WILLMAR, Minn. – The La Crosse Loggers pushed across six runs in the top of the third inning and held on to the lead from there for an 8-4 road win over the Willmar Stingers in front of 1,139 fans at Bill Taunton Stadium on Friday night.
Trey Harris (Arkansas) drove in Liam Bendo (Saint Joseph’s) for the Loggers’ first run of the game, and Matt Stinebiser (Duke) delivered the biggest blow of the inning with a bases-clearing three-run double to left field to help La Crosse (28-28, 11-9) take command early. Stinebiser finished 2-for-3 with a walk and those three RBI, earning Northwoods League Player of the Night honors in the process.
Harris also collected two hits for the Loggers, raising his season average to .326. Cody Jefferis (San Diego) reached base three times, on a single and two walks, scoring two runs from the top spot in the La Crosse lineup.
The trio of Tyler Shingledecker (Penn State), Matt Richey (Bradley) and Hanan Mauldin (Birmingham Southern) combined to scatter eight hits and strike out nine Stingers (30-26, 8-12) batters. Richey earned the win after pitching 1.2 innings in relief, having yet to allow an earned run over 7.2 innings this season. Mauldin blanked Willmar over the final 2.2 innings to close out the victory.
The win brings the Loggers within one game of division-leading Eau Claire (12-8) and Duluth (12-8) in the Great Plains East. The Express host Mankato tonight, while the Huskies travel to Waterloo. La Crosse plays host to Rochester for a two-game set starting at 6:05 pm tonight.