The Willmar Stingers didn’t need to do much laying bat on ball to get a 3-2 win over Mankato on Monday at Bill Taunton Stadium.
After the Stingers surrendered a two-run lead in the top of the ninth, they brought around the winning run in the bottom of the inning on a walk, a single, an intentional walk and a third, decidedly unintentional bases-loaded walk to end the game.
The Stingers delivered a tough blow to the MoonDogs who are trying to track down first-place St. Cloud in the Great Plains West second-half race. Mankato entered the night 2-1/2 games back of the Rox, and Waterloo dealt St. Cloud a 9-1 defeat on Monday.
The Stingers and MoonDogs play the second game of their two-game set at 7:05 p.m. Tuesday at Taunton.
On Monday, the Stingers scored a run in the second when Riley Johnson was hit by a pitch, Tyler Bosetti singled and Daniel Walsh followed with a run-scoring single.
Willmar added a second run in the fifth when Walsh singled, moved up on a wild pitch and scored on Kaden Fowler’s single.
But Mankato rallied with two runs in the ninth to tie the game, setting up the fateful bottom of the ninth.
Willmar’s Johnson drew a lead-off walk and Chase Stanke singled. Both moved up a base on an error, and Bosetti was intentionally walked with first base open. Walsh took a 3-1 pitch to force home Johnson with the game-winner.
Walsh had three hits and the two RBIs. Starter Polo Portela worked six innings of one-hit ball, allowing just one walk and striking out five. Luke DeGrammont and Christopher Peres both pitched an inning of scoreless relief.
Mankato 000 000 001-2 4 2
Willmar 010 010 001-3 9 0
Hitting - Mankato: Adan Fernandez 2-4 r, Tyler Casagrande 1-3 rbi … Willmar: Branden Boissiere 1-4, Brennan McKenzie 1-4, Riley Johnson 0-2 r-2 bb, Chase Stanke 2-3, Tyler Bosetti 1-3, Daniel Walsh 3-3 rbi-2 r bb, Kaden Fowler 1-3 rbi
Pitching (ip-h-r-er-bb-so) - Mankato: Tyler Lesley 7-8-2-2-0-4, Connor Campbell 1-0-0-0-0-0, Fabigan Muniz (L) 0-1-1-1-2-0 … Willmar: Polo Portela 6-1-0-0-1-5. Luke DeGrammont 1-0-0-0-1-1, Christopher Peres 1-1-0-0-0-0, Aldo Fernandez (W) 1-2-2-2-0-1
Three Stingers in
Three Willmar Stingers players will compete in the 2019 Northwoods League Major League Dreams Showcase on Aug. 6 at Warner Park in Madison, Wis.
Stingers catcher Chase Stanke, first baseman Justin King and lefty starter John Bezdicek will play for the visiting team in a 4:05 p.m. game. Stanke is a University of Minnesota freshman, King is a University of Alabama junior, and Bezdicek is a sophomore at Southwest State Minnesota State.
In addition, Joey Stock, a St. Cloud Rox pitcher from St. John’s University, will play for the home team in the 4:05 p.m. game.
Four 19-player teams comprised of players from the NWL’s Great Plains and Great Lakes divisions play games at 4:05 p.m. and 7:35 p.m.
The Showcase also includes a day of workouts before the games in front of Major League Baseball scouts, which choose the players on the four team rosters.