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Ballou hit in 10th sparks Stingers

BRAINERD -- Isaac Ballou slapped a two-out, two-run single to center field in the top of the 10th inning and the Willmar Stingers went on to a 4-2 win over the Brainerd Lunkers in a Northwoods League game on Thursday.

Willmar never trailed in the game en route to beating the Lunkers for the fourth straight time this season.

The Stingers plated their first run of the game in the opening inning when Ballou doubled, advanced to third when Joe Sever reached on an error, and scored on Jordan Smith's groundout.

Willmar (12-10) took a 2-0 lead in the top of the fourth as Mitch Delfino singled and went to third on a single by Jared Norris. Zach Rowles then grounded out with Delfino scoring.

Brainerd eventually tied the game with single runs in the home half of the fourth and eighth innings.

But Willmar took advantage of a costly error by Brainerd in the 10th. Delfino reached safely to lead off the inning when his grounder was mishandled. Norris then drew a walk and both runners advanced on Mikey Reynold's one-out sacrifice bunt. Ballou followed with his single to score both Delfino and Norris.

David Carroll started on the mound for the Stingers and pitched well, allowing seven hits and two runs over 71/3 innings.

Wally Marciel worked 2/3 of an inning. Jacob Barnes pitched a scoreless ninth for the win and Jayson Huett notched his third save of the season with a scoreless 10th.

Sever had three of Willmar's 12 hits. Ballou, Delfino and Norris had two hits apiece.

Willmar hosts Brainerd tonight for Willmar Fest Night. Game time is 7:05 p.m.

Willmar 4, Brainerd 2

Willmar Brainerd

ab r h bi ab r h bi

Ballou cf 5 1 2 2 Bruno cf 4 0 1 0

Sever 2b 6 0 3 0 Berge 2b 5 0 0 0

Smith rf 4 0 1 1 Reyes 3b 5 2 3 0

Johnson c 3 0 1 0 Krist c 2 0 1 1

Dwyer dh 5 0 1 0 Allbrittn dh 5 0 1 1

Delfino 3b 5 2 2 0 Hillsinger lf 4 0 0 0

Norris 1b 4 1 2 0 Koglin 3b 3 0 0 0

Rowles lf 5 0 0 1 Wickens ph 1 0 1 0

Rynolds ss 3 0 0 0 Hopkins 1b 3 0 1 0

Bunch ph 1 0 0 0

Abrhmsn 1b 0 0 0 0

Gaston rf 4 0 2 0

Totals 40 4 12 4 Totals 37 2 10 2

Willmar....................... 100 100 000 2 --4

Brainerd...................... 000 100 010 0 --2

E--Berge, Reyes. DP--Willmar 1, Brainerd 1. LOB--Willmar 13, Brainerd 9. 2B--Ballou, Krist. SB--Smith (4), Reynolds (4), Krist (2), Hillsinger (10), Wickens (3).

Willmar IP H R ER BB SO

Carroll 71/3 7 2 2 2 0

Marciel 2/3 1 0 0 0 0

J.Barnes (W, 1-0) 1 0 0 0 0 2

Huett (S, 3) 1 1 0 0 0 2


Russell 6 8 2 2 1 2

Baumgartner 1 0 0 0 3 1

Padilla 1 1 0 0 0 0

Smith (L) 2 3 2 0 2 2

WP--Russell, Baumgartner.

T--3:07. A--347.

Jahnses watch son on mound from afar

WILLMAR -- Parents are accustomed to watching their son play baseball from tee ball through high school.

But when he leaves the nest, it makes it harder to attend his games. Especially if he is playing 5,000 miles away.

Michael Jahns, a right-handed pitcher for the Willmar Stingers, grew up in Kilhei, Hawaii. He attended St. Anthony High School with less than 50 students in his graduating class. It's also the same high school that Phildelphia Phillies outfielder Shane Victorino graduated from. Michael recently completed his sophomore year at Northwestern in Chicago.

"It's not easy," said Alan Jahns, Michael's father. "Especially when your 19-year-old son is five thousand miles away. But we are able to watch most of his games on the internet. The Northwoods League does a great job showing games live."

Alan and his wife, Sharon, have been getting informed when their son is warming up in the bullpen from Michael's host family, Dustin and Merica Overcash.

"That's really nice of them to let us know that he's going to be pitching," said Alan. "I've been driving in the car when they've called and I pull over and watch it on my iPhone."

The Northwoods League games are audio and visually webcasted from all the ballparks.

"One of my friends here in Hawaii also has a son playing baseball at Northwestern," said Alan. "It's hard for us to watch the college games because the Big Ten network doesn't broadcast many Northwestern games since they aren't one of the elite teams in the conference. I showed him how I was able to watch Michael in the Northwoods League and he was amazed."

The Jahns' have been able to make it to a few of their son's college games. They watched him play in the Gopher Classic March 7 at the Metrodome, stopping in Willmar first to see the ballpark he would play at with the Stingers. They also saw him play a few games at Northwestern and in Ann Arbor, Mich.

"I don't think we'll make it to see him play in the Northwoods League," said Alan. "But it's nice to know we can watch most of his games on the internet."