Stingers add three to roster
The Willmar Stingers continue to expand their roster for the inaugural season in the Northwoods League, signing three more standout players on Wednesday.
The Stingers signed infielders Matt Serna from the University of Illinois-Chicago and Carlos Leyva from California State University-Dominguez Hills, plus pitcher Michael Jahns from Northwestern.
Serna is a junior infielder who is currently leading UIC in hitting with a .400 average through seven games. He was recently named the Horizon League Player of the Week after compiling eight hits and driving in runs. He is a native of Arlington Heights, Ill. and played his first two seasons at Lincoln College (Ill.), where he was first team All-Region, All-District and All-Midwest Athletic Conference.
Leyva is a junior infielder from Los Angeles. He batted .394 with 68 runs scored and 30 stolen bases last season at Dominguez Hills. His 95 hits last year broke a school record. He had four hits in a game five times and started at second base in all 57 games for the Toros. Also an excellent fielder, Leyva was involved in turning 32 double plays.
"Leyva and Serna's experience and leadership as upperclassmen will be a tremendous asset for our club this season," said Stingers manager Matt Hollod. "They will both play a big role for us offensively and defensively."
Jahns, a right-handed pitcher, made 17 relief appearances for the Wildcats last year as a freshman and had a team-best 3.56 ERA in 301/3 innings. In his collegiate debut, Jahns hurled three shutout innings against Penn State. The native of Kihei, Hawaii, was a two-time all-state selection at St. Anthony High School, the same school that Philadelphia Phillies outfielder Shane Victorino attended. Jahns posted a 3-1 record and struck out 26 batters in 272/3 innings last summer in the Hawaii Collegiate Baseball League. He also is an avid surfer and has been in the finals in numerous competitions in Hawaii.
The Stingers now have seven players signed.
"We have commitments from 22 more players," said Stingers co-owner Ryan Voz. "We are currently waiting the players to return their contracts and for the league approval on these players."
Willmar opens the season June 3 at Bill Taunton Stadium against St. Cloud.
Season tickets are currently $99. For more information, go to www.willmarstingers.com or call 320-222-2010.