Stingers beat Thunder Bay in 11th inning
THUNDER BAY, Ontario — Jack Ross continued to come through in the clutch, pushing the go-ahead run across with a groundout in the 11th inning as the Willmar Stingers upended the Thunder Bay Border Cats on Friday at Port Arthur Stadium.
Ross, who drove in the winning runs in two straight games last week, was 0-for-4, but put the bat on the ball when it counted.
The Stingers opened their half of the 11th with two singles and a walk to load the bases for Ross, tied 4-4.
Ross bounced out to first, bringing in Sean Beesley from third base with the go-ahead run.
The RBI was Ross’ ninth in just 12 games with the Stingers.
Brady Anderson pitched around two hits to earn his second save of the season.
The game twice changed course with balks — Willmar’s Dan Motl scored on a balk called on Thunder Bay’s Devin McLemore in the top of the seventh, and the Border Cats tied it right back up in the bottom half with Ty Blankmeyer coming in on Stingers’ reliever Garrett Anderson’s balk.
Motl’s run was the third in a three-run inning by the Stingers that also included Hutton Moyer’s first home run of the season.
The Stingers didn’t get their first run until the sixth, when Ross came in on a wild pitch.
Matt Geislinger was the winner in relief again, his third win in his last three appearances, and only his fourth appearance of the season.
A.J. Puckett made his first start for Willmar, throwing four scoreless frames and striking out five.
Beesley was 4-for-4 with two runs, and Motl was 3-for-5.
Moyer also doubled to go with his home run, and Frankie Rios had two hits.
The Stingers improved to 1-2 in the Northwoods League North Division second half. They are at Thunder Bay again 5:05 p.m. Saturday and at Duluth at 5:05 p.m. Sunday.
Mankato 3, Willmar 1
Despite one of the better pitching performances this season, the Stingers’ offense couldn’t find its stroke against the MoonDogs Thursday night at Franklin Rodgers Park in Mankato.
For the second straight night against Mankato Willmar scored first in the game, but the third inning run was the only one Willmar would get in the entire game.
Kurt Yinger threw all eight innings for the Stingers, giving up five hits and walking one batter. Three of the five hits against Yinger came in the innings where Mankato tallied its runs.
Mankato had two hits in the fourth inning when it came back to tie the score at one, with Brinn Bell’s single driving in Tanner Rockwell. A leadoff double in the sixth inning was the only hit the MoonDogs got, and the runner Brett Synek scored off a sacrifice fly by Levi Scott. The insurance run in the bottom of the eighth was just enough to ensure the win for the host MoonDogs.