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Stingers win 6th straight

DULUTH -- The Willmar Stingers polished off the Duluth Huskies for the third time in two days 6-1 on Thursday.

The Stingers' bats were lively, especially early in the line-up. Clean-up hitter Pat Stover doubled three times, driving home Eduardo Gonzalez each time. Gonzalez had a pair of RBI doubles himself.

The Stingers, who now have won six straight, are back in Willmar tonight to play Alexandria at 7:05 p.m.

After a 1-5 start, the Stingers' record in the Northwoods League North Division second season is 8-6.

Ben Burns, a lefty out of Menomonee Falls, Wis., got the win. He threw the first six innings, giving up a run on six hits and walking two. Michael Shreves and Jack Shannon finished up without either allowing a hit.

In the first, Stover's two-bagger pushed Gonzalez, who had reached on a fielder's choice, to home plate. In the second Ryan Dettman reached on an error and soon scored on a single by Jason Leblebijian, one of the shortstop's two hits.

The lead jumped to 4-0 in the top of the fifth. Gonzalez doubled to knock in Leblebijian, who had singled. That brought up Stover who doubled "Big Ed" (6-foot-3, 190 pounds) home.

In the ninth, Mitch Rowan singled and Gonzalez and Stover followed with doubles.

The second-third-fourth hitters in the Stinger' lineup (Leblebijian, Gonzalez and Stover) were a combined 7-for-13 with five doubles, four runs scored and five RBI.

Jimmy O'Neill, the Huskies NBA-sized freshman right-hander, took the loss. He's listed at 6-foot-8, 240 pounds.

The Stingers' weekend plans call for participation in the Relay For Life on Friday night and the Get Stung by the Run on Saturday morning.