Northwoods League: Willmar gets a 'W' against St. Cloud
Stingers use hot start to beat division-leading Rox 10-6
ST. CLOUD — After losing the last three against St. Cloud, the Willmar Stingers snapped their skid against the Rox.
Willmar built an 8-1 lead after four innings, leading to a 10-6 win Thursday in front of 1,323 fans at Joe Faber Field.
The Stingers opened with a four-run top of the first inning.
Drey Dirksen, the Willmar High School grad and Augustana sophomore, hit a two-run home run to left field. Dirksen is hitting .371 this summer with four home runs, 20 RBIs and 18 runs. He also pitched in relief on Thursday, getting an out in the seventh.
Willmar benefited from the long ball again in the first with a two-run shot by Jakob Christian.
Four more Stinger runs came in the top of the fourth. Will Busch hit an RBI single, then Josh Fitzgerald hit a two-out bases-clearing triple. A redshirt sophomore from Dallas Baptist University, Fitzgerald was 2-for-4 with four RBIs.
Sam Malec improved his record to 3-1 after tossing 6-2/3 innings. The University of Minnesota freshman by way of Woodbury struck out six with two walks surrendered. He has a 3.23 ERA with 26 strikeouts in five appearances this season.
Dylan Matela, a redshirt sophomore from Georgia State, tossed two scoreless innings to earn the save.
The Stingers are 2-3 against the Rox. The two teams wrap up their home-and-home series at 7:05 p.m. Friday at Bill Taunton Stadium.
Willmar 10, St. Cloud 6
Willmar 400 401 001-10 11 3
St. Cloud 010 002 300-6 12 1
Hitting - Wilmar: Josh Fitzgerald 2-4 3b r rbi-4 sf, Drey Dirksen 2-4 hr r rbi-2, Zac Corbin 2-5 2b hr r-2 rbi, Jakob Christian 1-4 hr r-2 rbi-2 bb, Aidan Byrne 1-3 r bb, Will Busch 2-4 r rbi, JT Navyac 1-3 r bb, Brett Bateman 0-3 r bb-2 … St. Cloud: John Nett 2-5 r, Trevor Austin 1-5 r, Charlie Condon 1-5, Josh Cowden 2-4 r rbi-2 bb, Brady Prewit 1-5 r, Ethan Mann 3-3 2b r-2 rbi-2 bb, Ryan Jackson 1-4 2b rbi-2, O’Neill Burgos 1-4
Pitching (ip-h-r-er-bb-so) - Willmar: Sam Malec (W, 3-1) 6.2-10-6-1-2-6, Dirksen 0.1-2-0-0-0-1, Dylan Matela (Sv, 2) 2-0-0-0-1-2 … St. Cloud: Kaden Krowka (L, 1-1) 3.1-7-8-8-3-2, Derek Lilledahl 2-2-1-1-0-2, Aiden Adams 1.2-1-0-0-3-0, Rafael Acosta 2-1-1-1-0-4