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Duluth halts Willmar bid

DULUTH -- Willmar's late comeback bid was thwarted by Duluth for the second straight night and the Stingers fell 4-3 in a Northwoods League game on Monday.

Willmar fell behind 4-0 early, mounting a late bid with a run in the seventh and two more in the eighth.

The Stingers managed only six hits in the game.

Winning pitcher Connor Hulse limited Willmar to two hits and no runs in six innings. He walked one and struck out four. Jason Whalen pitched two scoreless innings of relief for the save.

Willmar's first run came when Matt Serna reached on an error and was erased on Isaac Ballou's fielder's choice.

Zach Rowles then doubled and Eduardo Gonzalez walked to load the bases. Ballou scored on Jordan Smith's sacrifice fly to left field.

Nate Johnson led off the Stingers' eighth with the team's first home run of the summer, closing the gap to 4-2. Bryan Willson then walked and advanced to second on a balk. With one out, Serna doubled to score Willson.

Serna finished 2-for-4.

Logan Birr started for Willmar and pitched two innings and gave up two hits and a run, while walking three and striking out four. Wally Marciel gave up two hits and two walks that accounted for three runs while recording just one out. Jayson Huett then pitched 4Xc strong innings, limiting the Huskies to just two hits and no runs. He did not walk a batter and struck out two. Jacob Barnes finished with a scoreless inning.

Joe Sever, who started at shortstop, was hit in the face by a pitch in the fifth inning and was removed from the game. He walked off under his own power. It appeared he was cut near the right eye. There was no immediate word on his condition.

Willmar has the day off today before hosting the Rochester Honkers for a two-game series beginning on Wednesday at Bill Taunton Stadium.