TRI-COUNTY CARDINALS — The Tri-County Cardinals just finished their season at the Northern A District tournament in Fort Macleod over the weekend. In the front from the left are Scott Bye, Brandin Munoz, Amador Montiel, Robby Miller, Joe Hallenburg, Logan Rowe, John Johannsen and Kyle Waterrud. In the back are Assistant Coach Tyson Anderson, Bryce Watterud, Matt Alford, Monty Richmond, Jade Premo, David Lightner, Ryan Orcutt, Trevor Walker, Orin Johnson and Head Coach Tyler Bucklin. Photo Courtesy of Kelly Martin
By Adam Jerome, I-O Reporter
The Tri-County Cardinals season officially ended at the Northern A District tournament in Fort Macleod. The Cardinals were hoping to repeat as District champions and move on to the next round, but it wasn’t meant to be.
In the first game of the tournament, the Cardinals took on tournament host Fort Macleod.
Tri-County took a big step towards qualifying for State with a 10-2 win.
Cardinal Ace, John Johannsen took the mound and fired six innings of four hits, one run ball for the win. Johannsen also walked six batters and struck out eight. Scott Bye came on in relief and threw three innings to seal the win.
At the plate Joe Hallenburg went 2-3 with two runs and a RBI. Johannsen helped his cause knocking in two runs and scoring one himself.
Matt Alford was 2-5 with two runs scored and a run batted in. Bryce Watterud also raked in two runs.
The first round win set up the Cards with a matchup against the number one seeded Great Falls Electrics later in the day.
In a close game where each team had 13 hits, the Cards were downed 9-6 and sent to the loser out side of the bracket.
Watterud got the nod and pitched five innings and gave up seven runs on 10 hits for the loss.
Bye came in for the second day in a row and pitched a scoreless inning before Orin Johnson took the mound for two innings, giving up one final run.
Bye was 2-4 with one run scored and two runs knocked in. Hallenburg went 2-4 as well with a run and RBI. Monty Richmond was 3-4 with one run scored.
The loss shipped the Cards to a Saturday matchup against the Medicine Hat Knights with their season on the line.
The Cardinals came out swinging as they built a 5-2 lead before the Knights answered in the top of the sixth inning with five runs to take the 7-5 lead.
The Cards would get as close as 7-6 before the Knights put the game away with two runs in the eighth and one more in the ninth to send the Cardinals back home.
Logan Rowe started the game from the mound and was credited with the loss. He pitched six innings and gave up seven runs on seven hits and seven walks. Rowe did manage to fan six batters.
Watterud was 2-4 with two runs scored, Johannsen was 2-3 with a run and RBI and Johnson went 2-5, scored a run and hit in a run.
The Electrics went on to win the District title with a 25-14 shellacking over the Lethbridge Miners.
While the Cardinals were not able to repeat as District champions they continued to grow as a team and program.
The Cards will lose some on field leadership next year, including Orin Johnson, Joe Hallenburg, Logan Rowe and John Johannsen, but with the continuity of the coaching staff and the growth of some of the team’s younger players you can bet the Cardinals will be ready to go next year with another District title in their sites.