Stingers fall to MoonDogs, stay in 1st place
MANKATO — The Willmar Stingers clung to a half-game lead in the Northwoods League North Division second half, as they lost to the Mankato MoonDogs 10-5 on Sunday at Franklin Rogers Park.
Second-place Waterloo also lost Sunday, 9-8 to Battle Creek.
The Stingers, already playoff bound, have a chance at home-field advantage if they finish the season with the best overall record, but with six games left could go down to the wire.
Staked to an early 4-1 lead, Stingers’ starter Andrew Towns allowed four runs in the second with a pair of two-run home runs to Mankato’s Dalton DeLeon and Brett Synek.
Willmar notched one in the fifth on Max Dutto’s RBI double, briefly tying the game 5-5.The Stingers had chased starter Brandon Zywicki after just one out in the first inning. Frankie Rios, Sean Beesley and Reagan Fowler lead off the game with a single, walk and RBI double.Nick Rivera followed with a groundout to score Beesley, and Fowler came in on Casey Hughston’s single. After anoth er walk, Garrett Ring came in for Zywicki, and surrendered another walk and a fielder’s choice to score Hughston with the fourth run of the inning.Mankato put up another four-spot in the eighth, with three hits and three walks off Willmar reliever Christian Turnipseed.Towns took the loss, and Mankato reliever Jacob Westerhouse was the winner.The Stingers next play 7:05 p.m. today against Mankato at Bill Taunton Stadium.