Stingers still underwater
WILLMAR — The Willmar Stingers have not played a home game since June 9.
The Stingers postponed all four home games the past two weeks due to heavy rain and poor field conditions at Bill Taunton Stadium.
The field has been partially underwater since heavy rain last weekend, but the water had started to go down Wednesday before more rain Wednesday and Thursday caused water levels to rise again.
As of Friday night, the infield remained flooded.
Friday’s game is scheduled to be made up in a Saturday doubleheader, but Stingers’ co-owner Ryan Voz said it might be postponed again.
“We’ve regressed from where we were,” he said. “We’re still going day-to-day. We haven’t necessarily postponed Saturday’s doubleheader, but quite honestly it doesn’t look good.”
The Stingers are at Rochester on Sunday and Monday before returning home to host La Crosse on Tuesday.
“We’ll do everything possible to play Tuesday,” Voz said.
The Stingers were rained out four times in their inaugural 2010 season, and the city of Willmar installed drain tile in the outfield the next year.
“The field has had good drainage since 2011,” Voz said. “We’ve talked to the city engineer with what to do in the future and the city will look into making sure it won’t happen again.”
Voz said the Stingers looked into other options such as playing at Green Lake Diamond in Spicer or at Swansson Field across the street, but there were too many other obstacles.
“There are insurance policies, cameras, a live internet feed, liquor licenses,” he said. “It’s not as easy as picking up and going across the street. This ballpark is our home.”
Fortunately for the team, the bad weather came at a spot on the schedule when they had seven out of 11 games on the road, so they lost “only” four games.
But unfortunately for the team, it came at a time when they were playing some great baseball.
At 16-5, they are leading the Northwoods League North Division and have the best record in either division, but have also played the fewest games.
“They’re chomping at the bit to get back out there and play,” Voz said.