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Stingers tumble Huskies

(Tribune photo by Rand Middleton) Willmar Stingers' left fielder Sean Dwyer, a Northern Division All-Star, makes a back-hand leaping catch of a line drive off the bat of Travis Enger of the Duluth Huskies for the first out of the fourth inning at Baker Field Tuesday in Willmar.

WILLMAR -- The Willmar Stingers, whose history dates back to, say, spring of 2010, put on a show for Central Minnesota Christian School, which got its start in 1911.

The Stingers scored six times in the first two innings to start them on the way to a 7-3 win over Duluth.

CMCS students, alumni and friends of the Prinsburg K-12 school took up a big share of the 1,000 seats at Bill Taunton Stadium Tuesday night.

The school sponsored 500 free posters of the team and the entire evening celebrated the school's 100th anniversary.

The Stingers had to be celebrating a little bit, also, with a 6-0 lead after just two frames. Up at Faber Field in St. Cloud on Monday, they mustered just two runs in 14 innings and lost a double header to what has to be their biggest Northwoods rival, the River Bats.

Dan Russell pitched the win, scattering nine hits over seven innings, to snap a five-game losing streak. Russell, a junior out of Western Illinois University, had pitched the last Willmar victory, 6-0 over the Huskies in Duluth on July 6.

The Stingers' fast start on a beautiful evening before an announced crowd of 993 was helped by four Duluth fielding errors. Starting pitcher Joey Novak, who is from Lakeville and will be a junior at Harvard, had all kinds of trouble fielding his position, but so did some of the Duluth infielders.

Willmar (2-5 second half, 19-21 overall) finished with eight hits, two each by Jason Leblebijian and Jared Scarafiotti.

The Huskies, who fall to last place at 1-6 in the second half, had some hard hits, especially in the third inning when they scored twice to make it 6-2. Andrew Dixon, who plays for Purdue, Jacob Rice, out of Arkansas, and Todd Enger, who was robbed of extra-bases in the fourth inning by left fielder Sean Dwyer's backhand catch at the fence, had two hits apiece.

After the many mishaps in the first two innings, Novak and his fielders settled down, played errorless ball and allowed Willmar only one more run.

The Stingers and Huskies play twice more before Willmar gets back on the road. Tonight the stadium is turned over to Kandiyohi Power Cooperative which has purchased all the tickets for its members. It's not even part of the season ticket package, which does includes the 34 other home games.

Rand Middleton
Tribune photographer/videographer. Began working in radio and at weekly newspaper in Munising, Michigan, in 1972. Started parttime at West Central Daily Tribune Sept. 1974. Fulltime news/sports beginning Feb. 1979. Married to Tribune news clerk Donna (Miller) Middleton, formerly of Kerkhoven. 2 grown children. 
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