Power outburst not enough for Stingers at Alexandria
ALEXANDRIA — A four home run outburst by the Willmar Stingers wasn’t enough to take the second half opener as they squandered a six-run lead to lose to the Alexandria Blue Anchors 10-9 on Thursday at Knute Nelson Memorial Stadium.
Alexandria’s Andrew Sohn hit a two-run homer off T.J. Whidby to break an 8-8 tie in the bottom of the eighth to complete a comeback that had the Blue Anchors trailing 8-2 at one point.
The Stingers powered to an early lead with four home runs in a seven-run fourth inning.
Max Kuhn led off the fourth with his second homer of the year. One batter later, Danny Brennan went deep, and after two hits and a walk, Tyler Leffler hit a three-run shot.
Michael Suchy completed the inning with a solo shot before the Stingers were finally retired.
The Stingers opened it up to 8-2 on a Marc Flores RBI groundout in the sixth.
The Alexandria comeback began in the seventh when the Blue Anchors touched up Stingers’ starter Zack Tillery and reliever Chris Kubitz for four runs on five hits to make it an 8-6 game.
They tied it off Bobby McCormack in the eighth, before Whidby came in and surrendered the final two runs.
Willmar got one in the ninth on a Nick Halamandaris base hit, but a double play ended the game.
The Stingers are now 0-1 in the Northwoods League North Division. They have an off day today and play 5:05 p.m. Saturday at Thunder Bay.
Stingers end first half with win
DULUTH — Though the Willmar Stingers missed the first-half title by 1.5 games, they finished with a strong performance from starting pitcher Michael Murray to beat the Duluth Huskies 7-0 Wednesday at Wade Stadium.
The Stingers ended the first half at 23-12 in the Northwoods League North Division behind the 24-10 Waterloo Bucks. The Bucks clinched a playoff spot and will play the second-half champion in the NWL playoffs in August.
Murray held the Huskies to three hits and struck out three over seven shutout innings.
The Stinger offense went off in the fifth, scoring five runs on seven hits, including a Zack Tillery two-run single and a Logan Moon triple.
Moon also socked a two-run homer in the sixth, his second of the season.
Michael Suchy was 3-for-5, and Tyler Leffler was 1-for-5 with a double.