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Cardinals sweep pair from Panthers

Park Rapids third baseman Kevin Vaadeland camped under a pop fly during Friday's game against Staples-Motley. (Vance Carlson / Enterprise)

Gunner Johnson threw a two-hitter and struck out 12 in leading Staples-Motley to a Mid-State Conference doubleheader sweep at Park Rapids Friday.

Johnson walked four batters and two of those scored Park Rapids' runs as the Cardinals won the first game 11-2.

Staples-Motley then scored in six of the seven innings to complete the sweep with a 12-8 victory in the second game.

In the first game, Kevin Vaadeland walked and scored on Kevin McMorrow's single in the second inning and Danny Pike walked and scored on Tucker Coborn's grounder in the fifth. Coborn's single in the third was the only other hit for the Panthers.

Mitch Long started and took the loss, allowing eight runs on six hits over the first 5 1/3 innings.

Park Rapids belted out 16 hits in the second game, but the Cardinals produced the clutch hits for the sweep.

Singles by Dylan Walsh and Vaadeland, an RBI triple by McMorrow and an RBI double by Blake Olson sparked a four-run third inning as the Panthers tied the game at 4-4.

Singles by McMorrow, Justin Peterson, Cory Odland and Jack Mercado led to three runs in the fifth as Park Rapids tied the game at 7-7.

Singles by Coborn and McMorrow led to the Panthers' final run in the sixth.

Cody Schirmers went 3 for 5, McMorrow went 3 for 4 with three RBI, and Peterson went 3 for 4 to lead the Panthers' offense. Vaadeland took the loss as Park Rapids fell to 4-6 in the conference and 4-10 overall.