WILLMAR — The Willmar Stingers got back on the winning track Friday.

Building a 5-0 lead through two innings, Willmar held off a comeback from the Rochester Honkers to secure a 6-4 Northwoods League victory Friday in front of an announced crowd of 879 at Bill Taunton Stadium.

With the victory, the Stingers (12-14) ended a four-game losing streak.

Willmar opened the game with three runs in the first inning. With the bases loaded and one out, T.J. Curd belted a single to right field that scored Daniel Sayre. Looking to get to second, Curd got caught in a rundown, which allowed Jakob Newton to reach home. Tanner Tweedt tacked on another run after a two-out single by Daniel Walsh.

Sayre and Newton came home again in the second after a two-out double by William Hamiter. Then Curd drove in another run in the fifth with an RBI double, putting the Stingers’ lead to 6-1.

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Willmar first baseman T.J. Curd snags a pop fly for an out during a Northwoods League game against Rochester on Friday, June 25, 2021 at Bill Taunton Stadium in Willmar. 

Joe Brown / West Central Tribune
Willmar first baseman T.J. Curd snags a pop fly for an out during a Northwoods League game against Rochester on Friday, June 25, 2021 at Bill Taunton Stadium in Willmar. Joe Brown / West Central Tribune

Rochester (9-13) mounted a late comeback. Jack Colette crossed home plate after a wild pitch in the seventh. Then, Mac Horvath cut the deficit to two with a two-run home run in the top of the eighth.

The Honkers opened the ninth with a leadoff single by Miguel Ortiz. But that’s as far as he got as Jacob Webb, a senior from Miami University (Ohio), coaxed three straight outs for his sixth save of the season.

Northwest Nazarene University (Idaho) senior Sasha Jabusch got his first win of the season, striking out two over 6⅔ innings for the Stingers. Curd, a redshirt freshman from the University of Arizona, led Willmar by going 3-for-4 with three RBIs.

The Stingers have a home-and-away series this weekend with the St. Cloud Rox. On Saturday, the two teams play at Bill Taunton Stadium, with first pitch at 7:05 p.m. On Sunday, the Stingers and Rox square off at 4:05 p.m. at Joe Faber Field in St. Cloud.

Willmar second baseman Brady Counsell (6) looks in a throw from third baseman Daniel Walsh for an out in the first inning of a Northwoods League game against Rochester on Friday, June 25, 2021 at Bill Taunton Stadium in Willmar. 

Joe Brown / West Central Tribune
Willmar second baseman Brady Counsell (6) looks in a throw from third baseman Daniel Walsh for an out in the first inning of a Northwoods League game against Rochester on Friday, June 25, 2021 at Bill Taunton Stadium in Willmar. Joe Brown / West Central Tribune

Willmar 6,

Rochester 4

Rochester 001 000 120-4 11 2
Willmar 320 010 000-6 10 3
Hitting - Rochester: Alex Pimentel 3-5, Zack Raabe 1-3 r rbi sf, Mac Horvath 2-4 hr r rbi-2, Jack Colette 1-4 r, Miguel Ortiz 2-4, Jackson Forbes 2-4, Mike Bolton Jr. 0-3 r … Willmar: Daniel Sayre 1-4 r-2, Jakob Newton 2-3 2b r-2, William Hamiter 2-4 2b r rbi-2, T.J. Curd 3-4 rbi-3, Daniel Walsh 1-4 rbi, Brady Counsell 1-3, Tanner Tweedt 0-2 r bb-2

Pitching (ip-h-r-er-bb-so) - Rochester: Marcus Krupke (L, 0-3) 5-9-6-6-2-0, Keith Walker 3-1-0-0-0-4 … Willmar: Sasha Jabusch (W, 1-1) 6⅔-8-2-2-1-2, Kenten Egbert 1 1/3-2-2-2-0-1, Jacob Webb (Sv, 6) 1-1-0-0-0-2