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Stingers Notebook: McCorkle's return and record chasing

WILLMAR--The Willmar Stingers not only regained some valuable infield depth and blazing speed on the basepaths this week, but they have someone to bring the movies to watch on the bus during road trips once again.

Willmar Stinger Marcus McCorkle slides into home in Wednesday's game against Thunder Bay at Bill Taunton Stadium. Jake Schultz / Tribune
Willmar Stinger Marcus McCorkle slides into home in Wednesday's game against Thunder Bay at Bill Taunton Stadium. Jake Schultz / Tribune

WILLMAR-The Willmar Stingers not only regained some valuable infield depth and blazing speed on the basepaths this week, but they have someone to bring the movies to watch on the bus during road trips once again.

Marcus McCorkle returned to the Stingers on Tuesday night after a three-week absence due to a concussion suffered on June 6. McCorkle was batting .321 with a .906 OPS and eight stolen bases at the time of his injury.

"Getting the news that we would get Marcus back was really great," Stingers manager Eric Vasquez said. "He adds some very important infield depth with his glove and bat, and creates problems on the bases."

McCorkle was also one of the centerpieces to the team's chemistry during his first stint in Willmar early in the season.

"Another thing, Marcus is great to have around just for team chemistry," Vasquez said. "He really enjoys being here and the guys all work together really well."

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McCorkle was originally on a short-term contract, but enjoyed his time with the Stingers so much that he wanted to extend his Northwoods League tenure if at all possible.

According to Vasquez, McCorkle returned to his college, Georgia Gwinnett, and underwent concussion protocol. As soon as McCorkle was cleared to play, he wanted to return to Willmar.

A-squared plus B-squared...: The Stingers sit at 15-15 after Wednesday night's 2-0 loss against Bismarck, but according to their Pythagorean record, the team's current mark may indicate they have a winning streak in store.

The Pythagorean Theorem of Baseball "relates the number of runs a team has scored and surrendered to its actual winning percentage, based on the idea that runs scored compared to runs allowed is a better indicator of a team's (future) performance that a team's actual winning percentage," according to Baseball-Reference.

The Stingers have outscored their opponents 138-119 this season, good for a Pythagorean record of 17-13-two games better than their actual mark. Compare that to Rochester, for example, which is tied with Willmar for third place in the division despite being outscored by 39 runs this season and owning an 11-17 Pythagorean record.

Running after the record: Stingers outfielder Marcus Still extended his Northwoods League stolen base lead with 21 thefts on Wednesday night, and is well on his way to setting the franchise record.

Still's 21 steals already ranks him ninth in franchise history for a single season-and he has accomplished that number in just 25 games. Averaging nearly one stolen base per game, Still is on pace to break Sean Beesley's record of 34 set in 2015.

The all-time league record? That's also within reach. Connor Kopach of Kalamazoo stole 50 bags last season to post the most prolific stolen-base year in league history. At his current pace, Still would surpass Kopach's mark near the end of the regular season in early August.

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Related Topics: WILLMAR STINGERS
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