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NWL Baseball: Stingers shine at Showcase

Seven Willmar Stingers displayed their skills at the Northwoods League Major League Dreams Showcase Tuesday night in Madison, Wisconsin.

The event featured four teams consisting of players selected by Major League Baseball scouts. All players participated in workouts with the scouts prior to a doubleheader Tuesday night. Game one didn't have any Stingers involved and finished to a 5-5 tie. Five of the Stingers played for the visiting team in game two, joining players from the Wisconsin Woodchucks, Kenosha Kingfish, Kalamazoo Growlers, Rockford Rivets and Green Bay Bullfrogs, while pitchers Alex Reyes and Nick Mears pitched for the home team. The home team, consisting primarily of players from the Fond du Lac Dock Spiders, Kenosha Kingfish, Lakeshore Chinooks and Madison Mallards, earned a 13-7 win.

Mears, a recent addition to the Stingers squad, pitched a perfect sixth inning and struck out two in the process. Reyes followed him in the seventh but didn't have the same success. He was tagged for three earned runs off three hits and a walk in one inning.

First baseman Danny Rodriguez led the charge offensively for the visiting team with a 2-for-5 performance that featured an RBI single in the seventh inning. Centerfielder Marcus Still also recorded a hit as part of a 1-for-4 performance. Shortstop Josh Bissonette went 0-for-4.

Right-hander Gus Varland earned the nod as the starter for the home team and finished after a scoreless first inning with one hit allowed and a strikeout. Fellow Stinger Nick Lackney also made his way into the game and pitched a perfect eighth inning with one strikeout.

The Stingers will get back to their playoff race at 6:35 p.m. to take on the Bucks in Waterloo.