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NWL Baseball: MoonDogs shut out Stingers for second straight game

MANKATO — For the second time in three days, the Willmar Stinger and Mankato MoonDog offenses were all but shut down by stellar pitching.

Mankato’s Dillon Williams was solid in 6.2 innings and Tanner Rockwell was perfect in relief as the MoonDogs shut out the Stingers for a second consecutive game, 4-0, on Wednesday at Franklin-Rogers Field.

On Monday, Mankato’s James McMahon handcuffed the Stingers in a 1-0 victory in Willmar.

In both games, the Stingers managed just four hits.

The MoonDogs’ Tyler Sullivan led off the bottom of the first inning with a home run, the only offense Williams and Rockwell would need.

The Stingers stranded six runners in the first five innings but then couldn’t get a runner on from the sixth inning on until Max Ayoub was hit by a pitch with two outs in the ninth. Rockwell struck out Frankie Rios to end the game.

The Stingers didn’t help their staff, committing four errors. Starter AJ Puckett worked six innings and walked five but he allowed only Sullivan’s home run before giving way to reliever Brantley Claunch. Claunch surrendered just one earned run in two innings.

The Stingers are now tied with Mankato for second in the Northwoods League’s North Division second-half standings, 1.5 games behind Waterloo. The Stingers are 21-17, Mankato is 18-14 while the Bucks lead the division at 20-13.

The Stingers play at Eau Claire tonight and Friday before returning home for the final two games of the regular season against Waterloo on Satuday and Sunday.