WILLMAR -- Two more baseball players have been signed by the Willmar Stingers for their inaugural season in the Northwoods League this season, bringing the total to four in what will eventually be a 30-man roster.
The Stingers, who will play their home games at Bill Taunton Stadium, signed Oregon State infielders Jared Norris and Carter Bell.
Oregon State is one of the elite baseball programs in the country, having won consecutive College World Series titles in 2006 and 2007. The Beavers are currently ranked No. 10 in the nation by Collegiate Baseball and No. 25 by Baseball America.
Bell is a sophomore shortstop for the Beavers. Norris is a junior first baseman.
Previously signed was Joe Sever, a freshman second baseman/shortstop from Pepperdine and Nate Johnson, a sophomore catcher from Pepperdine.
Bell, who is from British Columbia, was a 22nd-round draft pick by the San Francisco Giants in 2008. He was expected to go much higher in the draft, but a broken knuckle on his left hand forced him to miss playing with the Canada Junior National Team that was in the Dominican Republic. That likely led to his draft-stock decline. Bell elected not to sign with the Giants and attended Oregon State on a full-ride scholarship. He played high school baseball for the Parksville Royals in the British Columbia Premier League. The Milwaukee Brewers and Toronto Blue Jays also were interested in drafting him.
Norris was born in Rochester (Minn.) and grew up in Urbandale, Iowa. As a senior at Urbandale, he helped the team win a state championship, hitting .493 with 13 home runs. He was All-State three times and also was a two-time state qualifier in golf. He first played college baseball at Yavapai Community College in Arizona and batted .300 while leading the league with 23 doubles. He then transferred to Oregon State and was second on the team with a .331 batting average in 50 games. He was named to the honorable mention all-Pac 10 team.
Willmar is set to open the season on June 3 at home against the St. Cloud River Bats, the first of a five-game homestand.
The front office is continuing to piece together the roster and more announcements will be released soon.
Season tickets for the 2010 Stingers' season are $99 as an introductory rate until March 1. Regular prices for season tickets are $149 for reserved seat backs and $169 for box seat season tickets.
For more information visit www.willmarstingers.com or call 320-222-2010.