Area baseball roundup: Stingers hire a new manager
Freddy Smith takes over for Al Leyva as Willmar's Northwoods League team gets ready for '22 season
WILLMAR — Welcome Freddy Smith as the new manager of the Willmar Stingers.
The Northwoods League team announced Wednesday that Smith will lead the team for the 2022 season.
Smith has spent the past two seasons as an infield coach/hitting instructor with the Waterloo Bucks. He is currently in his first season as an assistant baseball coach at the University of Hawaii.
Smith replaces Al Leyva, who was the Stingers' manager the past two seasons after being with the franchise for four seasons, including two as a coach.
He'll be the Stingers' seventh manager in the franchise's 12 seasons in Willmar.
"He's made an immediate impact here at the University of Hawaii and is a big reason for our early season success," said Hawaii head coach Rich Hill in a statement released by the team. "Freddy has a great feel for the game has a real gift of connection with the players."
Smith also worked for two seasons at Cal State-Northridge as a director of player developement. He played two seasons with the Matadors after transferring from El Camino College in California.
The Stingers went 32-36 in 2021 and were 22-20 in the pandemic-shortened 2020 season under Leyva.
Waterloo won the Great Plains East Division with an overall 42-25 record last season. Willmar is in the Great Plains West. The Bucks went 2-1 in he playoffs, sweeping Duluth and then losing to the St. Cloud Rox, 6-3.
The Stingers are set to open the 2022 season on May 30 in Rochester, with their home opener set for 6:35 p.m. Wednesday, June 1 at Bill Taunton Stadium against the Eau Claire Express.
Erie (N.Y.) 19, Ridgewater 13
The Ridgewater split a doubleheader late Tuesday, beating Mesabi Range 13-3 in Game 1, then falling 19-13 to Erie Community College of New York in Auburndale, Fla.
Against Erie, left fielder Tyler Traphagen had three hits and second baseman Brad Bickmann went 2-for-3 with a home run, three runs, a walk and two RBI.
Against Mesabi Range, Traphagen homered and had two hits. Catcher Tyler Flis went 3-for-5 with two doubles and four RBI and second baseman Bennett Knapper was 2-for-5 with two runs, two doubles and two RBI.
Ridgewater is scheduled to play Erie CC again on Thursday as well as Genesee Community College of New York in in Auburndale, Fla.
The Warriors (2-2) also have two games scheduled on Friday before returning to Minnesota.
Erie CC 346 402 0-19 17 5
Ridgewater 10(12) 000 0-13 13 6
Hitting - Erie: Adam Rankie 1-5 r-3 rbi-2, Carter Whitehead 1-3 r-4 rbi-2 bb-3 2b, Isaiah Salas 2-5 r-2 rbi-2 2b sf, Greg Hare 4-5 r-4 rbi-5 2b-2 sb, AJ Karosas 2-5 r-2 rbi bb 2b, Christian Cabrera 2-5 r rbi-3 bb hr, Declan Wyman 1-4 bb, Harold Torres 3-4 r-2 bb 2b, Andrew Nantau 1-5 r … Ridgewater: Tyler Traphagen 3-5 r-2 rbi, Brad Bickmann 2-3 r-3 rbi-2 bb hr, Tyler Flis 1-4 r-2 rbi bb, Seth Resnick 0-4 rbi bb, Nolan Spence 2-4 rbi bb, Reece Schwirtz 0-4 r rbi-2, Josh Robb 2-5 r, Jaxon Nickles 0-3 r bb, Jadrien Keavy 2-3 r-2 rbi-2 bb 2b-2, Sam Lenarz 1-1 2b.
Pitching (ip-h-r-er-bb-so) - Erie: Elliot Berger 2-6-5-5-1-2, Ethan Karkowski 0.1-2-7-5-3-2, Jeremy Kozak 0-0-0-0-0-0, Liam McMurray (W) 2.2-3-1-0-2-4, Spencer Harfard 1-1-0-0-0-1, Dylan Moorhouse 1-0-0-0-0-2 … Ridgewater: Bennett Knapper 3-9-13-5-4-2, Ty Schulte (L, 0-1) 2.2-6-6-3-2-3, Jack Howard 1.1-2-0-0-1-1
Ridgewater 13, Mesabi Range 3
Ridgewater 330 101 5-13 13 0
Mesabi Range 100 002 0- 3 8 3
Hitting - Ridgewater: Tyler Traphagen 2-5 r-2 rbi hr, Brad Bickmann 1-3 rbi bb-2 2b, tyler Flis 3-5 rbi-4 2b-2, Seth Resnick 1-3 rbi bb, Bennett Knapper 2-5 r-2 rbi-2 2b-2, Reece Schwirtz 1-3 r rbi bb 3b, Sam Lenarz 1-3 r, Nikolas Girouard 1-4 r rbi, Jadrien Keavy 1-4 r, Colin Ochoo 0-0 r-3, Carter Thelen 0-0 r-2 … Mesabi Range: Gage Kracht 1-2 r, Cole Scahefer 1-4, Dawson Tweeet 1-3 bb, Nicholas Peters 0-1 r bb-2, Max Grundhofer 1-3 r, Emmot Nathan 1-2, Alex Fijal 1-3Cole Meyer 2-2 bb
Pitching (ip-h-r-er-bb-so) - Ridgewater: Bickmann (W, 1-0) 6-5-3-3-5-7, Josh Robb 1-2-0-0-0-0 … Mesabi Range: Thomas Nemanich Jr. (L, 0-2) 2-6-6-3-1-0, Mason Carlson 4-5-6-4-2-1, Joe Berset 1-1-1-1-1-0