Mankato cools off Stingers
MANKATO — The Willmar Stingers remained in a tie for first place in the Northwoods League’s Northern Division Tuesday even after striking out 13 times and surrendering 18 hits to Mankato in the MoonDogs’ 9-4 win at Franklin Rogers Park.
Waterloo also lost Tuesday, 8-2 to Rochester, giving the Bucks and Willmar identical records of 8-5. Mankato’s third straight win moved them to third place, just a half-game behind the co-leaders.
Logan Moon went 2-for-4 and drove in two runs for Willmar while playing center field and leading off the batting order. The University of Central Arkansas product got Willmar on the scoreboard in the fifth when he hit a bases-loaded single that brought in Nick Halamandaris. Jake Gronsky then followed with another single to score Colton Bottomley, cutting Mankato’s lead to 9-2.
The MoonDogs manufactured all of their runs early in the game, scoring a pair of runs in each of the second and third innings before erupting for five more in the fourth. Three players collected three hits each for Mankato with Jake Ellison sparking the drubbing with a 3-for-3 performance at the plate that allowed the designated hitter to score three times and drive in another three runs.
Willmar then scored in the sixth when Danny Brennan came home on Bottomley’s fielder’s choice and in the eighth when Bottomley raced home from first on Moon’s triple to right field.
The Stingers, also plagued by five errors, face off against the MoonDogs again today at 7:05 p.m. before the two teams play in Willmar on Thursday.