ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

Tribune Notebook: Ex-Stinger shines in the Bronx

Louie Varland makes his major league debut for the Twins against the mighty Yankees

Willmar Stinger pitcher Louie Varland, right, is greeted by manager Bo Henning, 28, and fellow pitcher Bryant Claunch, 23, after an inning May 30 at Bill Taunton Stadium. Varland was selected for the Northwoods League Major League Dreams Showcase.
Willmar Stinger pitcher Louie Varland, right, is greeted by manager Bo Henning and fellow pitcher Bryant Claunch after an inning May 30, 2018 at Bill Taunton Stadium. Varland was selected for the Northwoods League Major League Dreams Showcase.
West Central Tribune file photo
We are part of The Trust Project.

Another Willmar Stinger has made it to the major leagues.
Louie Varland pitched for the Willmar Stingers in 2017 and '18. A right-hander from Concordia University in St. Paul, he was drafted in the 15th round of the 2019 draft by the Minnesota Twins.
The 6-foot-1, 205-pound right-hander made his major league debut Wednesday as an emergency call-up, tossing 5-1/3 innings against the New York Yankees in the Bronx.
He struck out seven, walked one and allowed three hits. When he left, he led 3-1. A runner he left on base scored, so he gave up two earned runs, leaving him with a 3.38 earned-run average and a positive experience as he headed back to the St. Paul Saints at the end of the doubleheader.
Varland, 24, went to North St. Paul High School. His brother Gus, a Los Angeles Dodgers minor leaguer, got to attend Wednesday's game.
With the Stingers, Louie Varland pitched in 15 games over two season, posting a 4-2 records with 60 strikeouts in 60-2/3 innings.

Willmar Stinger Louie Varland throws a first inning pitch in a May 30 game at Bill Taunton Stadium. Varland was selected for the Northwoods League Major League Dreams Showcase Monday. Jake Schultz / Tribune
Willmar Stinger Louie Varland throws a first inning pitch in a May 30, 2018 game at Bill Taunton Stadium. Varland was selected for the Northwoods League Major League Dreams Showcase
West Central Tribune file photo

He moved up quickly in the Twins' organization, starting the Elizabethton Twins in 2019. He didn't play during the pandemic year of 2020 when the minor league schedule was canceled.
In 2021, he pitched for the Fort Myers Might Mussles then was promoted to the Cedar Rapids Kernels of the Central League.
He began in the 2022 season in double-A with the Wichita Wind Surge before moving up triple-A with the Saints. He was 8-5 with a 3.06 ERA in 126-1/3 innings, striking out 146 and walking 42.

Willmar starting pitcher Louie Varland firest off a pitch during Tuesday's Northwoods League game against La Crosse at Bill Taunton Stadium. Joe Brown / Tribune
Willmar starting pitcher Louie Varland fires off a pitch during Northwoods League game against La Crosse in 2018 at Bill Taunton Stadium.
Joe Brown/West Central Tribune

According to to the Northwoods League, he is the 307th former Northwoods League player to reach the majors.
He's the eighth former Willmar Stinger to do so, joining pitchers Jacob Barnes, Steve Brault, Colin Poche, Nick Mears and Ty Tice, catcher Anthony Bemboom and third baseman/outfielder Hunter Dozier as major leaguers.

Related Stories:
Athletes from BBE, MACCRAY, Montevideo, Paynesville, Willmar and YME lead this year's squad.
Pro
In the first NFL game on Thanksgiving in Minnesota, the Vikings defeated the New England Patriots 33-26 on Thursday night at U.S. Bank Stadium.
There won't be high school football this year to fill the post-Thanksgiving TV-watching hours, as the Prep Bowl was pushed back a week. The wait should be worth it, though, with seven excellent matchups on tap in Minnesota's title games.
Prep hockey report from west central Minnesota for Tuesday, Nov. 22, 2022. Stars skate past Sartell/Sauk Rapids 5-3 in a top CLC game

Cards honored

Willmar had three athletes named Central Lakes Conference performers of the week this week.
In football, junior defensive back Dylan Staska had three tackles, one tackle of loss and one interception for a 100-yard pick-six in Willmar's win over St. Cloud Apollo.
In boys soccer, Miguel Toruno and Kadar Muhumed were honorees. Toruno, a sophomore, was named the offensive player of the week after scoring the only goal in a pair of 1-0 wins.
Muhumed, a senior, "was the defensive organizing force in two shutout games," his coach, Jeff Winter, said.

ADVERTISEMENT

Volleyball polls

Willmar is fourth this week in the state Class AAA volleyball poll. The complete rankings: (1) Marshall ... (2) Kasson-Mantoville ... (3) Stewartville ... (4) Willmar ... (5) Byron ... (6) Alexandria ... (7) Benilde-St. Margaret's ... (8) Holy Angels ... (9) Grand Rapids ... (10) New Prague.
Belgrade-Brooten-Elrosa and MACCRAY remain in the top 10 in the Class A state poll. The full top 10: (1) Mayer Lutheran ... (2) Minneota ... (3) Bethlehem Academy ... (4) Russell-Tyler-Ruthton ... (5) Mabel-Canton ... (6) Kenyon-Wanamingo ... (7) MACCRAY ... (8) Badger-Greenbush-Middle River ... (9) Spring Grove ... (10) Belgrade-Brooten-Elrosa.

MORE TOM ELLIOTT COVERAGE:
Here are recent stories by Tom Elliott.
Behind sophomore guard’s 36 points, Warriors romp past Sleepy Eye, 70-49
The Storm beat host Marshall 5-3 in the Marshall Thanksgiving Classic. And, River Lakes opens its season with a 7-2 loss at Coon Rapids.
Mason City scores three unanswered goals in third period to beat Willmar, 5-4 in an NA3HL game.
Warriors roll past Sleepy Eye St. Mary's 80-40 in their season-opener behind 30 points from Lainey Braulick
Blizzard grab a big lead to beat Willmar 9-2 in an NA3HL game at the Runestone Community Center
Leah Hansen wins her third conference title for the South Dakota State women's cross-country team
Hess records a hat trick as River Lakes earns its first victory of the young season. Up next is Sartell/Sauk Rapids on Tuesday in Richmond.
Willmar junior finishes with a personal record of 24.82 seconds in the 50 freestyle at state Class a finals in Minneapolis
The two additions gives the summer wood-bat league 24 franchises
Ridgewater improves its pre-Thanksgiving record to 3-1 with a victory over Concordia on Thursday night in Willmar.

Hole-in-one

Nick Starner aced the No. 6 hole on Sept. 6 at Eagle Creek Golf Club. Starner used a 9-iron on the 156-yard hole.

What to read next
Three man-advantage goals lift Willmar to a 4-3 win over Mason City
Granite Falls bareback rider avoid the injury bug and is ranked ninth in the world
Willmar beats Steel 5-2 on Saturday