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PLAYOFF BOUND! Stingers Punch Ticket to Fourth Straight Postseason

THUNDER BAY, Ontario — For the fourth straight year, the Willmar Stingers have clinched a spot in the Northwoods League playoffs with their 15-3 win in Thunder Bay Friday night.

It is the fifth time in eight years the Stingers have qualified for the postseason.

Tonight Anthony Garza (Missouri S&T) dazzled on the mound, hurling for eight innings and allowing only three runs. He got his first win of the season, striking out five and walking only one batter all night.

His college teammate Justus Nelson (Missouri S&T) completed the battery. Nelson drove in three runs and went 2-for-5 at the plate, getting his first two hits as a Stinger. 

Nelson was one of seven Stingers that had multiple base hits. Luke Becker (Kentucky), Josh Bissonette (Baylor), and Nolan Bumstead (CS-Northridge) all had three hits as the Stingers collected 19 total and cycled nearly seven times through the order.

Bumstead was named tonights NWL Player of the Night. In addition to his production at the plate, he made two impressive snags in the field to prevent base hits for Thunder Bay.

He now has a team-high 52 RBIs on the season after driving in three runs. Becker also drove in three.

Cody Ulfers (Minnesota State-Mankato) got on base four times in the game with two hits and two walks. His seventh-inning double was his first hit as a Stinger, and it drove in Tyler Reichenborn (Iowa Western).

Eight of Willmar's nine starters drove in at least one run in the game. 

Today's Center for Diagnostic Imaging player of the game was Anthony Garza. CDI is your local medical imaging provider. It’s your choice where you go for medical imaging, for MRI, CT, mammograms and pain injections, choose CDI. Visit online at myCDI.com/CentralMN.

The Stingers are now 21-13 on the second half and 39-31 overall. They qualify for the 2017 playoffs as a wild card team.

Dates and information on the Northwoods League playoffs will be released in the coming days. You can follow @WillmarStingers on Twitter or check WillmarStingers.com for information as it is determined.

The Stingers continue the four-game series against the Border Cats tomorrow. First pitch is scheduled for 6:35 p.m. CT and will feature Connor Herd (Mercer) on the mound. You can listen live for free at WillmarStingers.com. 

The 2017 Stingers season is presented by Marcus Construction. For more coverage of the Stingers, visit the West Central Tribune online at www.wctrib.com.