Local Roundup: Stingers turn tables, garner win

WILLMAR--For the second consecutive night, the Willmar Stingers saw a 5-1 lead fall by the wayside, but this time around they made sure to come away with a different outcome.

Willmar's Danny Rodriguez singles in the third inning of Friday's game against La Crosse. Jake Schultz / Tribune
Willmar's Danny Rodriguez singles in the third inning of Friday's game against La Crosse. Jake Schultz / Tribune

WILLMAR-For the second consecutive night, the Willmar Stingers saw a 5-1 lead fall by the wayside, but this time around they made sure to come away with a different outcome.

Danny Rodriguez's sacrifice fly in the seventh inning plated Josh Bissonette for the go-ahead run, and the Stingers held on for a 6-5 win over the La Crosse Loggers on Friday night at Bill Taunton Stadium.

Willmar initially took a 2-1 lead in the second inning on an RBI groundout by Nate Sterijevski and one-run single off the bat of Eli Wilson.

That margin increased to 4-1 after Nolan Bumstead drove in Brady Shockey and Bissonette with a double down the left field line in the third inning.

When Shockey raced home on a wild pitch in the fourth inning to claim a 5-1 advantage, it set up a string of activity on the basepaths to come.


Most of that activity came in the top of the fifth inning as the Loggers rallied to tie the game at 5-5. Willmar starting pitcher Nick Lackney battled with his command from the get-go, and after escaping a handful of jams, it came back to bite in the fifth. Two walks, four wild pitches and a dropped third strike combined between the left-hander and reliever Kale Latorre fueled the four-run inning for La Crosse.

Wild pitches were a theme of the game, with nine total between the two teams to go along with one passed ball, but the Stingers were the final ones to benefit-Bissonnette's go-ahead run was courtesy of both a wild pitch and passed ball.

On Thursday night, the Stingers jumped out to a 5-1 lead on division-leading St. Cloud, but gave up eight consecutive runs to the Rox in an eventual 9-5 loss.

Reliever Myles Smith took over starting in the sixth for the Stingers and was lights-out en route to earning his first victory of the season. He held the Loggers hitless for 2-2/3 innings while striking out four and walking one.

Alex Reyes walked a batter to lead off the ninth inning, but recovered to notch the save. Rodriguez, who drove in the winning run, made a diving stop on a grounder to end the game.

With the win, the Stingers improved to .500 on the season at 12-12.

Game MVP: Bissonette had a six-hit night earlier in the week, and, while his performance Friday night wasn't quite as jaw-dropping, it still fueled a Willmar win.

The second baseman from Baylor University laced a double to right-center in the third that would have scored Shockey from first base, but the ball went underneath the chain-link fence for a ground-rule double. But the ball didn't lie and both would score on Bumstead's double just moments later.


Bissonette added singles in the fourth and seventh innings to finish 3-for-4 on the night. In the seventh, he led off the inning with a hit to left field, advanced to second on a passed ball, moved to third on a wild pitch and scored on Rodriguez's sacrifice fly.

On the season, Bissonette is now batting .396.

Turning Point: Lackney worked out of a jam in the second inning that, had he thrown just one more pitch, could have had a major impact on the rest of the game. In the frame, Lackney had already allowed a run and had runners on first and second base with two outs. At 33 pitches already thrown in the inning, Lackney was just two away from reaching the Northwoods League limit for one inning, and would have been required to exit the game after that frame.

On a 3-2 pitch with two outs, Lackney induced a comebacker on the ground, and flipped for the easy out at first base, escaping with a 1-0 lead. By the time he took the mound in the next inning, Willmar led 2-1 and would add some much-needed insurance soon after.

Next Up: The Stingers make their first trip of the season to La Crosse to take on the Loggers once again. First pitch is at 6:05 p.m.

