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Northwoods Baseball: Stingers take rubber match from Thunder Bay

WILLMAR, Minn. - For the second straight night, Willmar took an early lead with a two-run homer in the first inning. This time the Stingers made it hold, beating Thunder Bay 6-2 on Saturday at Bill Taunton Stadium.

With two outs in the first, Stinger Michael Suchy drilled a two-run homer to left field to score Forrestt Allday, who led off the inning with a single. The home run gave Suchy three two-out RBIs in the series.

One inning later, Willmar (9-9) added to its lead with a two-run triple by Mitch Rowan down the right-field line that brought home J.D. Dorgan and Andre Wheeler. Following a Hunter Dozier walk, Suchy laid down a sacrifice bunt to score Rowan and tie him for the league lead with 20 RBIs. The squeeze play gave the Stingers a 5-1 lead after two innings.

Jerad McCrummen improved to 2-0 on the year after striking out seven in five innings while allowing only one earned run on five hits. Steven Brault struck out six batters in three innings of scoreless relief without surrendering a hit, while Mark Lukowski tossed a scoreless ninth to finish the game.

Willmar tacked on its final run in the fifth inning when Logan Allen hit a sacrifice fly to center field to plate Zach Benson, who led off the inning with a double. Benson finished the game 3-for-4. Corben Green made his first start for the Stingers and got a hit in the first inning.

The Stingers will wrap up their four-game homestand against St. Cloud at 6:05 p.m. on Sunday.