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Stingers fall in road finale

Tribune Staff Report

Thunder Bay, Ontario -- The Stingers offensive struggles continued as they wasted a strong start from Chris Gonzales, losing to the Thunder Bay Border Cats in a 1-0 pitchers' duel Friday in Thunder Bay.

Willmar has now lost three in a row to fall to 6½ games behind the first-place Alexandria Beetles in the second half of the Northwoods League North Division.

Pitching dominated the game for both sides.

The Stingers were held to two hits and no runs by Thunder Bay, and the Border Cats only managed four hits and one run off Gonzales.

Gonzales shut down the Border Cats for five innings but they broke through in the sixth when David Fallon drew a leadoff walk and Cullen Mahoney followed with a single. Mahoney stole second and Fallon scored from third when Willmar catcher Anthony Bemboom's throw went into center field.

The Stingers drew six walks in the game but were held to just two hits and couldn't push any runners across off Thunder Bay starter Cory Caruso and relievers James Kimsey and Mitch VandenBerge. Willmar left seven men on base in the game.

Ricky Knapp pitched the final two innings for the Stingers and retired all six men he faced.