Willmar 6, La Crosse 5

Loggers 010 040 000-5 6 0

Stingers 022 100 10x-6 11 0


Hitting - La Crosse: David Villar 2-5 r, Kennie Taylor 1-2 r, Jake Hirabayashi 2-4 rbi ... Willmar: Brady Shockey 2-5 r-2, Josh Bissonette 3-4 2b r-2, Nolan Bumstead 2-4 2b rbi-2, Danny Rodriguez 1-3 r, Rob Emery 1-3 r, Nate Sterijevski 1-4 2b rbi, Eli Wilson 1-3 rbi

Pitching (ip-h-r-er-bb-so) - La Crosse: Jason Seever 3.2-8-5-5-0-3, Taylor Turner (L) 2.1-3-1-1-0-2, Grant Ford 2-0-0-0-1-2 ... Willmar: Nick Lackney 4-4-4-4-8-0, Kale Latorre 1.1-2-1-1-0-3, Myles Smith (W) 2.2-0-0-0-1-4, Alex Reyes (S) 1-0-0-0-1-1

Legion Baseball

Marshall 2, Willmar 0

Willmar couldn't quite figure out Marshall starting pitcher Mason Penske on Friday night in the Marshall Wood Bat Tournament. Penske threw a three-hit shutout to lead his side to a 2-0 victory.

Caleb Ditmarson and Brady Bauman pitched well for Willmar, allowing only two runs over six innings.

Noah Streed, Garrit Kooistra and Dalton Rambow each had a base hit.

Next up for Willmar are tournament games against Waite Park and Wabasso on Saturday.

Willmar 000 000 0-0 3 1

Marshall 010 010 x-2 7 1

Hitting - Willmar: Noah Streed 1-3, Garrit Kooistra 1-3, Dalton Rambow ... Marshall: Cody Greze 2-4, Mason Penske 2-4 r

Pitching (ip-h-r-er-bb-so) - Willmar: Caleb Dittmarson (L) 5-6-2-2-4-4, Brady Bauman 1-1-0-0-1-0 ... Marshall: Penske (W) 7-3-0-0-0-7

Kerkhoven 7, Benson 5

Kerkhoven's Legion team broke a 4-4 tie in the fifth inning with a pair of runs and went on to defeat Benson 7-5 on Thursday night.

Kerkhoven's Josh Peterson went 2-for-4 with two RBIs while Regan Carlson added two hits and an RBI. Cade Melin had a hit and drove in two runs.

Ryan Torkelson picked up the win, allowing no earned runs over 4-2/3 innings.

Benson's Danny Lenarz had two hits and two RBIs.

Kerkhoven 202 021 0-7 5 4

Benson 002 201 0-5 7 5

Hitting - Kerkhoven: Josh Peterson 2-4 rbi-2, Regan Carlson 2-4 rbi, Cade Melin 1-4 rbi-2 ... Benson: Danny Lenarz 2-3 rbi-2, Ty Hedman 2-3, Matt Goossen 1-2 rbi, Jared Knutson 1-3, Brandon Osterbauer 2-3,

Pitching (ip-h-r-er-bb-so) - Kerkhoven: Ryan Torkelson (W) 4.2-7-4-0-1-3, Brandon Rasmusson (SV) 2.1-0-1-0-1-3 ... Benson: Justin Goossen (L) 5-4-6-1-3-5, Max Benson 2-1-1-1-2-0

Dilworth 4, Sacred Heart/MACCRAY 2

Dilworth scored three runs in the top of the seventh inning to complete a come-from-behind victory over Sacred Heart/MACCRAY Friday evening.

Spencer Wohlman pitched five strong innings for Sacred Heart/MACCRAY but Dilworth used three hits including a double by Ryan Castor to break the game open.

Dilworth 000 010 3-4 8 0

SH/MACCRAY 000 011 0-2 6 2

Hitting - Dilworth: Nathan Lettner 2-3 rbi, Logan Beilke 2-4 2b ... Sacred Heart/MACCRAY: Braden Hoekstra 1-4 rbi, Nic Pieper 1-3 2b, Brett Harguth 2-3 rbi r, Sam Hilbrands 1-3, Colton Swart 1-3 2b

Pitching (ip-h-r-er-bb-so) - Dilworth: Nick Lund (W) 3-5-2-2-2-0, Carter Kohler 4-1-0-0-1-4 ... Sacred Heart/MACCRAY: Spencer Wohlman 5-5-1-0-3-1, Riley Cronen (L) 1.1-2-3-2-1-1, Brett Harguth 0.2-1-0-0-0-0

VFW Baseball

Willmar 5, Champlin Park 0

Willmar's Jayden Dierenfeld was dominant for Post 1639 as he shutout Champlin Park and held them to only three hits in a 5-0 victory in the Blaine Tournament Friday afternoon.

