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Mankato uses quick start to hammer Stingers

Mankato’s Josh Fuentes slides around and under the tag of Willmar Stingers catcher Kyle Perry to score the MoonDogs’ seventh run of the game in the second inning on Friday at Bill Taunton Stadium in Willmar. Tribune photo by Tom Larson

WILLMAR — The Mankato MoonDogs batted around in the first inning, and the night didn’t get much better for the Willmar Stingers in their 12-4 loss Friday at Bill Taunton Stadium.

The MoonDogs pounded out nine hits for seven runs in the first two innings off Stingers’ starting pitcher Sheldon Lee, who took his second loss of the season.

Tim Arakawa and Chase Simpson led off the game with two doubles, and Zack Zehner and Josh Fuentes followed with singles. Lee then hit Jonathan Rodriguez with a pitch to load the bases, and Hibraim Cordova knocked in two with a single to give the MoonDogs a 4-0 lead.

Mankato added three more in the second to end Lee’s outing, and Willmar reliever Michael Murray didn’t fare much better.

He allowed three straight two-out hits in the third, capped by a two-run homer off the bat of John Michael Twichell to put the Stingers in a 10-0 hole.

Twichell got to Murray again in the fifth with his second two-run homer of the game. 

Willmar scratched two across in the sixth on a Danny Brennan sacrifice fly and a Logan Moon single. Brennan drove in two more with a ninth-inning double. The Stingers only managed five hits in the game, though they left 13 on base thanks to 11 walks.

The Stingers fell to 7-8 in the Northwoods League North Division and 30-20 overall. They play 6:05 p.m. today at Mankato.

Notes: Stingers Michael Suchy and Marc Flores will participate in the NWL Home Run Derby on Tuesday in Eau Claire, Wis. 

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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