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Stingers 5 games out of first with 7 games left

WILLMAR -- Garrett Borba broke a 1-1 tie with an RBI triple to right field in the sixth inning of the second game of a doubleheader against Mankato to give the Stingers the lead for good en route to splitting a twin bill with the MoonDogs Saturday afternoon and evening at Bill Taunton Stadium.

The Stingers took the second game by a score of 5-3 after dropping the first contest, 5-4.

Willmar had an off day Sunday and will be on the road today for a 7:05 p.m. contest with the St. Cloud River Bats.

The second-place Stingers are five games behind Northwoods North Division second-half leader Alexandria after the Beetles had their seven-game winning streak snapped Sunday by Mankato. Alexandria has eight games remaining while Willmar has seven.

Borba finished the game 2-for-3 with two RBIs after adding a sacrifice fly in the seventh.

Sean Dwyer led off the seventh with a triple to center field. He scored two batters later on an RBI double by Mitch Delfino. Ryan Dettman and Anthony Bemboom followed with back-to-back singles with Bemboom's hit knocking in Delfino. Borba completed the scoring with the sacrifice fly to score Dettman.

In total, the Stingers scored three runs on four hits in the seventh to stretch their lead to 5-1.

Delfino had a perfect game at the plate, going 4-for-4 with an RBI double and two runs scored. Dwyer also had a multi-hit game in Game 2 with a 2-for-4 performance that included a run and an RBI.

Jack Shannon earned the victory in Game 2 to improve to 2-2 for the year after pitching a scoreless sixth inning in relief of Chris Gonzales. Gonzales went five innings in his first start of the season and only allowed one run and three hits while striking out four.

In the first game, Willmar jumped out to a quick 1-0 lead in the first inning after a leadoff double by Mitch Rowan, who scored three batters later on an RBI single by Dwyer. However, the MoonDogs responded with four unanswered runs to claim a 4-1 lead after six innings.

In the bottom of the seventh, the Stingers plated three runs on three hits, including an RBI double by Jason Leblebijian and a two-run single by Eduardo Gonzalez to tie the game at 4-4 heading into the eighth. Mankato then scored one in the eighth on a two-out single to take a 5-4 lead.

Leblebijian was 2-for-3 in the game with two doubles, while Gonzalez had three RBIs for the Stingers.