NWL Baseball: Stingers blast Cats in home-opener
WILLMAR -- After being shutout in their first game of the season Wednesday at Duluth, the Willmar Stingers made up for lost time Thursday night clubbing the Thunder Bay Border Cats 19-6 at Bill Taunton Stadium.
WILLMAR - After being shutout in their first game of the season Wednesday at Duluth, the Willmar Stingers made up for lost time Thursday night clubbing the Thunder Bay Border Cats 19-6 at Bill Taunton Stadium.
Justin Thaxton and Kyle Gilbert homered, Lucas Tancas hit a grand slam and the Stingers piled on 19 hits and walked 11 times.
“That was fun,” Stingers’ manager Drew Saberhagen said. “The wind was blowing out but the three homers were hit pretty well regardless. Thaxton put a good swing on the ball, Tancas’ got out in a hurry and Kyle Gilbert has really impressed me - he might have a chance to hit a few out and he’s good behind the plate.”
The Stingers scored at least one run in six different innings, and notched a six-run fourth and a five-run seventh.
Thaxton got things going in the first with a two-out solo shot to dead centerfield coming on an 0-2 pitch from Thunder Bay’s Anthony Morris.
Ky Parrott had an RBI single in the inning to put the Stingers up 2-0 and from there it snowballed on Morris and Thunder Bay reliever Julian Loret de Mola.
The Stingers added one in the second and two in the third, including a home run from Gilbert, and batted 11 men in the fourth to take an 11-0 lead.
They knocked six hits in the inning, two from Paul Funk, and drew three walks.
Five more scored in the seventh on a bases-loaded walk to Gilbert and a Tancas grand slam.
No. 9 batter Funk had four hits, and Tancas was 3-for-6 with six RBIs. Gilbert scored five runs, and Ky Parrott was 2-for-4 with four runs scored.
But all the scoring was just overkill as Stingers’ starter Will Lydon was in control from the beginning. He struck out the first batter of the game and only allowed two hits in his five innings of work.
“He was throwing 93 mph at the knees,” Saberhagen said. “That’s going to get a lot of good hitters out. He didn’t walk anybody and both hits he gave up weren’t hit very hard. He did a good job attacking early, had a good slider and mixed in a couple changeups.”
Jon Ludwig, Tyus Adkins, Jason Ortiz and Ruger Rodriguez finished up, combining for four innings and six runs allowed.