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Cardinals secure trip to state tourney

HADLEY — Lucas Henning struck out 13 batters on the way to throwing a two-hit complete game to propel the Wilmont Cardinals to the Class C Amateur Baseball State Tournament after completing a two-game sweep of the Hadley Buttermakers with a 7-0 victory Sunday.

“We had some really great pitching this series and that is what allowed us to come out on top,” Wilmont second baseman Justin Saufley said. “Our pitching has been our bread and butter this year and if we are going to win a game at the state tournament we will need that to continue.”

The Cardinals jumped out to a 2-0 lead after picking up two runs in the first inning and then added three more runs in the third to increase their lead to five.

“We were able to get our hits to fall this series unlike the last series against Luverne,” Saufley said. “This series, we were able to add runs to our solid pitching and that made it easier for our pitchers since they could pitch with a lead.”

Henning was credited with the win for Wilmont, while Hadley draftee Tom Hady went seven-plus innings for the Buttermakers to record the loss. The Cardinals committed just one error in the game with the Buttermakers committing two.

“Defensively, we played really well,” Saufley said. “We were able to limit the mistakes we made in the field to make sure we didn’t give up any extra outs.”

Steven Kremer smashed two home runs on three hits for the Cardinals and drove in four runs to lead Wilmont at the plate. Henning, Joe Krivarchka, Blake Rogers, and Joe Ahrens each added two hits to help the Cardinals compile 14 hits as a team.

Trent Carlson and Chris Halber recorded the only two hits for the Buttermakers in the game.

Wilmont secured Region 13C’s No. 3 seed with the win and faces off against Region 1’s No. 2 seed Clear Lake in a single-elimination game Friday at 5 p.m. in Maple Lake. The winner moves on to face the Howard Lake Orphans Aug. 24 in Maple Lake.

The Luverne Redbirds, who finished with the No. 1 seed in Region 13C and have a first round bye, will play the winner of the game between the Region 16B Midway Snurdbirds and the Region 8D Upsala Blue Jays on Aug. 23 in Delano.

The Fairmont Martins, who are the No. 2 seed from Region 13C, take on the New Ulm Brewers Saturday in Delano, with the winner moving on to face the New Market Muskies Aug. 25 in Delano.