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Eudora loses first game, rebounds with two wins

May 4, 2006

Although the first setback of the Cardinals' 2006 season had only happened a day before, it might as well have been a year as Eudora took the field on Tuesday for their second doubleheader in two days.

The Cardinals bounced back from their first loss of the season, behind solid pitching, good defense and some timely hitting, to sweep the Osawatomie Trojans, 7-3 and 15-2, Tuesday at Eudora High School.

"We only talked about that (the loss to Ottawa) briefly in team meetings this morning," Eudora coach Dirk Kinney said. "That game is over and we've got other things to do to keep this thing going."

In game one, the Cardinals rode the pitching of senior starter Kyle Brouhard, who took the win by going all seven innings. He piled up nine strikeouts in the outing against only one walk.

The performance improved the senior's record to 6-0 overall and was one the right-hander could feel good about.

"It was definitely one of my best performances of the year," Brouhard said. "I just went out there and threw strikes and let my defense do the work."

Eudora (15-1, 8-0) got its offense going in the second inning as senior Miles Cleveland laced a single to right field, which scored Kent Swanson and Chad Krutz to stake Brouhard and the Cardinals to a 2-0 lead.

The Frontier League leaders added another pair of runs off Trojan starter Mike Russell via a double from Cleveland and a sacrifice fly from first baseman Chad Griffin to give Eudora a 4-0 lead.

Osawatomie wouldn't go easily, as they made the game interesting in the top half of the sixth.

The Trojans collected five hits in the inning, including a Garrett Needham double, which scored two runs to cut the Cardinal lead to 4-3.

It's as close as the Trojans would get however, as shortstop Mark Abel and second baseman Cleveland converted a sharp double play to end the threat.

"I've said it before, when you play good defense you have a chance to win," Kinney said. "We played much better out there today."

Eudora came to bat in the bottom of the inning and erased any doubt about the outcome.

Cleveland got on board with a single (finishing 3-for-3 in the game) and was followed by Matthew Abel, who was hit by a pitch.

Brouhard came to the plate and proceeded to produce his own insurance runs, by belting a fastball into the deepest part of the park for a two-run triple. He would later score on a sacrifice fly to cap off the Cardinals' three-run sixth.

"It's really nice to go out there and do that," Brouhard said. "They say the best thing you can do as a pitcher is go out and help yourself out at the plate. I got a good pitch and went with it."

Eudora had much less of a problem in game two, as the offense batted around in the bottom of the first and was the beneficiary of five walks and a hit batter to race out to an 8-0 lead and essentially end the contest.

The eight-run outburst was good enough to give spot starter Mark Abel plenty of space to work with as he notched the win, by going five innings with three strikeouts.

"He pitches with a lot of heart," Kinney said. "I don't think he even knew we were going to start him today because he is usually just in that spot role. But he pitched a heck of a ballgame for us when we needed him."

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