ST. CLOUD — The Willmar Stingers dropped to second place in the Minnesota-Iowa pod after falling 7-5 to St. Cloud on Friday from Joe Faber Field.
Willmar produced the tying runs in the top of the ninth inning, but came up empty.
Jayson Newman and Chase Stanke each walked to lead off the frame. However, Brooks Lee, who went hitless for the first time in 20 games this summer, flew out to left field. After reaching on a fielder’s choice, Deylan Pigford stole second base to put both runners in scoring position. However, Ryan Johnson flew out to left for the game’s final out.
Brandon White earned the victory. Blake Stelzer picked up the save for the Rox, who moved to within two games of Willmar in the standings.
Entering the day tied with the Stingers with a 16-8 record, Waterloo regained first place by defeating Mankato 8-2 at home.
Trailing 2-1, the Rox pulled away with a five-run third. Following a RBI single from Jack Kelly and a RBI double from Garett Delano, Nate Rombach punctuated the frame with a three-run home run off reliever Wyatt Thompson, who was saddled with the loss.
Willmar closed their deficit to 6-5 after Newman clubbed a RBI double to score Tyler Wilber in the fifth, and Wilber delivered a two-run single in the sixth.
Wilber finished 2-for-4 with three RBI and a run to lead the Stingers. Harrison Schnurbusch added two hits for the visitors.
Willmar and St. Cloud play at 6:05 p.m. Saturday at Faber.