MANKATO — The Willmar Stingers picked up where they left off on Saturday, as a serious contender for the Northwoods League Minnesota-Iowa Pod title.

After three scheduled days off, Willmar beat the Mankato MoonDogs 5-1 Wednesday before 321 fans at Franklin Rogers Field.

D.J. Wilkinson and Tanner Brown combined to toss a four-hitter, with Brown going the final five without allowing a hit or run and picking up the victory. Brown, a junior left-hander at Augustana University, struck out seven.

Willmar got RBI hits from Kyle Manzardo, Chase Stanke, Ryan Johnson and Harrison Schnurbusch.

Dylan Phillips, a sophomore from Kansas State, smacked his fifth home run in 16 games for the MoonDogs.

The Stingers (15-8) are one-half game behind the Waterloo Bucks (16-8) in the standings. Waterloo was idle Wednesday.

Mankato (10-14) and Willmar resume their series at 7:05 p.m. Thursday at the Stingers’ Bill Taunton Stadium.

Deylen Miley (1-2, 4.05) is scheduled to throw for the MoonDogs. Jack Zigan (1-0, 3.86) is Willmar’s projected starter. Miley is senior right-hander from Bellamine University. Zigan is a redshirt sophomore right-hander for Minnesota State-Mankato and from Eden Prairie.

Willmar 5,

Mankato 1

Willmar 210 200 000-5 8 0
Mankato 010 000 000-1 4 0
Hitting - Willmar: Griffin Cheney 1-5 r sb, Kyle Manzardo 1-4 r rbi, Jayson Newman 1-3 hbp, Chase Stanke 1-3 r rbi bb, Brooks Lee 1-4 r, Jaxon Hallmark 1-3 r bb, Ryan Johnson 1-3 rbi, Harrison Schnurbusch 1-3 rbi bb … Mankato: Jake Thompson 1-3 bb, Dylan Phillips 1-3 r rbi hr, Danny Borgstrom 1-3, Michael Curialle 1-3 sb.
Pitching (ip-h-r-er-bb-so) - Willmar: D.J. “Wilkinson 4-4-1-1-1-1, Tanner Brown (W, 1-1) 5-0-0-0-0-7 … Mankato: A.J. Wood (L, 0-1) 2-4-3-3-1-3, Christian Johnson 1.2-3-2-2-1-0, Jakob Meyer 3.1-0-0-0-3, Keon Taylor 1-0-0-0-0-0, Nolan Pender 1-0-0-0-1-0