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Stingers chew up Rox

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WILLMAR — Matt Snyder threw five effective innings after a rough start and was supported from Nick Rivera’s three-hit night — which included his eighth home run of the season — and a home run from Casey Hughston as the Willmar Stingers upended the St. Cloud Rox 7-3 Monday at Bill Taunton Stadium.

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The Rox scored twice in the first inning and led 3-1 after just two innings. But Snyder settled down after giving up four hits in the first and had his teammates produce a trio of two-run innings to give the tall left-hander his third Northwoods win of the season.

The two Willmar homers came consecutively in the fourth as Rivera and Hughston led off the frame with solo shots.

Rivera is tied for third in the entire Northwoods league in homers, while Hughston, who brought in Brian Pruett in the first with a sacrifice fly to center, collected his second on the season.

Rivera then put the first-half champions ahead 5-3 in the fifth when his single to center knocked in Max Dutto and Dan Motl. Dutto was hit by a pitch leading off the frame and Motl reached after drawing a one-out walk.

Snyder got some insurance in the sixth when Jack Ross scored on an error and Brett Barbier came home on a wild pitch. Barbier also singled twice to raise his batting average to a team-high .348.

Snyder’s complete line showed seven hits allowed, six strikeouts, three earned runs allowed and two walks. Matt Geislinger then pitched the seventh, eighth and ninth, surrendering three hits while striking out four and not issuing a walk to lower his ERA to 2.84.

St. Cloud leadoff batter Eric Loxtercamp was 3-for-5 and Clay Ardeeser added a double and a single.

The Stingers host the Duluth Huskies today and Wednesday before playing Thursday and Friday at Madison, Wis.

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