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Stingers: Late rally falls just short in loss to Duluth

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Willmar Stingers pitcher Polo Portela throws a pitch during Friday night's game against the Duluth Huskies at Bill Taunton Stadium. Curt Hogg / Tribune3 / 8
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Willmar Stingers shortstop Josh Bissonette snares a line drive during Friday's game against the Duluth Huskies at Bill Taunton Stadium. Curt Hogg / Tribune5 / 8
Willmar Stingers pitcher Polo Portela throws a pitch during Friday night's game against the Duluth Huskies at Bill Taunton Stadium. Curt Hogg / Tribune6 / 8
Willmar's Danny Rodriguez watches his fly ball off the bat during Friday's game against the Duluth Huskies. Curt Hogg / Tribune7 / 8
Willmar Stingers catcher Tyler Murray rounds third base after hitting a home run on Friday night against the Duluth Huskies. Curt Hogg / Tribune8 / 8

WILLMAR - Entering Friday night's game against Duluth, Willmar Stingers right-hander Polo Portela had allowed just one earned run in 38-1/3 innings.

The Huskies had plans to change that.

Duluth plated nine runs thanks to two big offensive innings, tagging Portela for five earned runs in five innings, as they went on the beat the Stingers 9-7 at Bill Taunton Stadium.

Portela was sharp early on, holding the Huskies to one hit over the first three innings as the Stingers jumped out to a 2-0 lead.

Tyler Murray clubbed his first home run of the season, a solo shot that he kept fair down the left field line, to lead off the third. Josh Bissonette added an RBI single with two outs to extend his hitting streak to 12 games and on-base streak to 16 games.

The good times didn't last long for Willmar, though.

The Huskies took advantage of three Stingers errors en route to a five-run fourth inning. Duluth only had two hits leave the infield, but sent nine batters to the plate to score more runs in one frame against Portela than he had surrendered all season.

Chase Strumpf added a solo homer to lead off the sixth to extend the Huskies' lead to 6-2, and three more runs between Portela and reliever Myles Smith to take a 9-2 lead.

Willmar wouldn't go away quietly, however.

The Stingers added two runs in the seventh, scoring a pair of unearned runs themselves with Caleb Ledbetter coming across on an error and Brady Shockey's RBi double. Then, in the ninth, four of Willmar's first five batters reached base as Marcus Still, Shockey and Bissonette drove in runs.

Bissonette's one-out RBI cut the lead to 9-7, bringing the tying run to home plate, but Danny Rodriguez and Nolan Bumstead struck out to end the game.

Willmar saw its season-best four-game winning streak come to an end, falling to 24-22 on the year.

Duluth 9, Willmar 7

Huskies 000 504 000-9 11 1

Stingers 002 000 203-7 9 5

Hitting - Huskies: Chase Strumpf 2-4 rbi-2 r-2, Augie Isaacson 3-4 rbi ... Stingers: Marcus Still 2-5 rbi r sb, Brady Shockey 1-5 rbi r, Nolan Bumstead 1-5, Josh Bissonette 2-5 rbi-2, Tyler Murray 1-3 hr r rbi, Danny Rodriguez 1-5 2b, Tyler Reichenborn 0-2 bb-2 r

Pitching (ip-h-r-er-bb-so) - Huskies: Gaylon Viney (W) 6-5-2-2-2-6, Victor Santana 2-2-2-0-1-2, Joe Gonrowski 0.1-2-3-2-1-0, Kevin Folman (SV) 0.2-0-0-0-0-2 ... Stingers: Polo Portela (L) 5-9-7-5-1-4, Myles Smith 1-2-2-2-2-1, Stone Kelly 2-0-0-0-0-2, Hayden Petrovick 1-0-0-0-0-0

VFW Baseball

Paynesville 2, Willmar 1

Paynesville's two-run fifth inning proved to be enough in a pitcher's duel with Willmar Friday evening.

Levi Brist and Eric Johnson scored the lone runs for Paynesville but it was Carter Wessel who earned the star of the game with a complete game performance. He struck out twice as many batters (eight) as he allowed hits (four).

