WILLMAR - Eli Wilson delivered a game-winning two-run double in the bottom of the eighth inning as the Willmar Stingers kicked off a crucial four-game series with the North Division-leading La Crosse Loggers with a 5-4 win at Bill Taunton Stadium.
The Stingers (9-4) entered the game third in the standings, trailing the Loggers (11-3) by 2.5 games and the visitors came out looking like the league's best with a 3-0 lead through five innings. Stinger starter Louie Varland came short of finishing the fifth inning and ran into trouble before Bryant Claunch came into the game to put out the fire.
La Crosse starter Ryan Anderson looked every bit as good as former Loggers Chris Sale and Max Scherzer, both of whom started in Tuesday night's MLB All-Star Game for the American League and National League, respectively. Anderson struck out four batters while tossing six scoreless innings. The game unraveled for the Loggers in the seventh inning, however, when Anderson was relieved by Jon Meyerring.
The Stingers jumped on Meyerring, scoring three runs in the seventh inning, with a sacrifice fly by John Trousdale and a two-run triple by Caleb Ricca. Meyerring was tagged with all three runs in just one-third of an inning.
La Crosse took the momentary lead in the eighth inning with a Mike Rothenberg RBI double as part of his 3-for-4 day at the plate, but that set the scene for Wilson's heroics.
The Stingers now sit tied with Duluth in the standings at just 1.5 games back of the Loggers in the North Division. Game two of the four-game set is scheduled for 7:05 p.m. Wednesday at Bill Taunton Stadium.
Willmar 5, La Crosse 4
La Crosse 000 120 010-4 8 0
Willmar 000 000 320-5 9 2
Hitting - La Crosse: Mike Rothenberg 3-4 2b rbi-2... Willmar: Tyler Reichenborn 2-4 r, Nic Hernandez 1-4 r, Richie Garcia 2-3 r, John Trousdale 0-1 rbi, Caleb Ricca 1-3 3b rbi-2, Jaxon Hallmark 0-0 r, Eli Wilson 2-4 2b rbi-2 r, Davis Elliot 1-3
Pitching (ip-h-r-er-bb-so) - La Crosse: Ryan Anderson 6-3-0-0-1-4, Jon Meyerring 0.1-3-3-3-1-0, Stephen Knapp (L) 1.2-3-2-2-0-0 ... Willmar: Louie Varland 4.2-4-3-2-2-6, Bryant Claunch 2.1-2-0-0-1-2, Noah Fluman 0.1-2-1-1-0-0, Ben Mora (W) 0.2-0-0-0-1-0, Jayson Newman (Sv) 1-0-0-0-0-1
Severson cards ace
Shannon Severson recorded a hole-in-one on Sunday at Valley Golf.
Severson, of Willmar, aced the 190-yard No. 7 hole with a 4-iron.
New London-Spicer Football Camps are July and early August.
No registration is required for the grades 9-12 camps on July 23-24 from 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m.
Registration is required for the following camps: Grades 3-4 from 8:30 a.m. to 9:30 a.m. on July 30-31; grades 5-6 from 9:30 a.m. to 11 a.m. on July 30-31 and Aug. 1; and grades 7-8 camp from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. on July 30-31 and Aug. 1.
Register at www.nlscommunityed.com.
ACGC's varsity softball field will get new dugouts thanks in part to funding from the Minnesota Twins Community Fund's Fields for Kids grant.
The program provides support to improve baseball and softball facilities for youth in the Upper Midwest and Southwest Florida.
The program provides matching grants to nonprofit organizations and local governments that operate baseball and softball programs.
ACGC will receive at matching grant of $5,000 for the dugouts, which will be complete on Oct. 31.