3 more sign with Stingers
WILLMAR -- The Willmar Stingers now have their roster one-third filled with the announcement Thursday that the team has signed three more players.
Andrew Haake, a junior first baseman for the University of Nebraska-Kearney, sophomore first baseman/designated hitter Eduardo Gonzalez of Alcorn State University and freshman center fielder Isaac Ballou of Marshall University were all signed to play this summer for the Stingers in their inaugural Lakewoods League.
Ten players are now under contract with the Stingers, who open the season at home June 3 against the St. Cloud River Bats. The team has several other players that have been offered contracts and are waiting for those contracts to be signed and returned and then the approval of the league of those players.
Haake, a native of Beatrice, Neb., is a 6-foot-5, 235-pound left-hander power hitter who batted .325 with 11 home runs and 13 doubles while driving in 49 runs for Nebraska-Kearney last year as a sophomore.
Currently, Haake is batting .323 with three home runs, three doubles, two triples and 24 RBI in 26 games this spring. He is also 5-for-5 in stolen bases. He played for the Yorktown Cardinals of the Western Major League Baseball League in Canada last summer and batted .261 with seven home runs in 37 games. He started his collegiate career with Cloud County Community College in Kansas.
Gonzalez, a native of Lutz, Fla., led Alcorn State in hitting as a freshman last year with a .407 average (first in the Southwestern Athletic Conference) and also had 11 doubles, three triples, three home runs, 41 RBI and a .558 slugging percentage. He is also currently leading the team in hitting through 21 games, batting .411 with six doubles, three triples and a team-high 29 RBI and a .544 slugging mark. Collegiate Baseball named him to the Freshman All-American team.
Ballou was a three-sport prep standout at Nansemond-Suffolk Academy. He was All-State in baseball and basketball for three straight years and was an All-State football player his senior year. He is a switch hitter who is currently hitting .203 in the leadoff spot for Marshall University. He has two triples, two home runs, nine RBI and nine stolen bases in 17 games. He homered in his first collegiate game and also homered in his fourth game when he went 3-for-6 with three RBI.
STINGER PLAYER UPDATES: Joe Sever, an infielder for Pepperdine, is leading the team with a .320 batting average. In 19 games, he has four doubles, one triple, one home runs, eight RBI and seven stolen bases ... Nate Johnson, a catcher for Pepperdine, is hitting .194 and leads the team with three home runs and 11 RBI in 19 games ... Carter Bell, an infielder for Oregon State, is hitting .305 in 17 games with four doubles, one home runs and six RBI ... Jared Norris, an infielder/outfielder with Oregon State, is hitting .176 and has driven in five runs in 10 games ... Carlos Leyva, a infielder with California State University-Dominguez Hills, is batting .302 with four doubles, one triple and seven RBI in 28 games ... Matt Serna, an infielder/outfielder for the University of Illinois-Chicago, is leading the team with a .412 average and has three doubles, one triple, nine RBI and a .510 slugging percentage ... Michael Jahns, a right-hander pitcher for Northwestern, got off to a rough start with the Wildcats, but has pitched well of late. In his last two outings, he hurled five innings of scoreless relief, allowing only one hit and striking out two to earn the win on March 20. And two days ago, hurled two scoreless innings of one-hit relief with three strikeouts. He has a 2-1 record and has pitched 16 2/3 innings.
TICKETS: Single game tickets for the Stingers go on sale in May. Season tickets are currently available for $149 for reserved seat backs and $169 for box seats. Call 320-222-2010 or visit willmarstingers.com.