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Rox topple Stingers in 12th

ST. CLOUD — The largest crowd in St. Cloud Rox history saw an exciting game Friday at Joe Faber Field and the fans got the most out of their money as the hometown Rox stayed unbeaten in the Northwoods League by outlasting the Willmar Stingers 5-4 in 12 innings.

Sam Hall doubled in Sean Beesley, who singled and had three of Willmar’s 14 hits, and Max Ayoub followed with a single to bring in Hall and give the visiting Stingers a quick 2-0 lead in the first inning.

Willmar (2-2) pieced together several scoring opportunities after that, but only capitalized on a couple to keep the Rox (4-0) in the game.

A three-run homer in the fourth from Garrett McMullen put St. Cloud ahead 3-2, but the Stingers soon tied the game an inning later when Dan Motl scored on Nick Rivera’s single.

Willmar then recaptured the lead in the eighth when an error by the Rox center fielder allowed Alex Borglin to score on Scotty Smith’s single. But the resilient Rox forced extra innings after McMullen scored on a sacrifice fly in the bottom of the ninth.

Two-and-a-half scoreless innings later Kyle Thornell singled in Harrison Wenson — who was hit by a pitch leading off the 12th — with the winning run, giving St. Cloud a win over the Stingers for a second straight night.

Willmar outhit the Rox 14-10 and St. Cloud committed five errors, but the Stingers stranded 13 runners and couldn’t cash in on two-hit nights from Ayoub, Max Dutto and Frankie Rios.

Kevin Burgee collected the win after striking out four and keeping Willmar scoreless in the 11th and 12th.

The teams square off two more times this weekend in St. Cloud, Saturday at 6:05 p.m. and Sunday at 1:05 p.m.