Cardenas has nine RBI for Blackburn in season opening series

Cardenas has nine RBI for Blackburn in season

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After a season-opening win, Blackburn lost a pair to Carroll University at home Saturday and Sunday to open the college baseball season. 

Blackburn opened with a 16-6 win over Carroll as Richard Cardenas doubled, homered and drove in seven runs for the Beavers. 

Tied 1-1, Blackburn took the lead for good with a five-run third inning and led 9-1 entering the sixth inning. 

Carroll scored five in the sixth and got within 9-6, but Blackburn countered with a seven-run sixth to pull away. 

Winning pitcher Jonathan Stepp pitched five innings, allowing four hits and one run with two walks and five strikeouts. 

Cardenas also scored three runs for Blackburn. Brandon Smith went one for two with three runs and two RBIs; Shane Lewis two for four, two runs, RBI; A.J. Gill three for three, double, RBI, two runs; Walter Jarvis one for four, two runs; Joey Szerletich one for two, two runs; Parker Ramaker one for three, run, RBI; Brady Wilkinson one for four, RBI. 

Then Carroll University’s offense took over in the final two games of the weekend. 

In Saturday’s second game of the doubleheader, Carroll scored 18 runs, scoring in just three of the eight innings, rolling to an 18-5 victory over Blackburn. 

Carroll had a three-run first, a seven-run fifth and an eight-run eighth inning. 

Blackburn scored four of its five runs in the seventh. 

AJ Johnson had three hits, including a home run and two doubles, driving in five runs for Carroll. 

Tyler Durand went one for three with a three-run home run in the seventh for Blackburn. Lewis added three hits and drove in a run. Gill also had a RBI, while Gregorio Costilla had two hits and two runs. 

On Sunday, Carroll defeated Blackburn by an 18-2 score, scoring all of its runs in the first five innings. 

Carroll had a six-run first and four-run second, adding two runs in the third, and three each in the fourth and fifth frames. 

Johnson drove in three more for Carroll, while Jake Langford had three hits, three runs and two RBIs. Mitch Carlson also had two hits, two runs and three RBIs. 

For Blackburn, Durand, Szerletich and Cardenas all had two hits, with Cardenas driving in two more runs, giving him nine for the weekend series. 

Blackburn heads to Carbondale this weekend to face Hope College Friday, as well as Rockford and North Central on Saturday.