Cards wrap up regular season with a 3-3 stretch

By Adam Jerome, I-O Reporter
Cards wrap up regular season with a 3-3 stretch
CUTTINNG LOOSE — Tri-County Cardinal pitcher Jake Robison of Shelby fires a pitch into a Medicine Hat Knights batter in first game action last Wednesday. Robinson won the game, called for the 10-run mercy rule after five innings when Orin Johnson smacked a triple in the bottom of the fifth, giving the Cards an 11-1 lead and the game. I-O Photo by Buck Traxler
   This past week marked the end of the regular season for the Tri-County Cardinals.  They had six games, four conference before they head to Havre for the District Tournament.
   The Cards ended up going 3-3 in their last home game stretch.  Their overall record is 18-18 with a conference record of 15-13.  They are tied for third in the conference and are the fourth overall seed in the District Tournament.
   Their first matchup of the week was against the Great Falls Stallions in Conrad.  The Cards won both games easily with the ten run rule shortening both contests.
   Cardinal pitchers Riley Styren and Bryce Watterud both pitched complete game wins.
   In the first matchup on Tuesday, the Tri-County blasted the Stallions 13-3 thanks to a solid one-hit pitching effort by Styren.  
   Styren gave up one hit, six walks, and three runs in five innings.
   John Johannsen batting leadoff went 2-3 with two RBIs and three runs.  Orin Johnson was 2-4 with one run and two runs knocked in and Bjorn Swanson was a perfect 2-2 with two runs and two RBIs.
   Coach Tyson Anderson commented, “We hit the ball well with 10 runs in the third inning that broke the game open.”
   In the second game of the twin bill, Tri-County once again ten-run ruled the Stallions with a 14-4 victory in the sixth inning.  Watterud got the start and the win on six innings pitched, nine hits, two walks, and four runs.
   Logan Rowe got the team going batting in the one spot on 1-2 hitting with three RBIs.  Justin Philipps went 3-4 in the six spot with one run and four batters knocked in.
   The next matchup was against the Medicine Hat Knights on Wednesday.  The two games marked the last two home games of the year with a Senior Night ceremony in between the double-header.
   Jake Robison got the start in the 11-1 win.  Robison pitched a complete game for the team that had three complete game wins in a row from their starting rotation.  Robison in the last home game of his career made it count as he pitched five innings giving up two hits, one walk, and one run.
   The Cards would bust the game wide open in the second inning with seven runs capped by a two-run homer by Philipps.
   Johnson would end the game with a two-run triple in the sixth inning to take the 11-1 lead.
   Johnson was 3-3 with three RBIs and one run.  Swanson went 1-3 also with 3 RBIs.
   The win guaranteed that the Cardinals would have a winning record in conference and locked down the fourth seed in the District Tournament.
   After the Senior Night festivities the Cards got back on the field, but suffered a 13-10 loss to the Knights.
   Coach Anderson stated, “We gave up the lead in the sixth inning with walks and a few hits that dropped in front of our outfielders.”
   John Johannsen got the start and went five innings giving up six runs, but only four earned in the no-decision.  Johnson came in on relief to seemingly close the game, but in 2/3 innings of work he gave up four hits, five walks and seven runs for the loss.  Rowe would come in for an inning plus of scoreless relief but the damage had already been done and the Cards took the loss.
   With their conference seeding set the Cards traveled to Lethbridge for a meaningless non-conference double-header.
   The Cards would be swept by the Miners 15-1 and 7-3.
   In the first game Swanson got the start and the loss in two plus innings of work giving up nine runs on one hit and six walks.
   The Cards only managed four hits on the day.  Johannsen was 2-3 and Swanson was 1-1.
   In the final contest of the regular season the Cards were more competitive but got the loss all the same.
   Coach Anderson added, “We had a really nice rally at the end of the game but left the bases loaded and fell short.”
   Mike Adams pitched a complete game but was credited with the loss on nine hits, two walks and seven runs.
   The Cards hitting once again disappeared in Canada with only seven hits.  Rowe got on base twice with walks and turned those opportunities into two runs.  Johnson was 2-3 with one RBI and Robison was 1-4 with a run and run batted in.  Jade Premo was 2-2 also with an RBI.
   The Cards start the District Tournament with a Thursday game at 9 a.m. in Havre against Medicine Hat.  The Cards split the last two games they played against the Knights so the game should be pretty evenly matched.