In a battle of southpaws the home crowd left happy as Kyle Gauger of the Spooner Cardinals outdueled Brill's Arnie Bartes. Both pitchers threw complete games with Bartes giving up only one unearned run in the 8th. What was a much needed game for the Redbirds proved to be a nail biter til the end. Both teams traded zeros through 7 innings with minimul scoring chances.
In the top of the 8th things got interesting. After a lead off base hit by Jon Brunczlik, Kirby Brunczlik sacrifeced Jon to second. Unable to get the force at second, Brill had runners at 1st and 2nd with nobody out. After another sacrifice, Brill had runners at 2nd and 3rd with one out. Spooner elected to intentionally walk Chris Walters to load the bases for clean up hitter Jere Fisk. Gauger then induced a 6-4-3 inning ending double play ball.
The bottom half of the 8th would prove to be the difference. After Tom Romportl reached on an error, Rich Martin sacrificed him to 2nd. Cody Patko followed with an infield hit, his third hit of the game. With runners on the corners, Dane Gravesen hit a fly ball to center field. The fleet footed Romportl was able to sneak in ahead of the tag to put the Cardinals up 1-0.
Gauger finished the deal in the 9th. After allowing a lead off walk, Brill sacrificed the baserunner to 2nd. Gauger then struck out Jay Musil on a full count pitch. He induced a ground ball from Keith Gay for the final out. Gauger finished with 5 strikeouts on the day, allowing only 5 hits and retired 12 batters in a row at one point.
Bartes, the tough luck loser allowed 5 hits, and the lone unearned run.
Spooner travels to Exeland on Saturday to take on the Exeland Braves and Duluth Padres. The first game is scheduled to start at 10:30 am vs Exeland. They will play Duluth immediately after. The Cardinals will return home on Sunday June 16 to take on the Tony Hayshakers.
Game Time vs. Bruce Changed to 2:30
July 8, 2013
In an effort to accomodate the Rodeo Parade, the Spooner Cardinals and Bruce Belters will face off at 2:30 on Saturday, July 13th. In what is shaping up to be a much needed game for both teams, energy levels should be high. Fans are encouraged to stop at Merchant Park after the parade to take in the game and support the Cardinals.
Cardinals Cruise on Opening Day
May 13, 2013
After having opening day cancelled on two separate occasions, the Spooner Cardinals finally traveled to New Richmond on Friday, May 10 to take on the Millers. Four hours later, the sloppy opening day came to an end with an easy victory for the Redbirds.
Spooner jumped on top in the 1st by scoring 2 runs and never looked back. The Millers issued 16 walks on the night to help the Cardinals to victory.
New Richmond was set to open league play the following day while Spooner will open Independent league play on Sunday, May 19 in Haugen against the Hornets. Next up for Spooner will be their home opener on Saturday, May 18 against the Ashland Merchants at Spooner's Merchant Park. First pitch is slated for 2:00 pm.
Bomb Squad Brothers
-Historical day challenges baseball record books. The Spooner Cardinal men’s baseball team went into last weekend looking for two victories to put them back up into the top of the league. After a disappointing loss to the Bruce Belters in week one, a rain out and an impressive showing against the Hayward Hawks the Cardinals stood at 1 win and 1 loss in league play. On Saturday the Cardinals traveled into Renegade land looking to welcome the new team from Luck into the Independent League. It was a welcome party, indeed, with fireworks and everything. The Cardinals got shut down in the first inning as left-fielder, Mike Condreva, attempted to score from third on a pop-fly and got thrown out with an excellent throw from the left fielder to complete the double play. The lefty, Tom Sauve, got the pitching start for the Cardinals and the Renegades put up a run in the home half of the first giving the them a good deal of momentum. In the second inning the Cardinals strung some hits and free passes together to load the bases for Jeremy Bloomquist. Just the night before the Cardinals were at practice joking about when the last time was one of the veterans hit a home run with a wooden bat. Bloomquist was quick to remind us that he hit a game deciding grand slam a few years back that snuck over Wyerhouser’s fence. Bloomquist worked a full count after a few healthy hacks and one of his teammates yelled from the dugout, “Don’t try to kill it, you’re not going to hit one out anyway.” There was a prevailing brisk wind blowing in, but after two foul balls Bloomquist barreled a fastball and scorched a laser over the left field foul pole for a grand slam kick starting the Cardinal offense that would then role strong the rest of the weekend. One grand slam in a game is great, but this is just where the story begins. In the fourth inning the Cardinal offense continued to hit the ball well and again loaded the bases for Ryley Holden, one of the team leaders for the Spooner Rails fresh off of graduation. After one big swing and a miss, Ryley crushed a towering fly ball into the trees in left-center clearing the bases for the second grand slam hit in the game. This prompted a Renegade pitching change, but the Cardinals still hit the ball and worked the count for a walk to load the bases a third time for Ryley’s big brother, Sam Holden. On Sam’s way up to the plate the Cardinals were giving him a hard time that he couldn’t hit a grand slam like his brother. As Sam stepped into the batter’s box he still had a smile on his face from all the chiding coming from the Cardinal dugout. Sam didn’t wait long as he jumped on the first pitch he saw showing opposite field power sending his grand slam over the right-center field fence. For the third time in the game the Cardinal dugout exploded in excitement, amazement and disbelief at what they just saw. The historical context of three grand slams in one game by the same team is still being researched. And oh yeah, two were in the same inning by the Holden brothers. From the mound for the Cardinals Suave pitched four innings and looked good leading to Dane Gravesen pitching the fifth and sixth innings. Sean Solveson came into pitch in the seventh by the time the game was a foregone conclusion as the Cardinals coasted to stop finally at a score of 17 to 4. The Cardinals finished the game with 16 hits. Bloomquist and Ryley Holden had 4 RBIs each with Sam Holden giving the Redbirds a 6 RBI performance.
