Tom Larson is the sports editor of the West Central Tribune.
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Sometimes even a baseball team that knows it has plenty of talent doesn't realize it can be good. That appears to have been the case for the Willmar VFW I team, which opens the 2016 VFW State Tournament against Hibbing at 11:30 a.m. Thursday in Fergus Falls. Post 1639 had some players who saw varsity action with Willmar's prep team in the spring and others had proven themselves during last year's successful VFW season.
Jimmy Walker said winning the PGA Championship on Sunday for his first career major was a matter of trust, both in himself and in his game
WILLMAR—They might not yet be mistaken for Murderer's Row, but the Willmar Stingers are flexing some serious home run muscle in the second half of the Northwoods League season. Dylan Woods hit a seventh-inning grand slam and the Stingers rocked Thunder Bay 8-0 in a Northwoods League game on Thursday at Bill Taunton Stadium. The Stingers are 6-3 in the NWL second half, a half game behind first-place Eau Clairie. Woods' homer marked the Stingers' ninth-straight game with at least one home run.
WILLMAR—Stormy weather washed out about half of the 90th Minnesota State Junior Boys' Championship opening round on Tuesday at Eagle Creek Golf Club. Play was suspended at about 3 p.m. when thunderstorms moved into the area. Sixty five golfers in the 141-player field either finished their rounds or played through nine holes. Play will resume today at 7 a.m. After the first 18-hole round is completed, the field will be cut and second-round pairings announced. Second-round play begins at about 1 p.m. from both the No. 1 and No. 10 tees.
DULUTH—The Willmar Stingers' biggest offensive inning of the summer came at a very opportune time on Monday afternoon against the Duluth Huskies at Wade Stadium. Trailing 9-4 heading to the top of the seventh, Willmar (17-18) scored a season-high nine runs to overcome its largest deficit of the year and beat Duluth (18-17) 16-12 in the series opener. The Stingers wrap up a two-game set in Duluth at 6:05 p.m. today, then returns home on Wednesday for Bill Taunton Bobblehead night at Taunton Stadium.
WATKINS—Logan Nissen had himself a day against Eden Valley-Watkins Thursday. The recent BOLD grad drove in six runs at the plate and threw a no-hitter, leading the BOLD legion team to an 8-0 win. Despite walking six, Nissen got out of every jam on the mound, striking out 11 in the hitless effort. He then delivered the biggest blow in the second inning, blasting a grand slam to put BOLD up 7-0. Nissen was one of six BOLD players to have multiple hits. Jordan Sagedahl and Luke Ryan had three hits apiece.
SPICER—New London-Spicer proved against Litchfield that quality is better than quantity when it comes to hitting in a 6-4 win on Monday at Green Lake Diamond. Carson Deal opened the game with a double for Litchfield but the remaining eight hits for the team were all singles. NLS, on the other hand, had a pair of extra base hits with a slew of runs batted in. Five different batters knocked in a run for NLS and had six different hitters with hits, spoiling Stan Ridgeway's complete game performance.
Willmar's Colten Carlson and New London-Spicer's Espi Austvold are recipients of the Tribune's 2016 Hengstler-Ranweiler Awards
Meet the 2016 Tribune All-Area Baseball Team
ST. PAUL — Willmar boys athletes set school records in three relays, Nadir Yusuf ran a personal-record in the 3,200 and Sophie Schmitz qualified for today’s 800-meter run final at...