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Stingers split with Eau Claire

EAU CLAIRE, Wis. - Willmar remains a half-game out of first place in the Northwoods League North Division lead after splitting a doubleheader against Eau Claire on Monday.

In the nightcap, the Express capitalized on the Stingers' erratic pitching with a four-run sixth inning en route to a 5-2 win. Tied at 1-1, Nick Brueser broke the tie in Eau Claire's favor after scoring on a passed ball. David LaManna also scored on a passed ball before Adam LaRock cracked a two-out double that brought home Ryan Bishop and Drew Hmielewski. LaRock's double was the Express' first hit of the game.

The Stingers' brought in runs with a Davis Elliot solo home run in the bottom of the fourth inning, followed by Eric Yang adding a run in the bottom of the seventh.

Relief pitcher Trevor Olson got the victory after holding Willmar to one hit, one walk and one run over 3-1/3 innings. Stingers starter Jonathan McKinney was hit with the loss after not allowing a hit over five innings. He surrendered three runs (two earned) on seven walks with nine strikeouts.

The Stingers have Tuesday off before returning to Eau Claire for a 6:35 p.m. game on Wednesday.

Eau Claire 5, Willmar 2

Eau Claire 100 004 0-5 2 0

Willmar 000 100 1-2 3 2

Hitting - Eau Claire: Spencer Myers 0-3 r, Adam LaRock 1-2 2b rbi-2, Nick Brueser 0-1 r, David LaManna 0-2 r rbi, Ryan Bishop 1-3 r, Drew Hmielewski 0-2 r ... Willmar: Joey Ortiz 0-4 rbi, Nic Hernandez 1-4 2b, Davis Elliot 1-2 hr r rbi, Eric Yang 1-1 r.

Pitching (ip-h-r-er-bb-so) - Eau Claire: Josh Gaworski 3.2-2-1-1-5-1, Trevor Olson (W) 3.1-1-1-1-1-1 ... Willmar: Jonathan McKinney (L) 5-0-2-2-7-9, Ben Mora 0.1-0-2-1-3-1, Jayson Newman 1.1-1-0-0-0-2, Michael Bohlke 0.1-1-0-0-0-0.

Willmar 8, Eau Claire 2

Willmar kicked off game one of a doubleheader with a Tyler Reichenborn home run on the way to a big win against Eau Claire.

John Trousdale added three hits and a stolen base and the Stingers outhit the Express 11-3.

Corey Binger earned the win, going six innings in the seven-inning ball game. He struck out seven and allowed just three hits with two runs allowed.

Eau Claire's Nick Brueser hit a solo home run in the fourth inning but that was the last time the Express crossed home plate.

Shea Kramer and Jayson Newman each added a pair of hits and Eli Wilson scored twice and doubled.

Willmar 104 300 0-8 11 1

Eau Claire 001 100 0-2 3 3

Hitting - Willmar: Tyler Reichenborn 1-5 hr rbi r, Eli Wilson 1-3 2b r-2, Jayson Newman 2-4 r, John Trousdale 3-3 sb rbi r, Davis Elliot 1-4 r, Jaxon Hallmark 0-2 rbi r, Shea Kramer 2-3 rbi r, Sebastian Samuels 1-3 ... Eau Claire: Nick Brueser 1-3 hr rbi r

Pitching (ip-h-r-er-bb-so) - Willmar: Corey Binger (W) 6-3-2-2-4-7, M Cartwright 1-0-0-0-0-1 ... Home: Manny Castellano (L) 3-8-5-4-1-2, Tyler Strzelczyk 4-3-3-2-1-2