For game two of the weekend the Cardinals welcomed the Grantsburg Honkers into town hosting them at newly renovated “Merchant Park.” Merchant Park has come a long way from a little over a year ago when half the fence was missing and first glance rang of an overgrown wheat field. The City of Spooner fixed the outfield and helped level the infield. The Cardinals put a ton of man hours and reinvested community support into new/reused fence, a new infield, brush trimming, a modest concessions stand and safety tubing that frames the field well. The newest unveiling on Sunday was the new score board. Although modest in size it’s a quality, essential additional feature for the great Spooner Cardinal fans who had another strong showing on a hot Sunday in June. Grantsburg is always a playoff team and was just coming off of its biggest win of the season by beating the Haugen Knights the day before. The Knights are often on the top of the Independent league (State Champs two years ago), but were knocked off by Grantsburg with the score 2-1 behind a great pitching performance from their ace, Kevin Johnson, a starting pitcher for UW-LaCrosse. Kevin’s brother, Bryan Johnson, who was a college pitcher as well for St. Thomas got the start against the Cardinals on Sunday. The Cardinals looked to continue the offensive production they had the day before against the Renegades and felt good about their chances as they were able to save their newly emerging pitching ace, Kyle Gauger, for the tough Honkers. The Honkers showed their hitting power early as lead-off hitter, DJ Henderson, slapped a base hit to start the first inning. D.J. and another base runner came around to score as the Honkers continued to hit putting the Cardinals in a 2-0 hole to start. Fortunately for the home town fans, the Cardinal offense kicked back into gear. The Cardinals matched the Honkers with three of their own runs in the bottom half of the first including a long fly ball that burnt the center fielder off the bat of Sam Holden-Cardinal third baseman bringing Jake Olson-center fielder in to score and an RBI base hit by D.H. Rich Martin. In the second inning Dane Gravesen, Cardinal short-stop, lead off the inning with a hit followed by Olson’s base hit. They were driven in again by Sam Holden who knocked a solid base hit making the score 2-5. In the third the Honkers got one run back, but the Cardinals added on again with a hit from Bloomquist, a double by Gravesen that nearly left the yard and a huge two out – two RBI hit from Mike Condreva, Cardinal left fielder. In the fourth the Honkers got an additional run, but the Cardinals answered again with 3 runs including another hit from Sam Holden and an RBI single from right fielder, Sean Solveson. After the fourth the Cardinals had established a commanding lead, Honkers 4- Cardinals 10. Both the Cardinals and the Honkers mixed in a few fielding errors and both hit the ball well, but the Cardinals’ clutch hitting was proving to be the difference. Cardinal hurler, Gauger, pitched well scattering 11 hits limiting the Honkers to five runs through seven innings with 2 walks and 4 strike outs. Jeremy Bloomquist came in to pitch the 8th and 9th innings allowing 3 runs on four hits, two walks and two strike outs. Chris Ryan took over pitching for the Honkers in the 6th and Cardinals continued to tack on more runs with RBIs from Martin, Bloomquist and Cody Patko-Cardinal second baseman. Patko also had a terrific leaping grab robbing a base hit with the bases loaded saving an inning for the Cards. Gravesen had diving catch of his own at short-stop limiting the Honker’s offense. The Cardinals finished the day with 19 hits with Sam Holden leading the way with 4 hits and 3 RBIs. The Honkers had a sturdy 15 hits with their D.H., Kevin Johnson, leading the way with 3 hits. The final score for the day was Honkers 8, Cardinals 14. After two commanding victories on the weekend the Cardinals vaulted themselves back up to league title contention. With a lot of baseball yet to be played the Cardinals look to take one game at a time. Next week the Cardinals have one league game on Sunday at home at the beautiful “Merchant Park” as they host the Seeley Mud Puppies. Game time is at 1:00 with free game entry, free game programs, music and full concessions. On a side note, after some research Tom Romportl found that there have never been three grand slams hit by one team in one game in all of Major League baseball history. We’re not sure about amateur league baseball as records aren’t kept as well, but it lends some historical perspective. The Cardinals thanks Spooner for all their continued community support, go Cardinals!
Hawks 4 - Cardinals 8
On Sunday, the Spooner Cardinal men’s baseball team took to the field at their newly remodeled baseball field, Merchant Park. The Cardinals saw it fitting to name the field “Merchant Park” to credit the team’s rich past when they were the “Spooner Merchants” and in honor of the current Spooner businesses that generously support the Cardinals in their community effort to build a great baseball park. The team has gotten off to a slow start with over 5 game cancelations either due to weather or other teams failing to have their act together. The Cardinals hosted the Hayward Hawks in their home opener and looked to jump on the Hawks early as they had already lost one league game two weeks prior to the Bruce Belters. Hayward’s Aaron Martin got the pitching start for the Hawks fresh off a largely successful high school season for the Hayward Hurricanes. Lead-off hitter, Mike Condreva - Cardinal center fielder, slapped a ball to the right-center gap to start the offense in the first and eventually came around to score as the Cardinals capitalized on Hawks fielding errors to put two runs up early. Kyle Gauger, the young Cardinal left-hander, toed the rubber and looked sharp early on with two quick innings. Defensively the Cardinals had one error and three outstanding plays in the field. Jeremy Bloomquist made a diving stop at second base and threw the runner out. Josh Villella, Cardinal first-baseman, made a huge catch in foul territory with the bases loaded as he crashed into the fence and Sam Holden had a diving catch on a softly hit liner down the third baseline helping to shorten another inning up for his pitcher, Gauger. In the third inning Gauger struggled a bit from the mound allowing the bases to be loaded, but was able to work his way out of the jam with defensive help. The Cardinals capitalized on another Hawks fielding error in the fourth and put up two more runs, but left the bases loaded. In the fifth Cardinal pitcher, Gauger, put himself in a tough spot with a few free passes and this time the Hawks capitalized as short-stop, Tyler Sabon, sent a long ball over the right-center field fence clearing the bases evening the score at 4-4. The Cardinals fell into an offensive lull until the 7th inning when short-stop, Cody Patko, reached base and then came in to score on a sac-fly from Bloomquist that nearly left the ball park. Gauger settled back in after the fifth for the Cardinals mixing and matching to keep the Hawks hitters off-balance. The Cardinals went into the 8th inning looking for insurance runs when Jeff Andrea, Cardinal left-fielder, proceeded to lead-off the inning by reaching base followed by a base-hit bunt from Condreva, who then stole second. After an out, Holden stepped to the plate for the Cardinals with the table set hammering a base hit through the left-side gap scoring both runners from second and third. The Cardinals plated another run and it proved to be enough as Gauger came back out in the ninth completing the game with a strike-out to end it. Hawks pitcher, Martin, also threw a complete game with three strike-outs giving up ten hits to the Cardinals. Gauger ended the game with 5 strike-outs giving up only 5 hits. Besides Holden, Tom Romportl-Cardinal catcher, had multiple clutch hits in the game along with a solid catching performance. Hayward Hawks 8 – Spooner Cardinals 12
The Cardinals look to take it to the Luck Renegades in Luck on Saturday and then return home to play in front of another solid Spooner crowd on Sunday with a game time of 1:00 as they host the perennial playoff team, the Grantsburg Honkers.
old Merchant field, reinvigorated by Cardinals
September 15, 2011
This baseball field has been known by many names in the past. The Spooner Merchant’s used to play there, the high school varsity used to play there and more recently it has been the JV field that’s been forgotten about by most and used for football practice, along with missing fences and significantly overgrown by trees. The Old Water Tower field was another name for it to be easily located with a landmark. There is a rich history buried in the past summer days of this ballpark and it should be interesting to dig it up and bring it to light. Legendary stories of great feats of field engineering that include using trees for fill to extend the field and using cement blocks to build the mound the night before a league tournament have recently surfaced. Of course it is more and more relevant as the Spooner Cardinals invest themselves into it to create an atmosphere of “good times” around America’s game, baseball.
