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FARMINGTON -- Mineral Area received another big blast from its team leader in home runs, and salvaged a much-needed victory in its Region 16 series with rival Jefferson on Friday afternoon.

Brad Cuyos hammered his 10th of the spring over the left-center field fence at Wilson-Rozier Park in the sixth inning, and the Cardinals rode a complete game from right-hander Justin Murphy to edge the Vikings 2-1.

Cuyos connected with two outs and the bases empty off Jefferson starter Brendon Allen, who allowed just four hits and struck out eight in defeat.

Murphy quickly rolled through the seventh, getting a nice over-the-shoulder catch from second baseman Cory Lubinski for the game's final out.

The Cardinals pulled even on catcher Connor Davault's RBI single in the fifth after Jake Cowan ripped the first pitch of that frame to left for a double.

Murphy yielded five hits but issued no walks while going the distance for the win. He fanned seven and retired his last seven batters faced.

Jefferson picked up its lone run on the pure speed of center fielder Trent Leimkuehler, who reached on an error, stole second base, and scored when a wild pitch was then thrown wildly into left field.

Davault atoned for the mistake when he caught Justin Blechle stealing following a lead-off hit in the fifth.

The Vikings notched three hits in the second inning, but Gerrion Grim was thrown out at third base trying to stretch his lead-off double.

Ryan Rippee and Nolan Sponsler followed with singles, but Murphy avoided damage by retiring the next two batters.

The brisk contest was complete in 1 hour and 22 minutes.

Cuyos also homered in game 1 of the series Thursday in Hillsboro, but Jefferson won both on its home field.

Blechle compiled six RBI while going 3-for-5 with a home run, and Jefferson rebounded with a 12-3 triumph in the nightcap, taking three of four in the weekend tilt.

Patrick Schnieders lasted seven strong innings and recorded 10 strikeouts for the win after inheriting an early cushion.

The Vikings (27-18) pounced for four first-inning runs against Cardinals starter Andrew Suiter despite a towering drive by Ryan Rippee being ruled foul down the left-field line.

Lubinski had a double among two hits, Hunter Leeper and Dakota Glore notched RBI, and Davault scored two runs for the Cardinals (21-23).

Sponsler was 2-for-4 with two RBI for the Vikings, who led 6-2 on Blechle's 2-run double in the fourth. Leimkuehler and Matt Feldt also singled twice.

MAC inched closer in the fifth with an unearned run, but left the bases loaded when Schnieders fanned Logan Bradley on a called third strike.

Rippee added an RBI single in the sixth to restore a 7-3 Jefferson lead after drawing walks in his three previous plate appearances. Kyle Carroll doubled and scored on a Blake Womacks hit in the seventh.

Blechle capped his memorable game with a deep drive that clipped the top of the right-field fence, and caromed over against reliever Jake Triulzi in the eighth.

The bottom five batters in the Cardinals' order were a combined 0-for-17 until Cowan doubled in the ninth. MAC assistant coach Garrett Wiggans was ejected in the home half for arguing balls and strikes.

Cardinals center fielder Charlie Palmer made a tremendous sliding catch to prevent an extra-base hit during the top of the ninth.

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Matt King is a sports reporter for the Daily Journal. Contact him at


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