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Stingers rally in 7th to sink River Bats

Carter Bell, right, of the Willmar Stingers is tagged out trying to steal second base in the third inning Tuesday by St. Cloud River Bats shortstop Steve Nyisztor at Bill Taunton Stadium in Willmar. (Tribune photo by Rand Middleton)

WILLMAR -- Nate Johnson hit his third home run of the season and Jordan Smith rapped a two-run triple as the Willmar Stingers upended the St. Cloud River Bats 5-2 in a Northwoods League baseball game on Tuesday.

Willmar, 3-2 in the second half of the season, climbs two games over the .500 mark overall at 21-19. St. Cloud drops to 2-3 in the second half and 22-18 overall.

Wally Marciel had a strong outing on the mound for the Stingers. The left-hander allowed only four hits and one run over six inngings, but got a no-decision. Jayson Huett (2-2) picked up the win in relief. He gave up two hits and on unearned run over 11/3 innings. Daniel Zapata got two outs and Cody Barnes struck out the side in the ninth for his first save.

Trailing 1-0 in the sixth inning, Willmar finally got the bats stoked, tying the game when Isaac Ballou started it out with a single. Smith reached on a fielder's choice with Ballou out at second. Smith stole second base, his seventh steal of the season, and scored on Sean Dwyer's double.

Willmar then broke the game open with four runs in the seventh inning. Johnson led off the inning with a home run to right-center field.

With two outs, Carlos Leyva and Ballou drew consecutive walks. Mitch Delfino then singled in one run and Smith plated the other two with his triple.

St. Cloud scored its other run in the top of the eighth.

Willmar hosts St. Cloud again tonight for Scouts Night. Cubs Scouts, Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts will participate in on-field activities and all Scouts are encouraged to wear their uniform to the game.