The Cardinals have received a lot of help along the way starting with the Spooner School District and their willingness to part with the field leading to the City of Spooner’s acquisition of the property and commitment to follow through in helping the Cardinals make it a positive community feature. The love of the game of baseball has rallied the community to support this effort. A game that America fell in love with during the younger years of its industrial age and a game that many Americans still fall in love with during their youth. Even at the amateur level of city baseball the game still provides an eventful weekend where folks can enjoy themselves in the summer weather recharging between busy work weeks. Within Spooner in 2011 there has been a resurgent wave of baseball enthusiasm spurred on by the historic achievement of the high school baseball team and residual baseball interest drawn up from the state’s beloved Milwaukee Brewers. The Spooner Cardinal men’s baseball team has helped themselves as well with four straight playoff appearances and becoming a perennial force within the Independent League finishing the past two years with a combined record of 24 wins and only 8 losses. In 2010 the Cardinals ended their regular season by clinching sole possession of 2nd place in the League behind the State Champion Haugen Knights in a thrilling 14 inning walk-off victory against the highly respected Hayward Hawks. In 2011 the Cardinals used their home field advantage and the oh, so valuable last at-bats to walk off with three exciting nail biters at home that included a come-back from being down two runs in the tenth-inning to win.
With all of the built up momentum the Cardinals look to capitalize just like big number 99, Tom Romportl, stepping to the plate with bases loaded. Not only will the developmental program of Spooner’s High School Junior Varsity have a great place to gain their skills, the Cardinals will now have a platform to promote Spooner, good times, baseball and all around fun!
After the best finish in 100 years of Spooner High School history the Spooner Cardinals are excited about the exceptional talent that is coming out of Spooner High! With many of these skilled and ambitious youngsters sure to join the Cardinals in their quest to dominate the Independent League the outlook for the Redbirds keeps getting brighter. Roll on Rails!! Roll on Redbirds!!!
Good year for Cardinals.
The Cardinals had another great year and followed up a 12 - 4 season with another 12 - 4 season!!! That makes four straight years of playoff baseball and 2011 rang in the new home for the Cardinals as they worked to renovate the old JV field to make it a fan friendly environment with a good playing surface.
Season comes to premature close. 8/13
The Spooner Cardinal men’s baseball team traveled to the middle of the state to participate in the WBA playoffs this past Friday in Rib Lake. After a very successful season in the Independent League, the Cardinals were determined to make some noise as it was the fourth year in a row the Cardinals extended their season into the playoffs. On the mound for the Cardinals was the ace, Jeremy Bloomquist, who showed promising command of his fastball and off-speed pitches early in the game. After loosing the ball in the lights the Cardinal defense allowed one run in the second inning. In the third inning with the bases loaded the Cardinal short-stop, Dane Graveson, completed a double play by fielding a hard hit bouncer up the middle, stepping on second and relaying to first. Another run was allowed in, but the Cardinals stopped the Rib Lake Lakers rally. In the third the Cardinals ran into more trouble with runners on first and second and no outs. After a Lakers batter bunted a well placed curveball into the dirt in front of home plate the catcher, Sean Solveson, snapped a throw to Sam Holden at third who relayed onto Cody Petko (Stanberry draft pick), the second baseman covering first base, who made a great short hop catch to complete the double play. With more defensive momentum the Cardinals looked to translate it into offense, but were unable to do so. The Lakers pitcher threw a very good curveball and located his fastball well keeping the Cardinals off balance all game. The Cardinals lost two balls in the lights on defense costing them valuable outs and momentum. After a few more hard hit balls Bloomquist was lifted for relief pitcher Josh Villella. Villella looked strong at first with his sharp breaking curve ball working, but the Lakers hitters made the adjustment and continued to hit the ball well scoring more runs. Kyle Gauger came in to pitch for the Cardinals in the fifth inning and pitched well against the strong hitting Lakers. Gauger held the Lakers bats down for a few innings, but it was too little, too late as the Cardinals finally delivered their first hit of the ball game in the sixth inning when “old reliable” Tom Romportl hit a line-drive base hit to left field. Later Romportl commented on the excellent pitching performance put on by the Lakers pitcher stating, “that was the only mistake he made all night.” The Cardinals tipped their hats to the Rib Lake Lakers as their hot bats and quality pitching resulted in the Cardinals getting beat 11-0. The Lakers won their game on Sunday and advance to state finals next week in Coon Valley. For the Cardinals their season was cut short of their goal of advancing out of the semi-finals. Despite the disappointing finish, the Cardinals celebrate another quality year ending their regular season with a 12 win and 4 loss league record and took first place in the Northeastern Division of the Independent League. Looking back on the year not only did the Cardinals win a lot of close, exciting games, they also renovated their new baseball park laying the foundation for the future of Cardinal baseball. The Cardinals are excited to usher in a new generation of baseball players to continue playing quality baseball and with hopes of lifting them to the next level. The Cardinals want to wish their fellow team-mates, Kyle Gauger and Sam Holden, good luck as they head up to the University of Wisconsin-Superior to play baseball and maybe even attend classes. The Cardinals thank all of the sponsors who supported the team this year and we aim to make them proud by continuing to improve our new ball park and our team to create a great baseball environment. Go Cardinals!
