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Only rain can slow hot Stingers

WILLMAR--The only thing that could slow down the Willmar Stingers lately is a rain delay. The Stingers' Kole Cottam double in the bottom of the 11th inning drove in Quincy McAfee with the winning run in a 4-3 victory over Rochester on Thursday at...

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Willmar Stinger shortstop Dylan Woods, left, taps second base after fielding a toss from second baseman Luke Becker, middle, to get Rochester runner Kyle Kasser, right,in the third inning of Thursday's game against the Honkers at Bill Taunton Stadium. Jake Schultz | Tribune.

WILLMAR-The only thing that could slow down the Willmar Stingers lately is a rain delay.

The Stingers' Kole Cottam double in the bottom of the 11th inning drove in Quincy McAfee with the winning run in a 4-3 victory over Rochester on Thursday at Bill Taunton Stadium.

Willmar ran its winning streak to five games and the two-game sweep of the Honkers left the Stingers 2-0 to start the second half of the season.

Heavy rainfall delayed the game in the fourth, causing the game to go late into the night.

In the 11th, McAfee reached on an error and moved to second on Brandon Perez' sacrifice. Cottam followed with his game-winning double to center.

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Before Mother Nature intervened, Danny Mayer tied the game in the bottom of the second with another home run to keep his hot streak going. Mayer hit two on Wednesday and now sits second on the team with three.

A strong downpour hit in the fourth inning, prompting a two-hour delay in play with the game knotted at 1-1.

Brad Schaenzer took over on the mound in the bottom of the fourth when the game was resumed and he struck out Rochester's Jacob Thomas to end the inning. In the fifth, though, the Honkers scored again on Drew Ellis' home run.

Stevie Ledesma was the new pitcher for Rochester after the delay and pitched two strong innings but was replaced by Tanner Schumacher, who allowed the Stingers to get back in the game.

Luke Becker doubled to center field in the sixth to score Justin Toerner and knot the game back up. He almost put the Stingers on top but Eddie Estrada was thrown out at the plate trying to score the go-ahead run.

The Stingers wouldn't be denied for much longer, though, because Danny Pardo provided Brandon Perez a chance to score via a sacrifice fly to center field, giving Willmar the 3-2 lead in the seventh.

Rochester kept the back-and-forth rhythm going with three straight singles to score a run in the top of the eighth.

The Stingers travel to LaCrosse today for the start of the two-game set beginning at 7:05 p.m.

Related Topics: WILLMAR STINGERS
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