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Stingers auctioning game jerseys this week

The Willmar Stingers have begun their Shirts Off Our Back Night, a promotion to raise money for the Willmar Area Food Shelf.

The team is currently holding an online silent auction to sell the jerseys of players and coaches. The bidding will continue until Monday when fans can bid at the game.

The minimum bid for each jersey is $50. Fans can also purchase a particular jersey online outright prior to Monday for $150. The last date to purchase the jersey outright is 5 p.m. on Sunday. To view all the jerseys to bid on, visit and click on the merchandise tab.

Smith still leads league in hitting

Jordan Smith has been hovering over the .400 batting mark all season for the Stingers and is still the Northwoods League's leading hitter at .408 through Monday's doubleheader against the St. Cloud River Bats.

Smith, a right fielder from Willmar who plays for St. Cloud State University, is also first in the league in hits (84), third in triples (6), third in RBI (46) and fifth in runs scored (38).

Two homestands left in season

It seems like the Stingers' inaugural season in the Northwoods League was just getting underway and now the season in winding down.

After Tuesday's game, the Stingers have only six more home games unless they win the second half of the North Division and make the playoffs. Willmar hosts Rochester tonight and Thursday, then returns home on Monday to play Brainerd for three games and then finish its regular-season home schedule against Alexandria Aug. 12.

Tonight's game is the Diamond Dig promotion in which women purchase ice cream scoops with a chance to dig in the infield after the game to find the winning chip that can be redeemed for a diamond worth $1,000.

Thursday's game is T-shirt night in which the first 300 fans receive a Stingers' T-shirt. Former Twins infielder Al Newman will throw out the first pitch.

Zach Rowles leaves team

Infielder Zach Rowles left the team recently for family reasons. The team released him on Monday.

Rowles was hitting .224 with one home run and 17 RBI in 36 games this season.

Cody Barnes, a pitcher, left the team for family reasons in mid-season and did not return. Shortstop Carter Bell left the team after the All-Star break after trying out and making the Canadian Junior National Team that is playing overseas.