Cardinals finish 1st in Northeastern Division 7/31
The Spooner Cardinal men’s baseball team pulled off another dramatic victory walking off with the win in the tenth inning in front of a great home crowd. The Cardinal’s home game finale did not disappoint in terms of dramatic moments on “fan appreciation day” at the ball park. The Cardinal’s ace, Jeremy Bloomquist, started on the mound against the Cumberland Islander and looked good early. Despite working out of a jam in the first inning, Bloomquist pitched 5 strong innings. The Cardinals offense jumped out of the gate with two runs in the first inning with Jake Olson, Dane Gravesen and Sam Holden making some noise offensively. The Cardinals got two more runs in the third and fourth, but allowed two from the Islanders making the score 4-2. In the fifth Bloomquist ran into trouble as he allowed two base runners to reach. Sam Holden was thrown into the fire and called upon to pitch in relief in the middle of the inning with runners on base. As Holden heads up to UW-Superior to play ball next year he may find himself in similar situations as the UWS baseball team is interested in relief pitching being one of his roles on the team with his strong, accurate arm. Holden allowed one hit and just as it seemed like he had worked his way out of trouble the Cardinal defense committed an error on fly ball that was difficult to get to but that was in and out of the fielder’s glove. With this rally the Islanders were able to tie the game. Kyle Gauger then came into pitch in relief for the Cardinals in the sixth inning and was able to hold the Islanders for a few innings. Tom Romportl then came in the game to pitch for the Cardinals in the middle of the eighth and was able to pitch out of trouble keeping the score tied going into the ninth. The Cardinals came up to bat and after two quick outs in the bottom of the ninth in a tied ball game, Rely Holden knocked a base hit and represented the winning run on first base. Pinch runner, Luke Ackerson, came in for Holden on first base in order make use of his blazing speed. The next two runners made their way on and with bases loaded Romportl rocketed a line drive that lodged in the third baseman’s glove as he protected his face effectively ending the Cardinal rally sending the game into extra innings. In the top of the tenth the Islanders were able to plate two huge runs leaving the Cardinals a tough hill to climb in the bottom of the inning. As the Cardinals strove to start a rally to save their last home game of the season from ending in disappointment, Christian Gravesen stepped to the plate. After patiently working himself into a hitter’s count C. Gravesen slapped a base hit into right field providing fuel to the Cardinal fire. Condreva worked a carefully orchestrated walk, followed by Olson who was struck by a pitch. After loading the bases with no outs in the tenth, the Islander’s best pitcher, Jake Lundquist, was finally knocked out of the game pitching a respectable nine complete innings. With opportunity knocking the Cardinals looked to capitalize on any little mistake. A wild pitch then bounced past the catcher and as he attempted to make the play on C. Gravesen coming home the throw to the pitcher squirted past him. Condreva recognized the second mistake and screamed around third never looking back. Condreva scored the tying run bringing the Cardinal fans up out of their seats in celebratory roar. Josh Villella then worked his way on base loading them up with one out. Then for the second week in a row Olson sat at third base as the potential game winning run with Jamison Wendel coming to the plate. With the infield drawn in and despite the strong arm of the Islander relief pitcher (a member of the UW-Superior baseball team) all Wendel had to do is take his game winning RBI walk bringing an anti-climactic end to a roller coaster game. The second dramatic walk-off Cardinal win in a row brings their record to 12 wins and 4 losses in league play matching last year’s record. The win also gave the Cardinals sole possession of first place in the Northeastern Division of the Independent League and third place overall behind the Brill Millers currently ranked #1 in the state (14-1) and behind last year’s State Champion Haugen Knights (13-3, ranked 9th in the state). Congratulations to all of the winners of the Cardinal fund raising raffle. The Cardinals have put a lot of effort and community raised money into the ball park that the City has recently acquired. According to Cardinal coach, Darin Baier, “We couldn’t have done any of this without our sponsors who continually support us.” After the game Cardinal catcher, Sean Solveson, commented, “It was great to see all the fans out enjoying the game. We definitely made it interesting.” Solveson went on to say, “our team has put a lot of work into the field and it really shows.” The Cardinals plan to continue making improvements to the field throughout the fall and next spring investing their time, effort and any support that they can possibly raise. Playoffs start August 12th or 13th with place and time to be determined. This coming weekend of the 5th, 6th and 7th Haugen will host the “League Tournament” which does not translate into league standing, but is a good warm-up for playoff action. Roll on Redbirds, go Cardinals.
Cardinals swing back full force! 7/24
The Spooner Cardinals men’s baseball team started down the home stretch of their regular season play this past weekend looking to build momentum as they head into the playoffs. With one more league game to play this coming Sunday in Spooner, the Cardinals were aiming to add to their win total. Just when the veteran staff started to show their age the week prior in the intense heat, two fantastic pitching performances were put on by Jeremy Bloomquist and Tom Suave. On Saturday the Cardinals traveled to the Haugen ball park, a fan-favorite, to face off against the Hornets who had stung them earlier in the year. With a talented roster of mostly young players and a few good hitting veterans mixed in, the Hornets pose a significant challenge. Jeremy Bloomquist toed the rubber for the Cardinals looking to put forth a quality outing. Bloomquist worked out of a jam early with defensive help from Mike Condreva who caught a fly ball in right field and then rifled it to Josh Villella relaying it on target to home catching a speedy Hornet trying to score. After this double play in the third, Bloomquist started to settle in on the mound locating his fastball with pin-point accuracy and bringing his full array of pitches effectively using the curveball and change-up. The Cardinals jumped right out of the gate offensively scoring three in the top of the first inning in a rally started by Jake Olson and Condreva. The Cardinals then struggled offensively to put a full rally together and were held scoreless through the fifth. In the top of the sixth the Cardinal future took over offensively with Condreva, Dane Gravesen and Sam Holden coming up with big hits in difficult pitcher’s counts for a much needed two run rally that included aggressive base running by the youngsters who looked to capitalize on every opportunity. From the mound Bloomquist continued to deal for the Cardinals holding the Hornets to one run through seven innings. In the bottom of the seventh with the score Cardinals 5, Hornets 1 and the Hornets threatening with the bases loaded, the rain brought an early end to the contest with a half hours worth of down pour.
On Sunday the Cardinals welcomed a healthy crowd of fans who came out to enjoy the day as they hosted the contest with the Grantsburg Honkers. The Honkers came into the contest tied with the Cardinals for third place in the league. Just one week after welcoming his second child into the world Cardinal’s pitcher, Tom Suave, took to the mound looking to regain some of his youthful form. Suave, the left-handed hurler, looked good early effectively locating his fastball and curveball keeping almost all of the Honker’s hitters off-balance. Leading the Cardinals for offensive output were Jake Olson, who went 4 for 5, along with Gravesen and Condreva who had multiple hits. Suave had to battle through some difficulty as the Cardinal defense did not make it easy on him allowing 4 unearned runs. Suave was left to get out of multiple jams where he had thrown the effective pitches to get out of the inning, but then had to throw them again. Helping out defensively was the ageless Jeff Andrea who made a diving catch in right field in the sixth inning. In the eighth the Cardinal were down 3-4 and looked to rally. Romportl started the Cardinals with a hit and was moved over with a sacrifice bunt from Bloomquist. Jamison Wendel then stepped to the plate looking to redeem the Cardinal defense and battled from being down in the count to fist a base-hit into center scoring Romportl to tie the game. In the top of the ninth the Cardinal’s ran into more trouble when the Honker’s DJ Henderson, who had three hits in the game, started another rally. But just as it looked like the Honker’s were threatening, the Cardinal defense came up with a big play. Suave induced a soft liner that froze the base-runner, Henderson, as Dane Gravesen made the catch and then stretched to make the tag doubling up the speedy base runner. With this defensive momentum the Cardinals charged into the bottom of the ninth with Olson leading off the inning with a base-hit bunt followed by Gravesen bunting him over to set the table. After two more runners worked their way on Wendel stepped to the plate again looking to come through with another big hit. While Wendel worked the count into his favor a wild pitch dribbled away from the catcher allowing the speedy Olson to dart home scoring the walk-off winning run. Suave came away with the victory pitching a complete game and the Cardinals went to 11 wins and 4 losses on the season with one game remaining. As the Cardinals continue to build a great fan base with their new ball park to call home, there is one last home game this season to catch the action. After the game on Sunday Cardinal Manager Darin Baier commented stating, “We’re going in the right direction heading into the playoffs. We need to tighten up our defense a little, but out pitching is really coming together.” Baier went on to say, “It’s a little disappointing that this Sunday’s our last home game. A lot of people are coming out to the ballpark and we want to keep that going.” According to Baier Sunday’s game at home against the Cumberland Islanders is going to be “Fan Appreciation Day” with almost free drinks and food added to the Music (Pat Kissack as DJ) and game announcer (Cole Galleger). The remaining Cardinal calendar after Sunday’s home game includes the league tournament in Haugen (Aug. 5th,6th, & 7th) and then the playoffs start the weekend of Aug. 12th with locations to be determined.
