Northwoods League: Willmar Stingers strike in the seventh
Willmar pulls away late for 13-6 win over Rochester
WILLMAR — The Willmar Stingers broke a tie in a big way in the bottom of the eighth inning.
Tied 6-6 through seven innings with the Rochester Honkers Monday at Bill Taunton Stadium, the Stingers put up seven runs on six hits in the eighth.
Willmar won its fourth straight game with a 13-6 victory. Now at 12-3, the Stingers have a two-game lead over the St. Cloud Rox in the Great Plains West second-half standings.
The announced crowd of 1,100 saw the scoring barrage begin with two-run doubles by Zach Corbin and Aidan Byrne. Scott Anderson followed up with a two-out RBI single.
Josh Fitzgerald wrapped up the eighth with his first home run of the season on a two-run shot. Fitzgerald, a redshirt sophomore from Dallas Baptist University, is hitting .250 with 12 RBIs and 16 runs in 27 games.
Joey Walls had a Stinger-best four hits, finishing 4-for-5 with a double and three runs. Along with Fitzgerald, Corbin, Byrne and Drey Dirksen each had two RBIs.
Alex Pimentel, a sophomore from California State-Long Beach, was 3-for-4 for the Honkers, including a two-run homer in the seventh. Theo Hardy also went deep for Rochester with a two-run homer in the sixth. He finished 2-for-5.
Willmar and Rochester combined for 23 hits in the game.
Jack Habeck opened the game on the mound for the Stingers. He struck out four, allowing four runs on eight hits and three walks over six innings in a no-decision. Reliever John Klein got the win after striking out two and giving up one hit in two scoreless frames. A redshirt freshman from Minnesota State-Mankato by way of Brooklyn Park, Klein is 2-4 with a 3.48 ERA over 31 innings this season.
The Stingers and Honkers play again at 7:05 p.m. Tuesday back at Bill Taunton Stadium. Willmar High School grad and North Dakota State freshman Andrew Baumgart is scheduled to start for Willmar.
Willmar 13, Rochester 6
Rochester 010 102 200-6 11 2
Willmar 101 021 17x-13 12 1
Hitting - Rochester: Theo Hardy 2-5 hr 2b r rbi-2, Carson Stevens 1-4 bb, Dario Gomez 1-4 2b hrp sb, Alex Pimentel 3-4 hr r-3 rbi-2 bb sb, Zachary Meddings 1-4 sb, Joe Longo 3-4 r rbi-2, Nico Regino 0-3 r bb-2 … Willmar: Christian Dicochea 1-3 r-2 rbi bb hbp, Zac Corbin 1-4 2b r rbi-2 hbp, Joey Walls 4-5 2b r-3 sb-2, Aidan Byrne 2-4 2b r-2 rbi-2 bb sb, Drey Dirksen 1-5 2b rbi-2, Josh Fitzgerald 1-3 hr r-2 rbi-2 bb hbp sb, Brett Bateman 1-4 r bb sb, Scott Anderson 1-1 rbi, Will Hodo 0-3 r rbi bb hbp, Dalton Pearson 0-0 r
Pitching (ip-h-r-er-bb-so) - Rochester: Andrew Duran 5-4-4-3-3-1, Kevin Dowdell 1-1-1-1-2-0, Max Meyer 1-1-1-1-0-2, Tim Sabo (L, 0-2) 0.1-4-5-5-0-0, Jack Maruskin 0.2-2-2-2-0-1 … Willmar: Jack Habeck 6-8-4-4-3-4, Joe Ihli 1-2-2-2-1-2, John Klein (W, 2-4) 2-1-0-0-0-2