If the Willmar Stingers are going to clinch a playoff spot, they will just have to wait for another day.
The Stingers would have clinched at least a Wild Card spot in the Northwoods League playoffs with a win, but the Waterloo Bucks handed the Stingers an 8-3 defeat on Wednesday night at Riverfront Stadium.
The Bucks plated five runs against Willmar starting pitcher Cameron Churchill in the second to take a 5-2 lead, and coasted to victory from there.
Willmar scored two runs in the first inning following a two-out rally. Danny Rodriguez hit an RBI double and Caleb Ledbetter added a run-scoring single two batters later.
Luke Becker notched an RBI single in the sixth, but the Stingers left the bases loaded to end both that inning as well as the seventh.
Stingers pitchers struggled with command, walking 11 Bucks batters while striking out just three.
With Eau Claire and Duluth winning on the evening, Willmar's chances at winning the division decreased significantly. It now sits in third place behind both teams, trailing first-place Eau Claire by two games with four to play.
The Stingers wrap up the regular season with a four-game series in Thunder Bay. The team's magic number to reach the playoffs still stands at two.
Waterloo 8, Willmar 3
Stingers 200 001 000-3 8 0
Bucks 051 000 020-8 11 1
Hitting - Willmar: Luke Becker 1-5 rbi, Dann Rodriguez 3-5 2b rbi r, Josh Bissonette 1-4, Caleb Ledbetter 1-3 rbi, Carter Schmidt 1-3 r, Harrison Schnurbusch 1-3 ... Waterloo: Dalton Hurd 1-4 r-2 rbi, Zach Malis 2-3 2b rbi, Jackson Goplen 1-1 r rbi-2 bb-3
Pitching (ip-h-r-er-bb-so) - Wilmar: Cameron Churchill (L) 1.1-8-5-5-0-, Myles Smith 1.2-3-1-1-1-2, Jacob Mertz 4-0-0-0-6-1, Louie Varland 0-0-2-1-3-0, Matt Klosterman 1-0-0-0-1-0 ... Waterloo: Jared Crescentini (W) 5.1-5-2-2-2-2, Brandon Downey 1-1-1-1-3-1, Matthew Perea 1.1-1-0-0-2-3, Jacob Nelson 1-1-0-0-1-0