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NWL baseball: Stingers win in 16 innings

ROCHESTER — Reagan Fowler scored the go-ahead run on an error to Rochester shortstop Connor Schaefbauer in the top of the 16th inning and the Willmar Stingers beat the Rochester Honkers 6-2 in a marathon game on Sunday at Mayo Field.

Tied 2-2 since the seventh inning, the Stingers rallied in the 16th with one-out singles from Fowler and Nick Rivera.

After a groundout and a walk, Jack Ross hit a ground ball that Schaefbauer couldn’t handle, bringing in Fowler to make it a 3-2 game.

Max Dutto then broke it open with a two-run single to left, and Brett Barbier, in his Stingers’ debut, singled to center for Willmar’s fourth run of the inning.

Winning pitcher Josh Matheson pitched around a hit and an error for a scoreless bottom of the 16th.

Andrew Towns started and went six innings, allowing two earned runs.

Trailing 2-1, the Stingers tied it 2-2 in the seventh on Nick Rivera’s third home run of the season.

It would stay tied through nine scoreless innings of relief by Will Lydon, A.J. Puckett and Matheson.

Rochester relievers L.J. Brewster, Jeff Campbell and Brandon Stennis matched them with eight scoreless before the Stingers got to losing pitcher Nick Gruener in the 16th.

Rivera, Dutto and Max Ayoub had three hits each for the Stingers, and Barbier was 2-for-4.

The Stingers came one inning short of matching the longest game in team history, a 17-inning affair on July 21, 2013, against Mankato.

The first-place Stingers improved to 17-5 in the Northwoods League North Division, holding onto a two-game lead over second-place Waterloo.

They play 7:05 p.m. today at Rochester.

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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