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Bobb Shines, Stingers Roll in 4-2 Win

  WILLMAR, MN – Abe Bobb’s first inning was nothing like the seven that followed. The right-handed pitcher out of San Francisco University gave up two singles and hit a batter to load the bases, but escaped without surrendering a run. From that point forward, Bobb masterfully painted the corners, kept batters off balance with a veritable armada of pitches and turned in a start that tied a league high for innings pitched as Willmar beat Duluth, 4-2.

  The eight-plus innings came to an end when Aaron Hernandez singled over the head of shortstop Max Dutto to begin the ninth. Manager Matt Hollod, with a keen eye on the pitch count, pulled Bobb from the game and Bret Dahlson picked up the final three outs for his first save of the season.

  Colton Bottomley (Florida Gulf Coast) doubled to begin the home half of the fifth inning and tied the game 1-1 after coming home on a wild pitch. Chris Barnett (Loyola-Marymount) then walked, Danny Brennan (St. Louis) singled and Zack Tillery gave Bobb all the run support necessary with a double that put Willmar up for good, 3-1. The two RBI were Tillery’s (Florida Gulf Coast) first of the season.

  Beyond going deeper into the game than anyone else in the Northwoods league during the 2013 season, Bobb also impressed in the way he retired so many Huskies. Of the 24 Duluth batters that Bobb dispatched over the course of his eight innings, 20 were retired on ground balls. The high volume of balls in play gave Stingers infielders plenty of opportunities to impress the crowd and a pair of double plays erased the few base runners that Bobb allowed.

  Dutto picked up his third RBI of the season in the sixth on a base hit to right field that scored Max Kuhn and completed the scoring for Willmar on the night.

  The win places Willmar (7-4) back on top of the Northwoods League North Division in a tie with Duluth (7-4). Next for Willmar is a trip to Alexandria to face the last-place Blue Anchors.