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Northwoods League: Stingers pick up 5-inning win

Tribune photo by Rand Middleton Willmar Stingers right-hander Andrew Pulido deals in the first inning against St. Cloud on Sunday at Bill Taunton Stadium in Willmar. The Stingers won 7-5 in a weather-shortened game.

WILLMAR -- No. 9-hitter Matt Jackson hit a home run in his first at-bat as a Stinger, and Willmar beat St. Cloud 7-5 in a weather-shortened, five-inning game on Sunday at Bill Taunton Stadium.

With tornado watches and warnings all around the area, the Stingers rode a six-run third inning to improve to 10-9 and are in fourth place in the Northwoods League North Division.

The Stingers continue the five-game series with the Rox at 7:05 p.m. today in St. Cloud.

Stingers pitcher Andrew Pulido, who started and earned the win, tweeted a picture of the team taking cover in the bathroom shortly after the game was called, with the words "In the (mens) bathroom bc a tornadoes comin."

Pulido allowed five runs on eight hits, striking out two.

The Stingers got on the board in the first on a Hunter Dozier RBI-single to take a 1-0 lead, and they broke it open when they batted around in the third.

Jackson led off the inning with his home run, and after a hit batter and a walk, Dozier came through again with a double. Michael Suchy and Kenny Roberts followed with run-scoring singles and Zach Benson and J.D. Dorgan drove in two more runs on a groundout and a sacrifice fly to make it 7-0.

The Rox rallied for four runs in the fourth, capped by a bases-loaded single by Boo Vazquez to score two runs, and picked up one more in the fifth before the game was called.

Paul Schaak took the loss for St. Cloud.