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Stinger starter Woeck one-hits Alexandria

WILLMAR — Andrew Woeck missed a no-hitter by inches.

The Willmar starter was nearly untouchable, striking out 12 Sunday afternoon as the Stingers beat the Alexandria Blue Anchors 6-1 at Bill Taunton Stadium.

Woeck mixed a fastball, slider, cutter and a strong changeup, and faced three batters over the minimum, tossing 115 pitches.

He lost the no-hitter with two outs in the ninth inning.

“Any time you throw a game like that, it’s because of command,” Stingers’ manager Matt Hollod said. “He had command of all his pitches and was throwing them where he wanted.”

Woeck blew through the Alexandria lineup through 8.2 innings, the only blemishes being a fifth-inning walk to Michael Barash and when Dalton Leuschke reached first base on an error to second baseman Tyler Leffler to lead off the ninth inning.

Woeck retired the next two batters on a fly out and a fielder’s choice that would’ve ended the game if not for the error.

“It was a line drive, one-hopper to (Leffler),” Hollod said. “He knocked it down and then made a wild throw over the first baseman’s head.”

With the extra out to work with, Alexandria’s No. 2 hitter Kris Goodman broke it up with a line drive over the head of left fielder Colton Bottomley for an RBI double.

“(Bottomley) was inches away from catching it,” Hollod said. “It was a line drive right over his head. He leaped up and it was right over his glove.”

The Stingers’ offense backed Woeck with a four-spot in the fifth inning. Jake Gronsky and Danny Brennan knocked RBI singles and Michael Suchy smacked a run-scoring double in the inning.

Max Kuhn drove in two more with a two-run double in the seventh.

Woeck, a righthander out of N.C. State, improved to 3-1 with a 4.57 ERA on the season.

The Stingers travelled to St. Cloud for a Sunday night game and fell to the Rox 9-3. That brought their record in the second half of the Northwoods League North Division to 12-16. They are 35-28 overall and one game out of playoff contention with seven games remaining.

They host the Rox 7:05 p.m. today at Bill Taunton Stadium.

Rox 9, Stingers 3

ST. CLOUD — The Rox jumped on Willmar starter T.J. Whidby for five early runs on their way to a 9-3 victory Sunday night.

Michael Suchy hit his 11th home run, a solo shot in the second inning, to tie him with Marc Flores for the team lead.

Nick Halamandaris drove in two more with a double in the third inning, but the Rox pitchers held Willmar in check the rest of the way.

Saturday’s Result

Bucks 11, Stingers 5

WATERLOO, Iowa — Waterloo tagged Willmar pitching for nine unearned runs thanks to five errors by the Stingers’ defense on Saturday at Riverfront Stadium.

Marc Flores, Max Kuhn and Nick Halamandaris each had two hits for the Stingers, and Flores drove in two runs.

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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