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Stingers tame Border Cats

Tribune photo by Tom Larson Willmar starter A.J. Puckett delivers a pitch against the Thunder Bay Border Cats during the first inning Thursday at Bill Taunton Stadium.

WILLMAR — The Willmar Stingers didn’t waste any time coming off the three-day All-Star break, scoring six runs in the first three innings on their way to beating the Thunder Bay Border Cats 7-2 on Thursday at Bill Taunton Stadium.

The Stingers improved to 15-9 and sit in first place in the Northwoods League North Division second half.

They face Thunder Bay again 7:05 p.m. today in Willmar.

Stingers’ leadoff hitter Sean Beesley clubbed a home run on the second pitche of the game off Border Cats’ starter Tyler McKee to get the scoring started.

It didn’t get any easier for McKee, who allowed six runs in 2.2 innings.

Frankie Rios knocked an RBI single in the second, and the Stinger chased McKee in the third with three runs in the third.

Casey Hughston and Jack Ross singled and walked with one out, and Brett Barbier drove in Hughston with a double to left.

Tyler Cohen hit a sacrifice fly to score Ross, and Rios followed with his second base hit to plate Barbier.

A.J. Puckett turned in a strong start for the Stingers, going seven innings and striking out six while scattering five hits.

Colton Boucher finished off the Border Cats with two scoreless innings out of the bullpen.

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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