Cardinals lose to Millers 2nd in State 7/17
7/17/11 The Spooner Cardinal Men’s baseball team continued their quest for the top spot in the Wisconsin Baseball Association’s Independent League this past weekend. After the Siren Steelers forfeited to the Cardinals on Saturday, the Cardinals played in a non-league contest against the Exeland Braves to keep their skills sharp. The Exeland Braves are known for their quality baseball as much of their talent is imported from outside of the area and therefore are not illegible to participate in the Independent League. In Exeland, with a great baseball atmosphere, the Cardinals struggled to push runs across. With runners on base almost every inning the Cardinals were unable to cap off any of their rallies against the hard throwing righty who also throws for the UW-Stevens Point Pointers baseball team. Pitching for the Cardinals was Jamison Wendel who held the Braves scoreless through five innings working ahead in the count early and often. The defensive highlight for the game was a play by the Cardinal center fielder, Mike Condreva, who tracked a long fly ball into deep right center and just before crashing into the fence he made a Willie Mays fashion over-the-shoulder basket catch. In the Braves disbelief and amazement at the catch their base runner, Steve Baisty, was then doubled up as he failed to tag up. Condreva then fired the ball back into second completing the double play ending the Braves rally. In the fifth inning the Braves were able to get to the Cardinal pitcher, Wendel, as they rallied for five runs. Due to the game being a non-league contest it only went seven innings and the final score was Braves 5, Cardinals 0. On Sunday, the 17th, the Cardinals hosted the Brill Millers in a long awaited showdown as the Cardinals are one of three teams looking to knock the Millers off of the top spot in the Indy League. The Millers came into the game being ranked number 2 in the WBA Power Rankings. On a day where the weather was unfit for a baseball game the Cardinals went all-in. With the heat index well above 100 degrees and air thick enough for a jungle the Cardinal veterans were wishing they were about ten years younger. Jeremy Bloomquist was the starting pitcher for the Cardinals and gave the Cards a fighting chance as he pitched well inducing groundball and pop-up outs as well as mixing in a few strike-outs. The Millers struck early as they got a run in the first with their expected aggressive base running. The Cardinals came right back and got one of their own in the bottom of the first, but also stranded a runner. In the third the Millers tacked another run on making the score 2-1. Bloomquist continued to pitch strong, but the Cardinal defense had costly errors leaving Bloomquist to make extra pitches in the overwhelming heat against an explosive offense. In the sixth the Millers scored four runs capitalizing on these mistakes. The Cardinals got back into the game, however scoring three of their own making the score Millers 6, Cardinals 4. The young Spooner High School stand-out, Kyle Gauger, then came on in relief for the Cardinals as he attempted to keep the Millers from causing further damage. Gauger pitched well and got out of the trouble he inherited in the sixth. The big bats of the Millers could not be held at bay, though, as they were able to tack on three more runs in the eighth and ninth innings. The Cardinal offense was held scoreless as they failed to capitalize with runners in scoring position in the seventh. In the bottom of the ninth when the Cardinals were rallying with the bases loaded and two outs the Miller’s second baseman made a difficult play on a ball in short center field that appeared to be the final out of the game, but the ball popped out as the fielder scrambled to recover. The umpire ruled that the ball came out of the glove on the exchange and that it was an out even though the ball rolled fifteen yards further into the outfield. Despite this controversy the Cardinals were out played and the Millers played solid defense throughout the game turning two double plays to kill Cardinal rallies. The Cardinals remain near the top of the league in third place behind the Hayward Hawks and Haugen Knights tied at second. The Cardinals will send All-Star representatives Dane Graveson and Mike Condreva to the Independent League All Star game on Wednesday in the great baseball atmosphere of Hayward. The All-Star game will be at 7:00 on the 20th with the Cardinal’s own Darin Baier coaching the Northern Division.
The Cardinals head into a big weekend of play as they approach the final two weekends of regular season play. This Saturday night the Cardinals travel to Haugen to play the Hornets under the lights and then host the Grantsburg Honkers who they are currently tied with for third place with identical 9-4 records. Sunday’s home game against the Honkers will begin at 1:00 with a full array of concessions, music and announcing. Come join the Cardinals in a festive atmosphere as they look to clinch their fourth playoff bid in row.
Cardinals Split Weekend, 7/10
The Spooner Cardinal Men’s baseball team came into last weekend in sole possession of 2nd place in the Independent League with a record of 7 wins and 2 losses in league play. Three teams sat tied for third with 7 wins and 3 losses. The Haugen Hornets, Grantsburg Honkers and Hayward Hawks all looked to claim the 2nd place spot as the Brill Millers sat comfortably in first place still undefeated. The Cardinals traveled up to Hayward to face off against the Hawks Friday night. Despite the Cardinals beating the Hawks earlier in the year, they knew the Hawks were a surging team and were especially difficult to defeat at home. As predicted, a great crowd showed up to the ball game complete with the peanut gallery adding their two cents here and there keeping it interesting. The Cardinals jumped out to a great start in the first inning as Jake Olson had a base-hit bunt to get him on base and then stole second and third. Tom Romportle drew a walk and then stole second and on the throw down Olson went home and scored on the play. Jeremy Bloomquist then lined a double to the gap and scored Romportle giving the Cardinals a 2-0 lead. Bloomquist started on the mound for the Cardinals and was able to settle down after a slightly wild first inning. The Cardinals stranded runners in scoring position in the second and in the third the Hawks offense came alive. After two consecutive base-hit bunts, a walk, some costly mistakes in the field and timely hitting by the Hawks, they went up on the Cardinals 4-2. The Cardinals began to struggle offensively and were not able to string hits together. In the fifth inning, Bloomquist began to run into trouble as the Hawks scored a few more runs. Tom Suave was then brought in to pitch for the Cardinals to attempt to slow the Hawks offense down. Tom’s pitching arm looked as though it may have not fully recovered from last week’s performance as he lacked control and allowed a few more runs to cross. The Cardinals scored another run in the seventh making the score 9-3, but in the bottom of the seventh the Hawks scored four more runs to end the contest early. Cardinal coach, Darin Baier, commented after the game that…”We looked kind of sluggish out there tonight and didn’t have a lot of energy. Defensively we lost a few balls in the lights and that hurt us. We’re not used to playing under the lights and that’s kind of a nice home field advantage for the Hawks. No excuses, though, we just played poorly and they looked really good tonight.”