Willmar 000 100 0-1 4 1

Paynesville 000 020 x-2 5 1

Hitting - Willmar: Caleb Owens 1-3 2b, Jayden Dierenfeld 1-3 3b r, Isaiah Riemersma 1-2 2b, Wade Fischer 1-2 ... Paynesville: Levi Brist 2-3 r, Eric Johnson 1-4 r, Zack Schraeder 1-3, Calvin Berg 1-3

Pitching (ip-h-r-er-bb-so) - Willmar: Ashton Gregory 4-2-0-0-4-1, Owens (L) 0.1-2-2-2-2-1, Dierenfeld 1.2-1-0-0-1-4 ... Paynesville: Carter Wessel (W) 7-4-1-1-1-8

Amateur Baseball

New Ulm 4, Bird Island 3

Bird Island scored two runs in the ninth to force and extra frame but New Ulm jumped on a new Bullfrog pitcher to take the narrow 4-3 win.

Adam Slander went all 10 innings for the Brewers and allowed three runs, none of which were earned.

Bird Island 000 000 012 0-3 8 2

New Ulm 000 000 030 1-4 8 4

Hitting - Bird Island: Lane Stadther 1-5 rbi r-2, Shawn Dollerschell 1-3, Wyatt Peppel 1-4 2b rbi, Max Buchtel 1-4, Ben Steffel 2-4 r, James Woelfel 2-4 2b ... New Ulm: Wade French 2-5 3b rbi-2 r

Pitching (ip-h-r-er-bb-so) - Bird Island: Logan Sandgren 7-4-1-1-5-2, Lane Stadther 2-2-2-2-2-1, Ben Steffel (L) 0.1-2-1-1-1-0 ... New Ulm: Adam Slander (W) 10-8-3-0-3-4

Starbuck 16, Paynesville 7

Starbuck put on a show with 20 hits and 16 runs in a big win over Paynesville.

Mike Kragenbring helped lead the onslaught with a 4-for-4 performance that included an RBI and a run scored. Austin Versteeg didn't pitch but made sure his presence was felt with four runs scored on the day and two RBIs. Michael Andreas also had a strong day, going 2-for-3 with a double, three RBIs and a pair of runs.

Paynesville 101 104 000-7 8 1

Starbuck 030 533 20x-16 20 4

Hitting - Paynesville: Josh Bungum 1-5 r-2, Garret Leusink 1-5, G Fuchs 2-4 r-2, Luke Johnson 2-4 3b r, G Fuchs 2-4 rbi r ... Starbuck: M Gruber 2-5 r-3, Austin Versteeg 2-3 rbi-2 r-4, Michael Andreas 2-3 2b rbi-3 r-2, M Gruber 2-2 rbi-3 r, Mike Kragenbring 4-4 rbi r, Colin Richards 1-1 rbi, Jackson Hendrickson 2-5, Tyler Toop 1-2 rbi-2, Luke Nielsen 1-2 rbi, Andy Toop 1-3, Justin Amundson 2-6 rbi r-2

Pitching (ip-h-r-er-bb-so) - Paynesville: Austin Imholte 3.1-6-6-6-2-0, Andrew Kurzman 4.2-14-10-10-4-1 ... Starbuck: Riley Thompson (W) 5.2-7-7-1-1-4, M Gruber 2.1-1-0-0-0-3, Brian Gruber 1-0-0-0-0-2

Raymond 6, Hadley 5

Kyle Knott knocked in Justin Koenen with a walk-off double to defeat the Hadley Buttermakers Friday night.

Raymond scored four runs in the second inning to take an early lead but a costly overthrow in the ninth inning allowed three Buttermakers to score and tie the game at five. Knott tallied his second double of the game in the ninth inning to secure the victory.

Calvin Kosminskas pitched a scoreless eighth inning and re-entered for a scoreless 11th inning as well to take the victory.

The Rockets will play the Minnesota Millers, a blind team at noon Saturday afternoon at Kennedy Elementary School in Willmar as a part of Beep baseball.

Hadley 000 020 003 00-5 7 1

Raymond 040 010 000 01-6 10 2

Hitting - Hadley: Kellen Johnson 3-6 rbi-2, Eric Wieneke 1-5 hr rbi ... Raymond: Mike Jeseritz 1-5 2b rbi, Kyle Knott 2-4 2b-2 rbi, Jordan Smith 1-2, Calvin Kosminskas 1-3 hr rbi-4, Eric Hulterstrum 1-4, Brett Swanson 1-3, John Sawatzky 2-3, Zach Nelson 1-2

Pitching (ip-h-r-er-bb-so) - Hadley: Paul Mesnen 5-7-5-5-2-0, Trent Carlson 6-3-1-1-6-0 ... Raymond: John Sawatzky 7-5-2-1-1-11, Kosminskas (W) 2-1-0-0-0-0, Zach Nelson 2-1-3-0-2-1