WILLMAR, MN – Early returns of Friday night’s game against the St. Cloud Rox could not have been useful in forecasting the outcome. Abe Bobb (San Francisco) gave up a run and loaded the bases in the first inning, but then stymied St. Cloud (8-9) batters over the next eight innings for a complete game win, 6-1.
The victory improves the Stingers home record to a league best 8-2. Bobb’s performance improved his record to 2-0 and lowered his ERA to 1.59.
Aside from the brilliant pitching of Bobb, the Stingers showcased their powerful bats and flashy gloves. Michael Suchy and Marc Flores hit their second and third home runs, respectively. Suchy’s (Florida Gulf Coast) three-run blast in the third gave Willmar (10-5) a 3-1 lead, making every run afterward icing on the proverbial cake.
Flores’ home run came in the seventh inning on a 2-2 pitch. The first baseman from Hawaii finished the game 3-for-3 with two runs scored and raised his season average above .300.
Bobb’s performance gives him 17 total innings pitched on the season which is good for a team high, despite the fact that he has only made two starts. His nine-inning complete game was the first of the season in the entire Northwoods League. Complete games are exceptionally difficult to achieve in the league because pitchers are not allowed to enter an inning if they have thrown more than 100 pitches — Bobb threw just 88.
Zack Tillery also finished perfect at the plate, going 3-for-3 with a trio of singles and a sac fly RBI.
The Stingers offense handed Kyle Davis of St. Cloud his first loss of the season. Davis came into the game with a 2.77 ERA.
The victory places Willmar a half-game ahead of the Waterloo Bucks who lost 5-3 against Duluth. The Stingers will now travel to St. Cloud on Saturday and Sunday. Six of Willmar’s next eight games are on the road.
The 2013 season is presented by Charter. For more on your Willmar Stingers, please visit www.wctrib.com