On Sunday the Cardinals looked to turn the page as they welcomed the Bruce Belters to Spooner. The Belters have had a rough year, but usually always manage to play the top teams well and played with the Brill Millers in a one run game through seven the day before that the Millers ended up winning handily. The Cardinals jumped on top early as Mike Condreva laid a beautiful base hit bunt down to start a rally. Jake Olson then laid another well-placed base-hit bunt down as well. Condreva then scored on a fielder’s choice with aggressive base running. Josh Villella toed the rubber for the Cardinals making his first pitching start of the year. In the second inning the Belters jumped all over Villella and scored 4 runs to go up 4-1. In the fourth the Cardinals finally pulled the pin on the bat bag exploding with a barrage of hits as they batted around and scored 8 runs. The Cardinals continued to tack runs on in the fifth and sixth. The Cardinals gave a full team effort with hits from Dane Graveson, Tom Suave, Jeff Andrea, Christian Graveson, and Jeremy Bloomquist. Tom Romportle and Charlie Vogel pitched for the Cardinals in the latter innings to finish the game. Notable offensive contributors were Tom Romportl e and Villella who had hits that scored multiple runners in critical spots. Mike Condreva hit the ball well with two doubles on the day.
Cardinals Slide Into Second Place 7/2
7/2/2011 The Spooner Cardinals men’s baseball team took to the field this past Saturday the 2nd hosting a double header against the hottest team in the Independent League, the Seeley Mudpuppies. The Mudpuppies were coming off of an impressive week of play where they beat three teams in the top of the League, the Hayward Hawks, the Haugen Hornets and the Haugen Knights. The Cardinals looked to slow the Mudpuppies momentum by throwing the Lefty, Tom Suave, to start the first game. With this only being the second start of the year for Suave, he was still looking to find his rhythm early. The Cardinals scored a run in the first, but were matched with one from the Mudpuppies. After pitching out of a few jams early, Suave settled in and only allowed three runs through 7. For the Cardinals in the second inning Solveson came through with a two run single putting the Cardinals on top. The Cardinals took advantage of the Mudpuppies young pitching staff and continued to tack on runs with another two run single by Villella and timely hitting by Condreva, Suave, Olson and Romportle. After Suave fatigued in the heat, Romportle came in to pitch and shut down the Mudpuppies in the eighth and ninth. The Cardinals continued to add on insurance runs and made the final score Cardinals 12, Mudpuppies 4.
For the second game of the double header the Cardinals sent Jeremy Bloomquist to the mound as the starting pitcher. After taking a week off of pitching Bloomquist struggled to find the zone early, but was able to pitch out of a few bases loaded jams. In the fourth inning, after stranding runners in scoring position earlier, Solveson struck a long line-drive to the left center gap that sent Jeff Andrea in motion scoring all the way from first on the double. Condreva also came through with a big double that scored base runners in the fifth. Bloomquist found his stride on the mound and began mowing down batters in the middle innings. Offensive contributions from Dane Graveson, Solveson, Romportle, Suave and Olson continued to be plentiful for the Cardinals. Villella then came onto pitch the eigth and ninth for the Cardinals as they cruised to a 9-0 victory. Highlighting the defensive play for the Cardinals was Jake Olson with multiple quality plays in center field in both games. Included was a great catch in right-center field in full stride with minor contact from a diving teammate just avoiding a major collision to strand runners in scoring position. Also deserving of a defensive mention was Tom Romportle who pitched two innings and caught 16 innings of ageless ball in the hot sun turning in good play after good play while anchoring the Cardinal pitching staff. With the two victories on the day and the Grantsburg Honkers taking two losses to the Haugen Knights, the Cardinals slid into second place in the league standings behind the Brill Millers currently ranked 5th in the state. The Cardinals encourage fans to take the drive to Hayward Friday evening as they travel to play the Hawks under the lights in front of a traditionally large crowd of good-timing fans. Sunday afternoon the Cardinals return home to the great atmosphere of their newly renovated park to host the Bruce Belters at 1:00. The Cardinals encourage fans to come out to enjoy a full array of concessions as well as free team programs. For great pictures and more information regarding the Cardinals visit their team web page and Face Book page.
Cardinals drop contest. 6/25
The Cardinals turn in a sub-par performance as they traveled to Exland to face the Bandits. After some errors committed in the field Exland was able to take control of the game and never looked back. After 7 innings the Cardinals were down 5 to 2 and looked to rally, but defensive mistakes put the game out of reach and the Cardinals fell 8-2. Next week double header hosting the Seeley Mudpuppies.
The Cardinals Rebound against the Islanders. 6/17
6/17/2011 The Spooner Cardinal Men’s baseball team took to the field this past Sunday looking to rebound from their first league loss of the season the previous weekend. After Saturday’s game scheduled with Siren was canceled due to a wet field the Cardinals traveled to Cumberland on Sunday to face the Islanders. Although the Islanders are off to a tough start this season playing a difficult schedule early, the Cardinals were ready because they always manage to play them well. Sure enough the Islanders were able to jump out into the lead first by scoring a run in the bottom half of the second inning. The Cardinals came right back though as Jamison Wendel lined a two out double over the left fielder’s head. Sam Holden then stepped to the plate and fresh off his high school state finals run he drove a first pitch curveball to center scoring Wendel. Jeremy Bloomquist was the starting pitcher for the Cardinals and was able to scatter base hits in the first three innings with minimal damage. The Islanders then took a commanding lead in the fourth with a few bases loaded bloop hits that drove four runners in making the score 5 to 1 in favor of the Islanders. After stranding runners in scoring position four of the first five innings, the Cardinals looked a bit down for a while, but were able to scratch and claw to get their way back into the game. The Cardinals got two back in the sixth, but managed to strand more runners on base. The game changing rally came in the seventh for the Cardinals. With a plethora of talent available to the Cardinals some talent is left on the bench. Mike Condreva, a usual starter for the Cardinals, came off the bench in the seventh and battled through a tough at-bat where he fell behind quickly 0-2, but battled his way back into the count by fouling off multiple pitches to work a walk. This seemed to be the emotional turning point in the game as a large Cardinal rally ensued that included a base hit from Tom Suave and a huge hit from Tom Romportl that plated two RBIs. After timely hitting and the Islanders gifting a few to the Cardinals with throwing errors, the Cards found themselves in command with an 8-5 lead. Josh Villella then came on to pitch and was able to hold the Islanders to one run through three innings giving the Cardinals the victory. The win gives the Cardinals a 5 win and 1 loss league record and leaves them tied for second place in the Independent League.
