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Beetles snap Stingers' 6-game winning streak

(Tribune photo by Rand Middleton) In this file photo, Willmar Stingers first baseman Eduardo Gonzalez looks the ball into his mitt after making a running catch near the fence of a foul ball hit by Nick Gumm of the Alexandria Beetles during the second inning Friday at Baker Field in Willmar.

WILLMAR -- The Stingers bullpen failed to hold a three-run lead after seven innings as Alexandria rallied for six late runs to jolt Willmar 8-5 on Friday night before 894 fans at Bill Taunton Stadium.

The loss was a jarring end to the Stingers' six-game winning streak, longest of the summer.

Willmar dropped to 8-7 in the second half, a full two games behind the first-place Beetles, now 10-5.

Stingers starter Ricky Knapp threw six strong innings giving up two runs, both in the first inning, and five hits.

Things fell apart in the eighth. The Beetles got their first four batters on base, including back-to-back walks and a two-run double by Rick Devereaux.

An RBI single by pinch-hitter Mike LeViseur gave the Beetles the lead for good, 6-5.

Willmar relief pitchers Jake Stinnett and John Haberman were nicked for six hits and sis runs in 12/3 innings of work.

Willmar was quiet at the plate. It's seven hits included doubles by catcher Anthony Bemboom and first-baseman Eduardo Gonzales.

Kevin Vangheluwe, a 6-foot-4 right-hander out of the University of Michigan in his third season at Alexandria, got the win with two innings of two-hit relief.

Trailing 2-0 entering the fourth, the Stingers scored in three consecutive innings to take their 5-2 advantage, beginning with Sean Dwyer walking to leadoff the fourth frame and scoring on a double-play groundout by Mitch Delfino.

The Stingers took the lead in the fifth after Garrett Borba and Mitch Rowan scored from third base on back-to-back ground balls in the infield.

Willmar will play Alexandria at home at 7:05 p.m. today on Run, Bike and Eat Right Night presented by Rice Memorial Hospital and Q102 and Big Country.

Fans will register to win four bikes throughout the game. Top finishers from the 9 a.m. Stingers 5K and 1K runs will receive their awards during a pregame ceremony. There will also be postgame fireworks.