Bryan Weidemann helped provide the offensive support with a 2-for-3 performance at the plate with an RBI and a run scored.

Champlin Park 000 000 0-0 3 2

Willmar 100 022 x-5 5 2

Hitting - Champlin Park: Johnson 1-3, Barver 1-3 ... Willmar: Jayden Dierenfeld 1-3 rbi, Andy Schultz 1-2, AJ Backes 1-1 r, Bryan Weidemann 2-3 rbi r

Pitching (ip-h-r-er-bb-so) - Champlin Park: Lamberty (L) 5-3-3-2-1-3, Barver 1-2-2-2-1-2 ... Willmar: Dierenfeld (W) 7-3-0-0-1-7

East Ridge 3, Willmar 0

A three-run second inning was enough for East Ridge to take the win over Willmar.

Parker pitched a gem for East Ridge, only allowing one hit to Jayden Dierenfeld in his complete game victory.

Bryan Weidemann also had a strong showing for Post 1639 with only four hits allowed.

Willmar earned the No. 3 seed in the pool of six and will take on hosts Blaine at 3:30 p.m. for a chance to play in the semifinals on Sunday.

Willmar 000 000 0-0 1 2

East Ridge 030 000 0-3 4 0

Hitting - Willmar: Jayden Dierenfeld 1-2 ... East Ridge: Trollen 2-3 2b rbi-2

Pitching (ip-h-r-er-bb-so) - Willmar: Bryan Weidemann (L) 6-4-3-3-3-3 ... East Ridge: Parker (W) 7-1-0-0-1-7

Amateur Baseball

Hutchinson 8, Bird Island 0

Hutchinson brought their bats to Bird Island and made good use of them in an 8-0 win where they cranked out 15 hits.

The Huskies also silenced the Bullfrog at the plate with only three hits allowed in the shutout. Logan Nissen grabbed two of those hits including a double for Bird Island. Ben Steffel grabbed the other hit which was also a double.

Marcus Hahn had a field day for the Huskies with a 3-for-5 night that included a double and a home run.

Hutchinson 001 320 110-8 15 0

Bird Island 000 000 000-0 3 2

Hitting - Hutchinson: Mitchell Kurth 2-6 rbi, Jayden Juergensen 3-5 rbi, Marcus Hahn 3-5 2b hr rbi-2 r-2 ... Bird Island: Logan Nissen 2-3 2b, Ben Steffel 1-3 2b

Pitching (ip-h-r-er-bb-so) - Hutchinson: Noah Corrow (W) 5.1-1-0-0-5-3, Matthew Piechowski 3.2-2-0-0-0-4 ... Bird Island: Jesse Bjur (L) 5-9-6-4-3-2, Luke Kramer 4-6-2-2-1-4

Starbuck 8, Paynesville 1

Austin Versteeg struck out 13 batters over eight phenomenal innings and hit a home run at the plate as Starbuck downed Paynesville.

Teammate Mike Kragenbring added a pair of hits and an RBI to Versteeg's three-RBI performance as well.

Starbuck 201 320 000-8 9 0

Paynesville 000 000 100-1 5 2

Hitting - Starbuck: Michael Gruber 1-5 r, Austin Versteeg 2-4 hr rbi-3 r-3, Mike Kragenbring 2-2 rbi, Mike Nielsen 1-3 r... Paynesville: Josh Bungum 1-3, Kyle Schmidt 1-3 r, Spencer Imholte 1-3, Garrett Leusink 1-2

Pitching (ip-h-r-er-bb-so) - Starbuck: Versteeg (W) 8-5-1-1-2-13, Gruber 1-0-0-0-1-0 ... Paynesville: Grant Fuchs (L) 3.2-3-6-6-7-5, Imholte 5.1-6-2-2-1-2

-- Area baseball roundup by Jake Schultz

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