Four Players Return to Stingers for 2015
Last year’s leading hitter among 11 others total have signed for another season at the Beehive
Willmar, Minn. – The Willmar Stingers are excited to announce four more returning players from last year’s team, which will once again call the Beehive home in 2015. University of Minnesota players Dan Motl and Tyler Hanson, along with Jack Ross (Pepperdine University) and Phoenix Sanders (Daytona State College) are set join the Stingers for their second seasons in the Northwoods League.
Motl, a 6-foot-2 inch junior outfielder, proved to be a valuable asset in the outfield for Manager Drew Saberhagen and the Stingers in 2014. Motl was second on the team in stolen bases with 17 and in 43 games. He also had a .285 batting average with 43 hits and 14 runs batted in for the Stingers.
Hanson, a 6-foot-2 inch sophomore pitcher, saw most of his time with the Stingers coming out of the bullpen in 2014. In a limited role during the month of June, he pitched in 5 games, posting a 2-0 record in relief and didn’t allow an earned run in nine innings of work. As a freshman with the University of Minnesota, Hanson had a 3-0 record in 14.1 innings of work.
Ross, a 6-foot sophomore outfielder, is set to build off a successful first campaign with the Stingers. Ross led the team in batting average at .361. Ross would have finished among the Northwoods League leaders, but didn’t have enough plate appearances to qualify. In 41 games with the Stingers, Ross finished second in runs scored (39) on the team, had 11 doubles, 30 RBI, and 12 stolen bases.
Sanders, a 5-foot-11 sophomore pitcher was a mid-season acquisition for the Stingers and proved to be one of the best pitchers down the stretch. Sanders came in and provided some needed depth at the starting pitcher position, after getting much needed rest from a busy spring season. In two regular season starts for the Stingers, he went 1-0 with a 0.69 ERA. Sanders averaged just under a strikeout per inning pitched (13 IP and 12 K’s). His success with the team landed him as Game 1 starter for the Stingers in the North Division Playoffs versus the Mankato MoonDogs.
“Having this many players return from the 2014 season is exciting,” Stingers co-owner Marc Jerzak said. “We’re looking forward to having these guys back and putting their stamp on Stingers baseball in 2015.”
With these newest additions, the roster is currently at twelve players signed for 2015.
The Willmar Stingers are a member of the finest developmental league for elite college baseball players, the Northwoods League. Playing its 22nd season of summer collegiate baseball in 2015, the Northwoods League is the largest organized baseball league in the world with 18 teams, drawing significantly more fans, in a friendly ballpark experience, than any league of its kind. A valuable training ground for coaches, umpires and front office staff, more than 120 Northwoods League players have advanced to Major League Baseball, including Cy Young Award winner Max Scherzer (DET) and MLB All-Stars Chris Sale (CWS), Jordan Zimmermann (WAS), Curtis Granderson (NYM), Allen Craig (BOS) and Ben Zobrist (TB). All league games are viewable live via the Northwoods League Website. For more information, visit www.willmarstingers.com.