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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WILLMAR — The Willmar Stingers moved into a first-place tie with a 6-1 win behind a complete-game effort from Abe Bobb over the St. Cloud Rox on Friday at Bill Taunton Stadium. Marc Flores homered for the second straight night and Michael Suchy added a three-run blast to back Bobb. The righthander out of San Francisco worked quickly, finishing the game in just under 2 hours.
WILLMAR — Chris Kubitz delivered another strong outing and Marc Flores homered as the Willmar Stingers tripped up the Mankato MoonDogs on Thursday at Bill Taunton Stadium. Kubitz, the big lefthander from St. Cloud State, kept the MoonDogs off-balance all night with velocity in the high 80s and a tough slider. “He’s been outstanding,” Stingers’ manager Matt Hollod said.
WILLMAR — Eight former Willmar Stingers and three players off the current team were taken in the late rounds of the 2013 MLB draft on Saturday, to bring the total Stingers drafted this season to 15. Day 3 of the draft kicked off Saturday afternoon with the 11th round, and Sean Dwyer went almost immediately to the Colorado Rockies.
WILLMAR — Max Kuhn hit a three-run, walk-off home run, and the Willmar Stingers rallied from a six-run deficit to beat the Duluth Huskies 9-6 on Friday at Bill Taunton Stadium. The Stingers improved to at 6-4 and are in second place in the Northwoods League North Division. They host Duluth again 7:05 p.m.
WILLMAR — Three more former Willmar Stingers will be joining the ranks of professional baseball after Day 2 of the 2013 MLB draft Friday. 2010 Stinger Mikey Reynolds was selected by the Atlanta Braves in the fifth round, 2012 Stinger Forrestt Allday went to the Boston Red Sox in the eighth round and 2011 Stinger Ricky Knapp shortly after in the eighth round to the New York Mets. For Reynolds it was the third year in a row he’s been drafted.
WILLMAR — Hunter Dozier has gone from the Northwoods League to a Top 10 draft pick in less than a year. The Kansas City Royals selected the former Willmar Stingers shortstop with the eighth overall pick in the 2013 MLB draft on Thursday. He became the highest pick in Stingers’ history, besting Jordan Smith’s ninth-round selection to the Cleveland Indians in 2011. Dozier said the Royals had some discussions with him before the draft. “We were talking back and forth,” he said.
For Willmar Stingers pitcher Steven Brault, professional baseball was always the goal. But the 6-foot-1 lefthander didn’t receive any interest as a senior at Grossmont High School in El Cajon, Calif. Brault wound up attending NCAA Division II Regis University in Denver and immediately stood out as a hitter. He hit .369 as a freshman and was named Freshman of the Year in the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference.
ROCHESTER — Steven Brault set a club record with 13 strikeouts and the Willmar Stingers topped the Rochester Honkers 3-2 on Tuesday at Mayo Field. Brault didn’t walk a batter and completed 6 2/3 innings. “He was throwing fastballs early in the zone and his slider,” Stingers’ manager Matt Hollod said. “When his slider is on it’s tough to hit.” Brault broke his own team mark of 10 strikeouts in a game, a record that he shared with Scott Lieser.
ROCHESTER — T.J. Whidby pitched seven strong innings and the Willmar Stingers snapped a three-game losing streak, beating the Rochester Honkers 5-1 on Monday. The Stingers are now 3-3 in the Northwoods League North Division. They play 7:05 p.m.
WILLMAR — Two wild pitches and a couple of costly errors sank the Willmar Stingers in their first loss of the season, 2-1, to the Waterloo Bucks on Friday at Bill Taunton Stadium. The Stingers fell to 2-1 in the Northwoods League North Division. They hit the road today and will face the Border Cats at 5:05 p.m.