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Stingers take two from St. Cloud

ST. CLOUD — The Willmar Stingers took two from the St. Cloud Rox 5-1 and 5-3 on Sunday to finish the first week of the season with a 4-1 record.

Game 1, which was a continuation of Saturday’s rain-delayed game, resumed in the sixth inning tied 0-0.

The Rox quickly took a 1-0 lead in the bottom of six on a Bradley Strong RBI single and an error.

Willmar tied it again on Sean Beesley’s eighth-inning RBI base hit.

St. Cloud’s Dalton Sawyer came in for the ninth and was greeted by a go-ahead home run off the bat of Stingers’ catcher Sam Hall.

They plated three more an error and a two-run Frankie Rios single for a 5-1 lead, and Brantley Claunch slammed the door with a perfect ninth. 

Game 2

Willmar 5, St. Cloud 3

There was more scoreless baseball to start Game 2 before the Stingers broke a 0-0 tie in the sixth when Max Ayoub blasted a two-run homer, his first of the year. Brian Pruett added an RBI double in the inning for a 3-0 lead.

Troy Kuhn drove in a run on a double play and Scotty Smith hit an RBI single in the eighth to add two more.

Winning pitcher Austin Klein, who shutout the Rox for seven innings, finally cracked in the eighth, giving up two hits and a run.

The Rox notched two more off reliever Tyler Hanson in the inning, but Hanson escaped with a 5-3 lead and finished the game to pick up the save.