Tri-County Cards hit rough patch

By Adam Jerome, I-O Reporter
Tri-County Cards hit rough patch
NICE FORM — Cardinal catcher Bjorn Swanson just got out ahead of this fast ball in play against the Sparkies last week. The homeboys suffered a doubleheader loss to the Great Falls team. I-O Photo by Buck Traxler
   The Tri-County Cardinals are just getting into the meat of their schedule as they played eight games over the past week.
   The Cards managed only two victories in the eight game stretch.  Out of the eight games, four of them were against the Sparkies, who walked away with a 3-1 record against Tri-County.
   The play began on June 10 in Conrad for the first home games of the season.  In the double-header the Cards were downed twice, 3-1 and 10-2.
   The afternoon started off well for the home team as they scored the game’s first run in bottom of the first inning.  John Johannsen scored the Cards only run on a Jake Robison ground ball.  From there the Cards were held scoreless as they relied too heavily on a solid outing from Robison who pitched all seven innings and gave up three runs.
   Robison pitched six scoreless innings, but in the fifth, thanks to a solo homerun and some errors the Sparkies scored three runs, which would prove to be enough for the victory.
   The Cards only managed two hits the entire game.  Logan Rowe went 1-2 and Johannsen went 1-3.
   In the second game things only got worse as the home team gave up eight runs in the first three innings.  Bjorn Swanson was credited with the loss.
   Tri-County started to hit the ball as they tallied nine hits, but they really struggled with runners in scoring position as they only scored two runs.
   Johannsen went 2-3 with an RBI and Joey Hallenberg was1-4 at the plate also driving a runner home.  Swanson helped his pitching effort going 3-4.  Justin Philipps was 2-3.
   On June 11 the Cards played the Sparkies again for another double-header, this time in Great Falls.  The team played much better on the road as they gained a much needed split.  The Cards won the first contest, 12-7, before getting beaten 12-2 in the nightcap.
   Johannsen got the win.  Tri-County got 10 hits and only committed one error the entire game, which is always a winning recipe.  
   Johannsen was 1-3 at the plate, Hallenberg went 1-4.  Robison was 2-3 with two runs knocked in.  Swanson was 2-4 with an RBI, Jade Premo was 2-4 with an RBI, and Riley Styren notched a hit and an RBI.
   The late game proved to be a reversal of fortune for the Cards.  Just as quickly as they found their hitting it left them as they only hit safely three times in the afternoon contest.
   The Sparkies beat up starting pitcher Premo as they lit up the scoreboard with eight first inning runs.  Premo was credited with the loss.
   Hallenberg, Robison, and Swanson each notched a hit a piece.  Swanson also drove in the teams only RBI.
   On June 13 the Cardinals hosted the Vaux Hall Spurs for a double-header.  The homeboys lost both games, 15-9, 11-10.
   Tri-County was able to find their hitting stroke once again, but was not able to get over the hump.
   Coach Tyson Anderson commented, “We hit the ball well both games, but they also hit it well and we made some key errors.”
   Bryce Watterud was handed the loss.  Jake Robison had a stellar day as he went 2-4 with two doubles and two runs batted in.  Swanson also went 2-4 with three RBIs.
   In the second game the Cards hung in there but lost by one.  Robison was the starting pitcher and took the loss.  Robison also went 2-3 and hit a 2-run long ball.  Riley Styren continued to find his hitting groove as he went 2-4 and drove in two RBIs
   Then on June 15 the team made their first trip of the year across the border to take on the Lethbridge Miners.  In the first game of the day the Cards got a much need W as they defeated the Miners 6-5.
   Tri-County really benefitted from getting their closer Orin Johnson back.  He had missed the first six games of the stretch as he was in Billings participating in an all-star football game.
   Rowe had a solid pitching effort and got the win, with Orin Johnson coming on in relief for the save.  
   On the hitting side, Philipps went 2-2 with a triple and an RBI.  Rowe helped out his own cause, going 2-3 with another RBI.
   In the second game the Cards came back to earth and were beaten up 15-1.  
   Coach Anderson commented, “Our pitchers struggled to throw strikes all night.  We scored five runs in the first inning of the first game to propel us to that win.”
   Swanson was handed yet another loss.  The team’s lone run came off the bat of Philipps who connected for a solo homerun.
   Next up for the reeling Cardinals is the Libby Tournament this weekend, June 19-21.