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Stingers notebook: Willmar adds 11 to complete opening day roster

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WILLMAR — The Willmar Stingers finalized their opening day roster Wednesday with the addition of 11 players, including 2012 Stinger catcher J.D. Dorgan and outfielder Nick Halamandaris, an eighth-round pick from the 2012 MLB draft.

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The season-opener is 7 p.m. Wednesday at Bill Taunton Stadium.

The Stingers will carry 29 full-time and seven temporary players — four catchers, nine infielders, seven outfielders and 16 pitchers, with several who can play multiple positions. 

The newcomers are: Dorgan (St. Thomas), Halamandaris (California), catcher Chris Barnett (Loyola Marymount), infielder Tyler Leffler (Bradley) and pitchers Abe Bobb (San Francisco), Andrew Crook (Meridian CC), Bret Dahlson (Loyola Marymount), Tyler Hamer (Des Moines CC), Drew Jacobs (San Diego), Chris Kubitz (St. Cloud State) and T.J. Whidby (Central Arizona CC).

Dorgan, a MIAC All-Conference selection, hit .365 with 7 homers for the Tommies. He appeared in 38 games for the Stingers in 2012 and will be on a temp contract to start 2013.

Halamandaris was selected by the Seattle Mariners in last year’s draft out of high school in California, but turned them down in favor of college ball.

Hollod suspension overturned

Stingers’ field manager Matt Hollod’s six-game suspension was overturned by the Northwoods League. Hollod initially received the suspension after he let Kody Gorden go over his pitch limit in the Stingers’ playoff game against the Mankato MoonDogs on Aug. 14. According to Northwoods League rules, a pitcher cannot start an inning if he is over 100 pitches, and when Gorden went out for the eighth inning he was over the limit.

The Stingers met with league president Dick Radatz Jr. during the league meetings in the fall and the league agreed to change the ruling so that Hollod will be the Stingers’ manager on opening day.

Hollod said the Stingers had six pitchers going into the playoffs. Only Gorden and Hunter Dozier were available for the Aug. 14 game, and Dozier was only cleared to throw one inning per game.

“Essentially Gorden had to go eight innings,” Hollod said. “If he got roughed up or went over his limit I honestly had no idea what I was going to do.”

“Gorden was over and I knew it, and I knew I was going to be penalized,” he said. “I also knew that Gorden had a really easy seven innings. He was fine to go back out and he told me he was fine.” 

Stingers’ co-owner Ryan Voz said they were very short on arms late in the season.

“We had a fun run into the playoffs, but the downside was that we had guys who had to go back to college,” Voz said. “The rules are set for a reason, to protect the pitchers in the Northwoods League, but our pitching staff was so exhausted that it didn’t leave us many options.”

“It was disappointing,” Hollod said. “We had a good season and it was a completely different team in the playoffs. It ruins the playoffs because we only had so many guys there.”

Hollod finished up his first season as head coach of Division I Wilkes University on April 30. He led the Colonels to a fifth-place finish in the Freedom division of the Middle Atlantic Conference and 21-15 overall.

Bemboom to Double-A

Los Angeles Angels’ prospect Anthony Bemboom, who played for Willmar in 2010 and 2011, became the first Stinger to reach double-A, getting called up to the Arkansas Travelers from single-A Burlington on May 17. Bemboom was drafted by the Angels in the 22nd round of the 2012 MLB draft.

FGCU has 3 All-Conference

Florida Gulf Coast’s Michael Suchy won Player of the Week in the Atlantic Sun Conference for the second week in a row on Monday. The 6-foot-3 sophomore OF/1B also earned a spot on the ASC’s All-Conference Second Team. Suchy’s FGCU teammates and ex-Stingers Sean Dwyer and Ricky Knapp were both named to the First Team, and 2013 Stinger Michael Murray was named to the All-Freshman Team.

Dozier named Southland Player of the Year

Hunter Dozier (Stephen F. Austin) was named the Southland Conference’s Player of the Year and the Conference’s Hitter of the Year, after a breakout season where he hit .394 with 17 home runs. He led the Conference in most offensive categories, including slugging percentage, doubles, RBIs and total bases.

Dozier’s 2012 Stingers’ teammate Forrestt Allday (Central Arkansas) also landed on the Southland’s All-Conference First Team. Allday hit .378 with a .509 on-base percentage for the Bearcats.

Etc.

n Thomas Taylor (Kansas) was a Big 12 All-Conference Honorable Mention

n Dozier and Knapp were ranked in Baseball America’s Top 250 prospects for the 2013 MLB draft, with Dozier at No. 39 and Knapp at No. 184

n The Stingers lost early 2013 signees Olen Little (Wingate) and Colton Thomson (Scottsdale CC) due to spring innings limits

2013 Stingers

Catchers

Chris Barnett, sophomore, Loyola Marymount

JD Dorgan, junior, St. Thomas - temp

Brian Olson, sophomore, Seattle University

Kyle Perry, sophomore, Monmouth

Infielders

Logan Davis, junior, University of San Diego

Max Dutto, freshman, Cal

Marc Flores, junior, Hawaii

Jake Gronsky, junior, Monmouth

Max Kuhn, sophomore, Kentucky

Tyler Leffler, freshman, Bradley - temp

Hutton Moyer, freshman, Pepperdine

Alec Sole, sophomore, St. Louis

Karl Sorensen, freshman, St. Cloud State - temp

Outfielders

Colton Bottomley, freshman, Florida Gulf Coast

Steven Brault, junior, Regis

Danny Brennan, junior, St. Louis

Jonathan Davis, junior, Central Arkansas – temp

Nick Halamandaris, freshman, Cal

Logan Moon, junior, Central Arkansas

Michael Suchy, sophomore, Florida Gulf Coast

Pitchers

Abe Bobb, redshirt junior, San Francisco

Nick Bates, sophomore, St. Louis

Andrew Crook, freshman, Meridian CC

Bret Dahlson, junior, Loyola Marymount

Tyler Hamer, sophomore, Des Moines CC - temp

Max Homick, sophomore, University of San Diego

Cody Hughes, freshman, Montevallo

Drew Jacobs, sophomore, San Diego

Joe Kirkland, sophomore, Baylor

Chris Kubitz, junior, St. Cloud State

Sheldon Lee, sophomore, San Francisco

Josh Matheson, redshirt freshman, MSU-Mankato - temp

Bobby McCormack, junior, Baylor

Michael Murray, freshman, Florida Gulf Coast

Zack Tillery, sophomore, Florida Gulf Coast

TJ Whidby, sophomore, Central Arizona CC - temp

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Ben Brewster

Ben Brewster covers the Willmar Stingers and other area sports, as well as laying out the daily sports section cover for the West Central Tribune. Follow him on Twitter @benbrewster.

(320) 214-4332
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