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Keyword for Cardinals: Comebacks

Cromwell-Wright program is back from the dead

A controversial split with Two Harbors Monday saw the Cromwell-Wright boys baseball team end on a high note, defeating the Agates 21-1 in five innings after dropping the first contest 10-9.

"The first game I thought the game was tied," head coach Dean Levinski said. "Our book and the umpire I thought had us tied, but their book gave them a one-run victory.

"It was two bizarre games against Two Harbors."

Two Harbors jumped out to an early 9-1 lead through five innings, but the Cardinals rallied back with four runs in the sixth inning and four in the seventh to tie the contest at 9-9; but Cromwell-Wright could not keep the game tied, as the Agate picked up the one-run win in the bottom of the seventh inning.

The Cardinals have only two seniors this season, Andrew Kachinske and Wyatt Goranson. Four juniors and three sophomores, along with seven seventh-, eighth- and ninth-graders make up this up-and-coming roster.

Seniors Kachinske and Goranson led Cromwell-Wright with two hits apiece in the loss, and each scored twice in the first game. Carson Hill was the losing pitcher for the Cards.

With a controversy in the first game, the Cardinals wanted to make sure there was nothing like that in the second game of the double header. Cromwell-Wright sent 17 batters to the plate in the top of the first inning, as they took advantage of seven hits, six bases on balls and two errors to jump out to a 12-0 lead after one inning. The Cardinals added three more runs in the second, third, and fourth innings to ensure the blowout victory. Cromwell-Wright sent 39 batters to the plate in only four innings.

Wyatt Goranson threw a no-hitter for Cromwell-Wright, allowing only one run - which was unearned - and walked two batters.

"Wyatt was able to come out and throw strikes," Levinski said. "It's so nice when Goranson had four out of the five innings go 1-2-3. Only the second inning saw the Agates send six batters to the plate."

Goranson helped his own cause with three hits in the win and scored three runs. Brady Dahl, Carson Hill, Drew Nyberg and Blair Thompson also scored three times each in the win.

Cromwell-Wright had gone through many lean years from 2009 through 2011, when the Cardinals won only three games in three seasons. Today they have seen a renewed interest and success not seen in two decades.

"It took a lot of hard work, patience, and dedication to get this program back up and running." Levinski said. "The program struggled back in the mid 2000s to field a team, and kids who wanted to play were in a cooperative with McGregor, but numbers were not good enough, so that ended as well."

With six quality wins this season, Cromwell-Wright has been right around the .500 mark all season. The Cardinals opened the season with a loss to Carlton/Wrenshall but bounced back with wins over Mille Lacs and Chisholm to start the season 2-1. The Cards dropped the next three games to South Ridge, International Falls, and Janesville-Waldorf-Pemberton, which put them at 2-4 midway through April.

Then they picked up wins in three of their next four contests, defeating Cook County, McGregor, and East Central, followed by a loss to Braham May 3.

"We have a lot of young players," Levinski said, "but we have a lot of experience as some of our upperclassmen have been getting experience over the past two years, and we see that paying off this year."

The Cardinals (6-7) are hoping to finish the season with a winning record as they have four games remaining on their 2024 schedule, including ML/WR, Barnum, McGregor and Mountain Iron-Buhl. Last year, they finished 4-11. In 2022 they finished 5-7 in their first full season back as a Cromwell-Wright varsity team since 2011.

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