Stingers down Bucks for sixth-straight win
WILLMAR - Even the rain couldn't cool off the Willmar Stingers.
The Stingers won their sixth game in a row with a close 4-3 victory against the Waterloo Bucks on a wet Thursday night at Bill Taunton Stadium, highlighted by a 3-for-5 performance from slugging designated hitter Nic Hernandez.
Waterloo jumped on Stinger starter Nick Dentoni with two runs in the first inning following his own throwing error on a bunt and RBI single but he settled in to keep the Bucks off the board for the rest of his five-inning start.
Hernandez cut that lead in half with a solo shot to right field in the fourth inning and hot-hitting centerfielder Tyler Reichenborn tied things up in the following inning with a run-scoring groundout.
Dentoni ceded to Ben Mora who threw a rocky sixth inning but earned the win by pitching a shutout inning. Fellow Stinger reliever Jayson Newman walked three batters in two hitless and scoreless innings, striking out three batters to set the table for closer Nick Mears.
Mears allowed one run but earned the save to earn Willmar's sixth win in a row.
Shea Kramer drove in John Trousdale to take the lead in the sixth inning and Hernandez added an RBI single in the eighth inning to complete Willmar's scoring.
Willmar is now just one game back in the second half standings behind the La Crosse Loggers who didn't play Thursday night due to rain. The Stingers will look to keep the win streak going Friday with another home game against Waterloo.
Willmar 4, Waterloo 3
Waterloo 200 000 001-3 10 1
Willmar 000 111 01x-4 10 1
Hitting - Waterloo: Trey Leonard 2-5 2b r, Tate Samuelson 1-2 rbi ... Willmar: Matt Rudick 1-4 2b, Tyler Reichenborn 1-5 rbi, Nic Hernandez 3-5 hr rbi-2 r, John Trousdale 1-3 2b r, Shea Kramer 1-4 rbi, Davis Elliot 1-3 r-2, Cal Elvers 2-3
Pitching (ip-h-r-er-bb-so) - Waterloo: Javin Drake 5-5-2-2-3-2, Joshua Culliver 2-4-1-1-1-3, A DeFrancesco 1-1-1-0-2-1 ... Willmar: Nick Dentoni 5-6-2-1-2-3, Ben Mora 1-2-0-0-0-1, Jayson Newman 2-0-0-0-3-3, Nick Mears 1-2-1-1-0-0
New Ulm 5, Willmar 3
New Ulm's Teddy Giefer outdueled Willmar's Jett Salonek in a close battle Thursday night in New Ulm.
New Ulm put up crooked numbers in a pair of innings to edge Post 1639.
Asaiah Smith and Andrew Baumgart each tallied a pair of hits for Willmar.
Willmar 002 100-3 6 2
New Ulm 200 03x-5 10 0
Hitting - Willmar: Asaiah Smith 2-3 rbi sb, Ashton Gregory 0-2 rbi, Dylan Arndorfer 1-2 sb-2 r, Dalton Ogdahl 0-1 rbi, Andrew Baumgart 2-2 2b r, Jack Roehl 1-2 r ... New Ulm: Mason Cox 2-3 rbi-2 r
Pitching (ip-h-r-er-bb-so) - Willmar: Jett Salonek (L) 5-10-5-2-0-2 ... New Ulm: Teddy Giefer (W) 6-6-3-3-2-3
Litchfield 13, Benson 3
Litchfield scored one run in every inning to power past Benson.
The teams tied in the hit column but Litchfield took advantage of eight team walks to get 13 runs on the board. Andrew Loch and Afton Kaping each led with a pair of runs on the scoreboard.
Benson 000 120-3 7 2
Litchfield 233 311-13 7 1
Hitting - Benson: Patrick Munchow 2-3 r, Matthew Goosen 2-2 rbi r, Danny Lenarz 1-3 2b rbi, Matthew Lenarz 1-3, Sam Lundebrek 1-3 2b r ... Litchfield: Tyler Sangren 0-0 r-2, Andrew Loch 1-3 rbi r-2, Max Tibbits 1-2 rbi r, Carter Block 0-1 r, Dylan Schutz 1-3 r, Josh Johnson 0-2 r, Joe Pennertz 2-2 r, Jack Ramthun 0-1 rbi, Tyler Peterson 0-1 r, Afton Kaping 2-2 rbi r-2, Cade Marquardt 0-1 r, Alex Gruneke 0-2 rbi
Pitching (ip-h-r-er-bb-so) - Benson: Matt Tolifson (L) 4.2-6-12-7-7-5, Will Enderson 0.1-1-1-1-1-0 ... Litchfield: Alex Gruenke (W) 4.1-6-3-2-1-7, Ramthun 1.2-1-0-0-0-1
Granite Falls 5, Madison 2
Granite Falls put four runs on the board in the fifth inning to take a lead and help out starter Bennett Knapper Thursday night against Madison.
Knapper struck out seven in six innings on the way to the win.
Jordan Odegard went 3-for-3 to pace Granite Falls and stole three bases from the leadoff spot.
Madison 100 001 0-2 4 1
Granite Falls 100 040 x-5 12 1
Hitting - Madison: Braiden Kittelson 1-4, Evan Benson 1-3, Corbin Kells 1-2 rbi, Trevor Gearman 1-1 ... Granite Falls: Jordan Odegaard 3-3 sb-3, Bennett Knapper 2-4, Brandon Schmidt 1-3 rbi-2, Ethan Peterson 2-4 rbi, Angel Jimenez 1-3 2b rbi, Austin Friese 1-2 2b, Carter Sneller 2-3 rbi
Pitching (ip-h-r-er-bb-so) - Madison: Evan Benson (L) 6-12-5-4-3-4 ... Granite Falls: Knapper (W) 6-4-2-2-6-7, Odegaard (Sv) 1-0-0-0-0-0