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Northwoods Baseball: Stingers fall flat against Mankato

WILLMAR -- The third pitch Andrew Pulido threw in his Willmar Stingers debut wound up over the right field fence, and the night didn't get much better from there for the Stingers as they fell to the Mankato MoonDogs 4-1 on Thursday at Bill Taunton Stadium.

The Stingers are now 0-2 in the Northwoods League North Division. They travel to Waterloo, Iowa, today for a game against the Bucks at 6:35 p.m.

Pulido settled down enough to give the Stingers 4-1/3 innings, but Mankato starter Ty Taylor mowed down the Willmar lineup, allowing one hit in six innings of work.

Taylor didn't record a strikeout, but the Stingers couldn't get anything going off the product of the University of Oklahoma until the sixth when Greg Fettes and Logan Allen drew walks to leadoff the inning. After Forrestt Allday popped out on a bunt attempt and Brady Anderson grounded out to first, Mitch Rowan walked to load the bases, but they failed to capitalize when first baseman Michael Suchy grounded out to end the threat.

The Stingers scored their run in the eighth when Allen hit a one-out bloop double off MoonDog reliever Derek Howell. Allen took third on a wild pitch and scored on an RBI-single down the line by Allday.

Mankato leadoff hitter Kyle Turner provided the pop for the MoonDogs, hitting the leadoff home run and burning Pulido again in the fifth for a second home run.

"The first (home run) was a cutter I'm working on," Pulido said. "The last one was a hanging slider I left up. I was trying to throw it to his back foot but I left it up and he took advantage of it."

Turner was 3-for-5, also hitting a seventh-inning double.

The MoonDogs pounded out 13 hits in all. Combined with their 16 in Wednesday's game, they touched up Willmar pitching for 29 hits and 14 runs in the two-game sweep.

Suchy and Kenny Roberts accounted for Willmar's other two hits.

Jacob Cage, Jared McCrummen and Kody Gorden all made their first appearances of 2012 in relief of Pulido. They combined for 4-2/3 of scoreless ball.

Pulido said despite the loss that he felt good in his first game in the Northwoods League.

"It's good to come out here and compete against top guys from other schools," he said. "Just trying to learn out here and hopefully we can put some runs up and get this thing going for us."

Notes: Jon Flinn will be the starting pitcher and make his Stingers debut against Waterloo today.

Ben Brewster

Ben Brewster covers the Willmar Stingers and other area sports, as well as laying out the daily sports section cover for the West Central Tribune. Follow him on Twitter @benbrewster.

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