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Northwoods League: Stingers can't hold early lead

WILLMAR -- Max Kuhn's fourth error of the game allowed the go-ahead run to score, and the Thunder Bay Border Cats beat the Willmar Stingers 7-3 on Friday at Bill Taunton Stadium.

The Stingers jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the first inning on a home run by Kenny Roberts, but the Border Cats clawed back to score runs in the fifth, sixth, seventh before taking the lead with a four-run eighth.

"We couldn't stop the bleeding," Stingers' manager Matt Hollod said. "It came down to errors that led to some costly runs."

Thunder Bay pitchers Dan Ludwig, Woody Nisbet and Jordan McCoy held Willmar scoreless the rest of the way, though the Stingers had opportunities, leaving 12 men on base.

The Stingers fell to 8-9 in the Northwoods League North Division and are tied with Thunder Bay for fourth place. The two teams will face off in the series finale 7:05 p.m. today in Willmar.

Willmar starting pitcher Anthony Consiglio went five innings and left with a 3-1 lead, but the bullpen couldn't hold it.

Thunder Bay tied it up at three in the seventh inning on a sacrifice fly by Jordan Higley.

The Border Cats' Scott Donley started their four-run rally with a single to lead off the eighth.

After a walk and a sacrifice bunt, Donley scored the go-ahead run when third baseman Kuhn couldn't handle a ground ball off the bat of Luke Willis.

"(Kuhn) had a tough time adjusting on whether to come in or stay back," Hollod said. "He had a tough game tonight. He's better than that, though."

The big blow came two batters later when Phillip Lyons tripled to drive in two runs and extend the lead to 7-3.

Consiglio had an ERA of 189.00 coming to the game, a crooked number that came from his first start last week when he allowed seven runs in one-third of an inning at Thunder Bay.

The Stingers gave Consiglio some run support early.

Forrestt Allday led off the game with a single and after being sacrificed to second, scored on a single by Michael Suchy. Roberts followed with a home run to deep left-center, his team-leading third, to score Suchy and put the Stingers up 3-0.

Willmar loaded the bases in the ninth inning, but Steven Brault flied out to left to end the game.

Allday had three hits and a run scored and Suchy was 2-for-4 with an RBI to raise his batting average to .340.

Notes: Corben Green (La.-Monroe) arrived in Willmar on Thursday and pinch hit in Friday's game ... Washington's George Asmus and Matt Jackson are both with the Stingers; Jackson will be activated this weekend and Asmus will throw a few bullpens before being activated next week ... Dillon Haupt (San Diego) will arrive in Willmar on June 26; Hollod said Haupt should be ready to go the first part of July ... Pat Stover (Santa Clara) signed with the Los Angeles Dodgers; he was drafted by the Dodgers in the 40th round of last week's MLB draft

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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