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Rochester slips past Stingers in 9th

ROCHESTER -- The Rochester Honkers rallied for two runs with two outs in the bottom of the ninth to ruin a solid outing by Willmar pitchers and send the Stingers to their second straight loss, 2-1, before a crowd of 782 Monday at Mayo Field.

The Stingers fell to 13-12 in the second half of the Northwoods League season and they are four games behind North Division-leading Alexandria with 12 games to play. The Stingers and Honkers play the second game of a three-game set at 7:05 p.m. today in Rochester.

Stingers lefty Kody Gorden pitched well, allowing five hits and a walk while striking out three in 51/3 innings.

Relievers Ricky Knapp and Tanner Banks fared just as well, shutting out the Honkers on three hits over 22/3 innings.

The Stingers took a 1-0 lead in the fifth when Blake Shepherd singled, advanced on a put-out, took third on a wild pitch and scored on Garrett Borba's sacrifice fly.

Rochester did little with its 11 hits until the final inning. Stingers right-hander Kurt Spomer relieved Banks to open the ninth, and got two quick outs after allowing Erik Mattingly's lead-off double.

But Rochester's Reid Roper was walked intentionally and Jake Page singled to drive in Mattingly with the tying run. Devin Thaut followed with another single that brought in Roper with the winning run.

The Stingers' Pat Stover was 2-for-3 and Shepherd also had two hits.