Cardinals out of gas after field reconstruction, take loss. 6/12
July 7, 2011
6/ 12/2011 The Spooner Cardinal Men’s baseball team hosted the Haugen Hornets this past Sunday on a beautiful afternoon tailor made for the many fans that came out to enjoy the newly renovated ball park. With all of the hard work that the Cardinals put into preparing the field in the week leading up to Sunday, they seemed to be out of gas when it came to game time with an anti-climactic 10-2 loss to the talented, but young Hornets. After an impressive win for the Cardinals over the State Champion Haugen Knights and after the Cardinals received an “honorable mention” nod being ranked just out of the top ten in the WBA state Power Ranking the team was unable to capitalize on the momentum they had built. On the inaugural opening day of the Cardinal’s new baseball field the Cardinals faced a young left hander, Rich Weber, who seemed vulnerable early as the Cardinals were able to get runners on, but failed to push them across as they stranded runners in scoring position early and often. To lead off the first inning the Hornets struck early with a few bloop hits and a Cardinal error fronting them with a 3-0 lead. With a high powered offense the Cardinals did not appear to be in trouble through the first four innings as they had multiple chances, but were not able to get the big hit to swing the tide. Jeremy Bloomquist pitched for the Cardinals and did not seem to have his usual effective pitch location. For the Hornets Greg Anne, who has digressed from the league’s most dominant pitcher to a mediocre junk baller, came in to pitch in relief in the seventh and was effective at keeping the Cardinal offense stagnated. Junk ball pitchers have been a weakness for the Cardinals historically as they tend to prefer harder throwing pitchers. The win for the Hornets propel them to 4-2 in league play and leave the Cardinals at 4-1. The Cardinals now sit behind the Brill Millers and the Grantsburg Honkers in league standing as they both remain undefeated with the Brill Millers ranked number 5 in the state in the WBA Power Rankings. After the game Cardinal coach Darin Baier commented that, “This is really turning into a beautiful ball park. It’s a shame we couldn’t start off here with a win, but it’s just a bump in the road. There’ll be a lot of good baseball played up here and we appreciate all of the support the fans have shown already.” The Hornet’s third baseman and long standing veteran in the league, Jeremy Musil, commented, “You can really tell the guys put a lot of hard work into the field. It looks great! It might be one of my new favorite parks to visit.” The Cardinals go back on the road this weekend as they head to Siren on Saturday to face the Steelers and then to beautiful Islander Park to face Cumberland on Sunday. The next Cardinal home game is not until July 2nd as they kick off the holiday weekend with a double header hosting the Seeley Mudpuppies.
Cardinals take two and take it to the state champs. 6/4
6/4/2011 Wow, what a weekend for the Cardinals as they squared off against the State Champion Haugen Knights in a highly anticipated event after the Cardinals finished second in the Independent League just behind them last year. First, though, the Cardinals had to take care of business Saturday against the Stanberry Giants. The wind and the sun struck infield wreaked havoc on both defenses all game long as Tom Sauve took his 2011 debut on the mound for the Cardinals. The Cardinal’s lefty knocked the rust off as he challenged the eager Giant hitters by hitting the strike zone early and often. Mike Condreva lead the way for the Cardinals with a base hit, stolen base and a run scored in the first, but the Cardinals’ offense was slow to start sputtering with one run an inning wasting opportunities with runners in scoring position. After the Cardinal’s struggled with loosing the ball in the sunny high sky and some solid hitting by the Giants the Cardinals found themselves up by only one run in fifth inning with the score at 5-4. The Cardinal’s Josh Villella then said enough is enough by striking a double, stealing third and then scoring giving a little breathing room. In the seventh the Cardinals broke the flood gates open with five more runs. Villella came into pitch in the sixth and after allowing one run, shut the Giants down to slam the door leaving the score Cardinals 10, Giants 5. Following the game Jeremy Bloomquist of the Cardinals commented that, “It was a good game for our offense to ‘get the kinks out,’ and settle in as hitters.” With this statement foreshadowing things to come, the Cardinals then turned the page to a much better team on Sunday, the Haugen Knights.
