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Northwoods League: Stingers dominate in their home finale

Willmar beats the Mankato MoonDogs 14-3 in the last game of the season at Bill Taunton Stadium

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Willmar infielder Jayson Newman slides home safely during the Stingers' home finale against Mankato on Wednesday from Bill Taunton Stadium in Willmar. Patrick Bernadeau / West Central Tribune

WILLMAR — In their last home game of the summer, the Willmar Stingers made sure the fans at Bill Taunton Stadium were treated to one final show in 2020.

Clubbing 19 base hits, the Stingers had no trouble against Mankato during a 14-3 win Wednesday.

Willmar’s offensive outburst comes one night after smashing 20 hits in a 17-2 road victory over the Moondogs.

Batting around in the first two innings, the Stingers (21-20) scored five runs in each frame. The team produced five of its seven extra-base hits during the stretch.

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Willmar infielder Brooks Lee returns to the dugout with a bat in hand and receives congratulations after scoring a run during the Stingers' home finale against Mankato on Wednesday from Bill Taunton Stadium in Willmar. Patrick Bernadeau / West Central Tribune

Six players had multi-hit performances. Cesar Lopez and Hunter Ranweiler each went 4-for-6 with a double and two RBI. Hitting a couple of doubles, Kyle Manzardo had three hits. Griffin Cheney, Jayson Newman and Brooks Lee added two base knocks.

Cheney walked three times. Lee hammered a solo home run to lead off the third.

Collecting his fourth win of the summer, John Bezdicek tossed six innings, allowing three runs on eight hits and two walks with seven strikeouts. The left-hander from Southwest Minnesota State finished the season with a 44-9 strikeout-to-walk ratio.

All of Mankato’s runs came via the long ball. Michael Curialle had a pair of home runs. Mitchell Massino added a solo shot.

Willmar plays its season finale at 7:05 p.m. Thursday at St. Cloud’s Joe Faber Field. Standing atop the Minnesota-Iowa Pod by a half-game over the Waterloo Bucks, the Rox will look to seal the division championship. As Willmar looks to play spoiler, the Bucks host Mankato on Thursday.

Willmar 14,
Mankato 3

Mankato 101 001 000- 3 9 3
Willmar 551 300 00x-14 19 1
Hitting - Mankato: Michael Curialle 3-5 hr-2 r-2 rbi-2, Patrick Timmer 1-4 bb, Adam LaRock 0-3 bb-2 sb, Drew Stahl 2-5 2b sb, Tommy Beres 1-3 bb, Mitchell Massino 2-3 hr r rbi bb … Willmar: Griffin Cheney 2-3 bb-3 r-3, Brooks Lee 2-6 hr 2b rbi-2 r-2, Kyle Manzardo 3-6 2b-2 rbi-3 r-3, Jayson Newman 2-5 2b bb rbi-3 r, Cesar Lopez 4-6 2b rbi-2 r-2, Jake Meyer 1-5 r, Brennan McKenzie 1-5 rbi, Hunter Ranweiler 4-5 2b rbi-2 r, Drey Dirksen 0-5 rbi
Pitching (ip-h-r-er-bb-so) - Mankato: Christian Johnson (L, 1-2) 1-5-5-5-0-2, Conner Campbell 1-8-6-5-1-0, Thomas Bruss 2-3-3-3-1-4, Andre Granillo 4-3-0-0-2-9 … Willmar: John Bezdicek (W, 4-1) 6-8-3-3-1-11, Teddy Broxterman 2-1-0-0-2-3, Ben Borrman 1-0-0-0-1-1

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Willmar starting pitcher John Bezdicek fires to the plate during the Stingers' home finale against Mankato on Wednesday from Bill Taunton Stadium in Willmar. Patrick Bernadeau / West Central Tribune

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