen, while Tyler Hatterman worked the seventh.

Skyler Wenninger, who was 2-for-4 with an RBI double, pitched in relief of Olson, recording two outs before allowing a run then giving way to Overgaard, who escaped the sixth and allowed two seventh inning runs to the Trojans.

Rogers led the Trojans at the plate with a 3-for-4 and two RBIs, while Aaron Pavelko, Hatterman, and Turner Hagen each collected an RBI on two hits apiece.

Ryan Lee and Zach Kempema had singles for WHS, while Brett Heronimus, Kendall Meyer and Reed Skattum all collected safeties of their own for LHS.

The Cardinals close out their conference schedule with two home games with Redwood Valley Friday.

The Trojans return to action today with a league game at the Minnesota West Field at 4:30 p.m. with the Pipestone Area Arrows.

LHS 303 233 0 -- 14 13 3

WHS 510 001 2 -- 9 13 3