Traveling to Haugen on Sunday the Cardinals sat at 3 wins and 0 losses in league play but were cautiously optimistic as the Knights have multiple state championship appearances in the past five years and are the perennial Independent League winners. Although the Cardinals respect the Knight’s accomplishments, they went in confident knowing they have a talented squad with veteran leadership. Dan Lindsey toed the rubber for the Knights attempting to continue his reign as one of the most dominant pitchers in the league. Lindsey honed his skills this spring as he pitched collegiately for the UW-Superior Yellow Jackets. The Knights drew first blood with one run in the first inning against another pitcher that has dominated the independent league, Jeremy Bloomquist, who then settled in and blanked the Knights for the next five innings spotting up his fastball and effectively using his curve to keep hitters off balance. Offensively for the Cardinals, in the third inning, Sean Solveson lined an 0-2 pitch into right field sparking a game changing rally. Jake Olson followed with a sac-bunt that turned into a hit because of his tremendous speed. After walking Tom Romportle with two outs to load the bases the Knights hurler, Lindsey, served up a fastball that Bloomquist crushed to the left-center gap. With a loud grunt on the swing for emphasis Bloomquist cleared the bases with a double erupting the Cardinal bench thrusting all the game’s momentum into the Cardinal’s favor. In the fourth, fifth and sixth innings the Cardinals continued to tack on runs with aggressive base running from Jeff Andrea and Timely hitting from Josh Villella and Tom Suave. During the offensive rally in the sixth Olson reached base, stole second and then scored on a hit by Mike Condreva. Condreva then stole second and was singled in by Dane Graveson. In the bottom of the Sixth with the Knights threatening Olson fielded a base hit in center field, unleashed a bullet to home and cut down a potential run at the plate as Solveson held on to the ball after a violent collision. It was a clean Independent League “hardball” play, but it left the Cardinal catcher, Solveson, hobbled with a blown hamstring that will take him out of commission for a few weeks. In the eighth Condreva came up to bat with two outs and two on and battled after two quick strikes to stay alive in the at-bat. Condreva then fought off an inside fastball with a huge base hit scoring two. After the Cardinal’s pitcher, Bloomquist, started to show fatigue in the eighth by allowing multiple hits and a few runs, Tom Suave was called upon to finish the game. Suave gave a heroic performance as he had thrown almost six innings of work just one day earlier. Suave inherited multiple base runners but was able to get out of the eighth with minimal damage. Going into the bottom of the ninth the Cardinals held a commanding lead at 9-4. With Suave running into arm fatigue issues because of pitching on only one day’s rest, the Knights began to knock him around the yard along with the issue of a few free passes. With the Cardinal pitching staff maxed out and the score Cardinals 9, Knights 7, the Knights sat poised to cap off an impressive comeback. With the bases loaded and the tying run on second base, Suave snapped off a beautiful curve ball that froze the hitter for a called third strike to end the hard fought contest. Solveson commented after the game that, “Sauve is going to need a lot of ice and someone to carry his arm around for him.” The Cardinal Coach, Darin Baier, also commented after the game that, “We were really smoking them for a while there, but it’s hard to keep their hitters down. They have a real good line-up and we threw everything we had at them.” Baier went on to say that, “It’s a good way to lead into our game next weekend at home with the newly renovated field. We have a lot of work to do, but it should be good.” On Sunday another strong opponent, the Haugen Hornets, come to town as the Cardinals host them at their new location north on first street, past the middle school. The Cardinals currently sit atop the league with 4 wins and 0 losses sharing first place with the Grantsburg Honkers and look forward to the showdown with the Hornets on June 12th.
Exhibition game and League game with Hawks. 5/29
5.28/29.11 Cardinal Report
Two solid performances by the Cardinals with a preview of new exciting things to come. The Spooner Cardinal men’s baseball team took to the field this last weekend and started by hosting the Bloomer Wood Ticks on Saturday in a non-league contest. Jamison Wendel pitched for the Cardinals going eight innings strong. After giving up two early runs, Wendel pitched well and along with solid defense only allowed three runs. Mike Condreva came in to pitch in the ninth allowing only one run to finish the contest. Condreva was finally able to join the Cardinals after his junior college baseball team, the Rochester Yellow Jackets, participated in the JC National Championships. Debuting behind the plate was Christian Gravesen turning in a solid performance adding new depth to the team’s catching position. Highlighting the Cardinal offense was Charlie Vogel with two consecutive doubles followed by a single along with Wendel who also had two doubles in the game. The Cardinals found multiple ways to score with the young speed of Jake Olson, Dane Gravesen, and Mike Condreva as the final score of the game was Cardinals 8, Wood Ticks 4.
On Sunday things turned serious as the Hayward Hawks came to Spooner looking to add to their league victory total. Although Tommy Danczyk, the Hawks pitcher, was making only his first start of the year, he looked strong the first inning disposing of the Cardinals one, two, three and was able to work out of a bases loaded jam in the second inning. Jeremy Bloomquist was the Cardinals’ starting pitcher and allowed one run early battling his way through a tough Hawks batting line-up. The Hawks put a lot of good at-bats together and proved to be tough outs all the way through their order as Bloomquist was able to squeak his way out of multiple bases loaded jams. After squandering an opportunity in the second the Cardinals started out hot in the third inning when Jake Olson drove a base-hit to right center followed by Mike Condreva executing a “run and hit” behind Olson’s steal with a beautiful slap hit to right field advancing Olson to third. Condreva stole second and then Olson scored on an RBI base hit by Dane Gravesen. Then with two outs and the bases loaded Jamison Wendel came through with a big single scoring two runs. In the fourth Sean Solveson got the offense started with a base-hit bunt that was followed by two more well-placed bunts by Olson and Condreva that gave the Hawks’ defense fits and left the Cardinals standing with bases loaded and no-one out. Bloomquist then came up with a huge two out, two RBI hit to help his own cause adding to the Cardinal lead. In the fifth the Cardinals sat with a comfortable 8-1 lead, but the talented and determined Hawks hitters started chipping away scoring two in the sixth and then exploded for three in the seventh knocking the mighty Bloomquist out of the game with the Cardinals clinging an 8-6 lead. Another gritty old Cardinal, Tommy Romportl, then came into pitch and was able to slow the Hawks down. After Romportl added an insurance RBI of his own in the eighth he was able to complete the victory by shutting the Hawks offense down leaving the final score Cardinals 9, Hawks 6. After the game the Cardinals’ Jeff Andrea commented that, “It was a hard fought game, but our timely hitting proved to be the difference.” Andrea went on to say that, “we appreciate all of the community support and expect to see a lot of fans out as the summer weather gets here.” Bloomquist also commented on the Cardinals stating, “We are looking forward to renovating the J.V. field up by the old water tower past the middle school [1st Street]. We want Cardinal baseball to be a community event where people can come to enjoy a summer day and kids can ride their bikes up to the field.” The win puts the Cardinals at 2 wins and 0 losses in League play. This weekend the Cardinals go on the road for more League play to face the up-and-coming Stanberry Giants on Saturday and then the State Champion Haugen Knights on Sunday.
League Kick-Off against the Exland Bandits. 5/12
The Spooner Cardinal Men’s baseball team opened up Independent League play this past weekend looking to continue the winning ways of last season. The Cardinals welcomed a brand new team, the Exeland Bandits, into the League while battling cool temperatures and gusty winds. Both teams were missing core elements as some of their best players finish up their college and high school years. Jeremy Bloomquist toed the rubber for the Cardinals who were eager to see if the team’s ace had another year left in the cannon. Jake Olson opened up the offensive attack for the Cardinals by drawing an early walk and then used his speed to work his way around the bases scoring the game’s first run. Bloomquist worked his way out of a few minor jams by heating up the fastball allowing only one run through 7 complete innings. Charlie Vogel added a defensive exclamation point as he made a play in foul territory slamming up against the fence hanging on to the ball after hitting the ground to make the catch. Although the Cardinal hitters showed some spring-time rust, they were able to put together some good at-bats and scored 6 runs. Villella came in to close the game allowing no runs over two innings. The final score, Cardinals 6-Bandits 1. Solveson commented after the game that the Cardinals are, “working with the school district and the city to acquire the J.V. field to call home.” Solveson went on to say, “we want to invest money, time and effort into the field for community use and to add another fun event to Spooner.” The Cardinals travel past Hayward to face off against the Seeley Mudpuppies next Sunday.