WILLMAR — A couple of big innings with crooked numbers helped the Willmar Stingers to a Northwoods League victory Thursday night.

Willmar beat Mankato 8-4 before an announced attendance of 800 fans at Bill Taunton Stadium.

The Stingers scored three in the second and four in the fifth to beat the MoonDogs and maintain their grasp on first place in the Great Plains West Division.

Willmar (8-3) is one game up on the Bismarck Larks (7-4). Mankato is 6-5.

Having big games for the Stingers on Thursday were Tyler Small and Carter Hall.

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Small, a junior shortstop from Dallas Baptist University, went 3-for-4 with four RBI. He’s batting .524 (11 of 21) in six games with Willmar, having driven in seven runs and two stolen bases.

Howell, a redshirt junior center fielder from Augustana, went 2-for-4 with a double, a walk and two RBI. Howell is batting .316 (12 of 38) with two doubles, a triple, three homers, six RBI and nine stolen bases.

Dennis Boatman, a redshirt freshman right-hander from Sacramento City College, started and won. He went six innings, striking out eight and walking three. He’s now 2-0 with a 1.80 earned-run average.

Jacob Webb got the final out on a strikeout to pick up the save for Willmar. He’s a senior right-hander from Miami of Ohio. He has three saves and seven strikeouts in 3-1/3 innings with a 0.00 ERA.

The two teams play at 6:35 p.m. Friday at ISG Field in Mankato.

Willmar 8, Mankato 4

Mankato 011 000 200-4 9 2
Willmar 030 140 00x-8 9 0
Hitting - Mankato: Adrian Torres 3-5 r 2b hr rbi, Kole Kaler1-5 2b bb, Jack Costello 1-5, Alex Baeza 0-3 bb-2, Cole Andavolgyi 3-4 r-2, Josh Urps 0-2 r bb-2 … Willmar: Carter Howell 2-4 2b rbi-2 bb, Tyler Small 3-4 rbi-4, Reid Homan 1-5, Daniel Walsh 1-4 r-2 bb, Daniel Sayre 0-3 r-2 bb, Jakob Newton 1-3 rbi sf, Jack Hanson 0-3 r bb, Brady Counsell 1-2 r-3 rbi-2 bb-2

Pitching (ip-h-r-er-bb-so) - Mankato: Owen Boerema (L 1-1) 4 1/3-8-6-6-4-4, Bryce Novak ⅔-2-2-2-2-0, Thomas Bruss 2-1-0-0-0-2, Caleb Heuertz 1-0-0-0-0-0 … Willmar: Dennis Boatman (W 2-0) 6-4-4-2-3-8, Colton Hamman 2⅔-4-0-0-2-4, Jacob Webb (Sv-3) 1/3-0-0-0-0-1