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College baseball: Stingers add 4, lose closer Anderson for the season

WILLMAR — The Willmar Stingers continued to add players to their 2013 roster this week, but lost a big piece as well.

Sophomore pitcher Brady Anderson, who played for the Stingers in 2012 and was scheduled to return for this season, hurt his knee in practice for Florida Gulf Coast and will miss the entire year.

According to FGCU’s website, Anderson tore the ACL and meniscus in his left knee Friday while jumping for a ball in the outfield.

“Obviously it’s tough, as he played a major role at the back end of our bullpen,” Stingers’ manager Matt Hollod said. “I wish him the best in his recovery. We will, however, find another guy to replace him as a late-inning guy.”

Anderson was the Stingers’ closer in 2012, and turned in an All-Star performance with 35 strikeouts in 30 innings and a team-record 15 saves.

But looking ahead, the Stingers have added four more players for 2013: Cody Hughes (Montevallo), Nick Bates (St. Louis), Danny Brennan (St. Louis) and Hutton Moyer (Pepperdine).

Hughes could be a candidate to replace Anderson in the late innings. The freshman from Phenix City, Ala., kicked off his college career with two straight saves and was named Freshman of the Week in the Division II Peach Belt Conference.

Bates, a sophomore righthander out of Orland Park, Ill., gives the Stingers an option for the starting rotation. As a freshman last season, Bates quickly established himself, going 6-1 and posting a 3.02 ERA with 44 strikeouts and 16 walks in 56.2 innings over 22 appearances that included eight starts.

Brennan, Bates’ teammate at St. Louis, will help fill holes in the outfield left by the departing Forrestt Allday and Mitch Rowan. The junior started 26 games last season and batted .282 with a .341 on-base percentage and 15 RBIs.

The freshman infielder Moyer is something of unknown commodity, but as the son of MLB pitcher Jamie Moyer, he certainly has the right bloodlines. The younger Moyer will compete for the starting second base job for Pepperdine and will join returning Stingers Max Kuhn and Karl Sorensen in the Willmar infield.

“We are very excited to announce this latest group of players to sign,” Stingers’ co-owner Ryan Voz said. “We feel these guys can really help us this summer and we like the mix the freshman and upper classman we have so far.”

Notes: 2012 Stinger Hunter Dozier (Stephen F. Austin) was named by Baseball America as the Southland Conference’s top prospect for the 2013 MLB draft … In BA’s preview of the Atlantic Sun Conference, they listed 2011 Stingers Sean Dwyer and Ricky Knapp (Florida Gulf Coast) as the No. 6 and No. 10 prospects, respectively, for the draft; current Stinger Michael Suchy (Florida Gulf Coast) was ranked No. 2 in the Conference for the 2014 draft

Ben Brewster

Ben Brewster covers the Willmar Stingers and other area sports, as well as laying out the daily sports section cover for the West Central Tribune. Follow him on Twitter @benbrewster.

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