Stingers Finalize 2011 Roster
The Willmar Stingers of the Northwoods League has finalized its 2011 roster with the signing of six players, including three temporary players to begin the season on June 1st at Bill Taunton Stadium. The team will open with a full 30-man roster along with three temporary players bringing the complete roster to 33 players for the second season of summer collegiate baseball.
Even though the Stingers have signed 33 players, only 26 players can be on the active roster at any one given time. The Stingers like most teams in the league will exercise a temporary player contract to help fill a key role until the entire roster reports to their respective city.
Ironically, this season for the Stingers will include another Jordan Smith. Smith, a right-handed pitcher/catcher from Raymond, MN will begin the season as a temporary player. A temporary player in the Northwoods League must participate in a minimum of 10 days, counting against a team’s active roster of 26 eligible players. A temporary player is allowed to participate until the end of June before having to be waived or signed to a full contract.
Smith will be used in a similar dual role as he did as a sophomore this spring at the University of Minnesota-Duluth. For the Bulldogs this spring he was used as a pitcher and catcher.
As a freshman last year, he was 5-0 on the mound and was named Freshman Pitcher of the Year for Duluth. However, this year Smith’s versatility earned him a spot behind home plate for the Bulldogs. He was also called on to pitch from time to time but was limited due to his role as catcher.
Smith is joined by shortstop Pierce Trumper, Taylor Eikenberry, Michael Shreves, Anthony Hincy and Kyle Fischer as the last players to sign contracts for the 2011 season.
"These recent players we signed will need to play a big role for us, hopefully allowing us to get out of the gates strong," Field Manager Matt Hollod said.
Trumper will replace Carter Bell on the 2011 roster as Bell will not join the Stingers this season. The Stingers were recently notified by Oregon State University that Bell has suffered a hand injury that will not allow him to join the club this summer.
Trumper red-shirted this year at the University of Arkansas and will be the Razorbacks utility infielder in the future. Some of his accolades including helping lead his high school team to three consecutive state championships at Rocky Mountain High School in Fort Collins, CO. Joining the Stingers will also be left-handed pitcher Eikenberry from Iowa Western Community College.
Eikenberry has signed with North Carolina State University next year after an impressive sophomore year. In 12 games this year, he has a 1.84 ERA, striking out 76 hitters in 63 1/3 innings. Eikenberry was a former teammate of current Stingers catcher Anthony Bemboom. Eikenberry and Bemboom were teammates on the Junior College National Championship team last year.
Shreves, a right-handed pitcher will replace Michael Garber on the current roster as injuries have plagued Garber this spring. Shreves is a sophomore at the University of Montevallo in Alabama and a transfer from Manatee Community College in Florida.
The final two temporary roster spots have been filled by Hincy and Fischer. Hinsey, a junior shortstop from Doane College will begin the season with the Stingers in the middle infield.
Hincy finished the season hitting .337 and had a team-leading 26 stolen bases. Fischer, a right-handed pitcher from St. Cloud State University will also add depth on the pitching staff. Fischer finished the regular season for the Huskies 6-0 and was one of their top arms leading them to a school record in wins.
"The second season is quickly approaching and good tickets still remain for the home opener," Co-owner Ryan Voz said. "We like how our roster finished up this spring, giving us depth to hopefully stay healthy throughout the season, playing 70 games in 75 days."