Northwoods League: Willmar gets a 'W' against St. Cloud

Stingers use hot start to beat division-leading Rox 10-6

Baseball roundup
We are part of The Trust Project.

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.

Northwoods League

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

More Baseball:
Recent baseball coverage from the West Central Tribune.
JT Navyac tallies four RBIs in 7-6 Willmar win at Eau Claire.
Post 1639 gets six runs in the second inning on its way to a 9-6 victory over Paynesville. Sacred Heart/MACCRAY American Legion beats Redwood Falls 17-6 in six innings.
A day after news broke that Johnson would be leaving to take the pitching coach job at Louisiana State University, Gray went out and pitched the Twins to an 11-1 win with seven scoreless innings
The Twins haven’t yet announced plans to replace him but bullpen coach Pete Maki and run prevention coordinator Colby Suggs are expected to assume bigger roles within the organization
Aidan Elfering strikes out 10 in a complete-game effort for Bullfrogs.
Post 167 wraps up Marshall Wood Bat Tournament with a 2-1 record. New London-Spicer, meanwhile, takes the championship at the Mudhen Classic in Bird Island.
Amateur baseball report for Friday, June 24, 2022, in west central Minnesota. Willmar collects 17 hits in 12-0 Corn Belt road win
LSU sophomore's walk-off single secures Willmar's 4-3 win over the St. Cloud Rox
Manager Rocco Baldelli said Buxton’s movement is still an issue, which kept him out of the lineup on Friday, but said the center fielder is “showing a lot of improvement.
After dominating at D-III, former Litchfield standout is transferring to D-I Kansas State

What to read next
Golfer finishes at 13-under-par to win Championship Flight by 8 strokes.
Tyler Froland goes the distance on the mound in a 5-3 win.
Atwater scores five runs in the sixth inning to earn the road victory.
Chris Isdal of Spicer, Justin Vogel of Brooten and Peter Martin of Willmar win A feature races Thursday in their respective divisions.