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Willmar Edges St. Cloud, 2-1

Willmar, MN – Ryan Lillard (Arizona State) stayed hot at the plate from game one, belting his first home run of the season, but St. Cloud lost by a final score of 2-1 to Willmar on Wednesday night. They got a quality start out of Zach Lauzon (Concordia-St. Paul), who pitched a strong six innings and gave up only five hits.

The Stingers broke the scoreless tie in the bottom of the third-inning. They tacked on another run in the bottom of the fourth and took a 2-0 lead into the fifth-inning. That’s when Ryan Davis (Georgetown) doubled to right-field to notch the Rox their first hit of the game. He was left stranded on second base to close the inning.

Lillard then got St. Cloud on the scoreboard with a solo shot to right-field that put them within one run. It was the first homerun of the season for the Rox. He now has two RBI’s on the season.

The score remained 2-1 in the bottom of the eighth inning, but Willmar was looking to extend it. They had bases loaded with two outs as St. Cloud brought Bobby Gauvreau (Minnesota State-Mankato) in from the bullpen. Facing their leadoff batter, he got John Trousdale (Alabama), to pop up to end the inning.

In the top of the 9th inning, Hance Smith (UC Berkeley) got on base after a drop third strike. He advanced all the way to third base with two outs but was left stranded to end the game.

St. Cloud drops to 0-2 on the early 2018 season and travels to Mankato, Minnesota Thursday evening. First pitch is scheduled for 7:05 PM. The game will be available on 1390 Granite City Sports.

The Rox will play their 7th season of Northwoods League Baseball in 2018. The home opener at Joe Faber Field is scheduled for Friday, June 1 at 7:05 p.m. against the Mankato MoonDogs. The home opener, presented by Coborn’s, will feature post-game fireworks. Season tickets and single game tickets for the 2018 season are currently on sale. For more information regarding this release or to purchase tickets, please contact the Rox front office at (320) 240-9798 or visit www.stcloudrox.com.

The St. Cloud Rox are a member of the finest developmental league for elite college baseball players, the Northwoods League. Entering its 25th anniversary season, the Northwoods League is the largest organized baseball league in the world with 20 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 190 former Northwoods League players have advanced to Major League Baseball, including three-time Cy Young Award winner Max Scherzer (WAS), two-time World Series Champions Ben Zobrist (CHC) and Brandon Crawford (SFG) and MLB All-Stars Chris Sale (BOS), Jordan Zimmermann (DET) and Curtis Granderson (TOR). All league games are viewable live via the Northwoods League portal. For more information, visit www.stcloudrox.com or download the new Northwoods League Mobile App on the Apple App Store or on Google Play and set the Rox as your favorite team.