Walk-off Single Seals Victory For Rox Over Stingers
St. Cloud, MN – Kyle Thornell’s walk-off single in the bottom of the 12th inning propelled the Rox to their fourth straight victory in 2014 (4-0), earning the extra inning win over the Willmar Stingers, 5-4. The base hit went just under the glove of Willmar second baseman Freddie Rios and brought in Harrison Wenson, who earlier in the inning was hit by a pitch and then stole second, before being moved to third on a groundout from Mitchell Kranson, and ultimately scoring on Thornell’s single.
The Rox needed some late-inning heroics to force the game into extra innings, as Willmar’s Alex Borglin broke a 3-all tie in the top of the eighth inning when he stole second, advanced to third on a throwing error by Wenson, and eventually scored on the same play when center fielder Danny Baer fired the ball past third basemen Will Craig to bring Borglin all the way around. The Rox answered back with the tying run in the ninth, as Garrett McMullen doubled to left center field and scored on a sacrifice fly from Kranson to tie the game at four.
Rox starter Nick McCarty went five innings, giving up seven hits and two earned runs with four strikeouts as he earned the no-decision. McCarty and Willmar starter Andrew Towns were locked in a pitchers duel, as Towns went 6.2 innings with three runs given up and five strikeouts. The Stingers began the scoring in the first inning with three hits off McCarty, including a double from Sam Hall that scored Sean Beesley. The Rox retaliated with a three-run homerun in the fourth inning off the bat of McMullen to put St. Cloud ahead 3-2. McMullen finished the game 2-for-5 with two runs scored and three RBIs to lead the Rox.
For the Rox, three relievers proved to be decisive in the end, as Trevor Charpie, Ben Lumsden and Kevin Burgee threw the final seven innings, giving up just one run in the process with Burgee collecting the win (1-0), scattering three hits and striking out four in two innings of work. Stingers reliever Garrett Anderson went 3.1 innings to conclude the game, striking out four and giving up the final two runs to earn the loss (0-1).
The Rox now host the Stingers at 6:05 p.m. tonight at Joe Faber Field, before facing off Sunday at 1:05 p.m. in St. Cloud to complete the four-game set. They then head back on the road for a two-game series with the Waterloo Bucks beginning Monday, June 2nd at 6:35 p.m.
The St. Cloud Rox are a member of the finest developmental league for elite college baseball players, the Northwoods League. Playing its 21st season of summer collegiate baseball, the Northwoods League is the largest summer collegiate 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 119 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 (STL) and Ben Zobrist (TB). All league games are viewable live via the Northwoods League YouTube channel. For more information, visit www.stcloudrox.com.