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Corben Green’s Grand Slam Lifts Stingers to 6-5 Victory

WILLMAR, Minn. – With one out in the bottom of the first inning, Corben Green hit a grand slam to give Willmar (13-9) a 4-1 advantage, and the Stingers led the rest of the way en route to a 6-5 victory against St. Cloud (5-17) at Bill Taunton Stadium Thursday night.

Green’s (Louisiana Monroe) home run deep over the right-field fence scored Mitch Rowan (San Francisco), Hunter Dozier (Stephen F. Austin) and Michael Suchy (Florida Gulf Coast) to give him eight RBIs in 19 at-bats with the team.

Willmar added runs in the fifth and seventh innings on RBI singles by Dozier and Suchy, respectively. Dozier’s single scored his college teammate Zach Benson, while Suchy’s base hit brought home Rowan for his league-leading 23rd RBI of the season. Rowan finished the game 2-for-4 for his 11th multi-hit game of the year. He also added his team-best eighth stolen base and scored twice.

The insurance runs proved necessary in the final inning, as the Stingers saw their 6-3 lead cut to 6-5 in the ninth. After a bases loaded walk made the score 6-4, Brady Anderson (Florida Gulf Coast) entered the game with the tying run on second base and the go-ahead run first. An RBI groundout by Ty Jackson made it a one-run ballgame and moved both the tying and go-ahead runs into scoring position with only one out, but Anderson struck out Nick Tanielu and retired Chris Paul on a soft liner to give the Stingers their fifth victory over St. Cloud in as many days.

Willmar has now won six in a row overall and 14 of its last 18, while the Rox lost their 12th-straight contest.

Mark Lukowski (Creighton) earned the victory after being the most effective reliever, striking out one in 1.2 scoreless innings while only allowing one hit after the starter Kyle Fischer (St. Cloud State) gave up three runs in 3.2 innings on two hits, a couple walks and five hit batsmen. Anderson’s fifth save moved him into second in the Northwoods League in that category.

Willmar continues its three-game homestand with a Friday night game against Rochester at 7:05 p.m. It is Willmar Fests Night as well as the return of “Princess Night” featuring princesses Tiana, Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty, Snow White and Belle. There will be horse and carriage rides available prior to the game, and Willmar Fests candidates will be competing for the official Stingers Willmar Fests Trophy.

The 2012 season is presented by Charter. For more information on your Willmar Stingers be sure to visit the West Central Tribune at www.wctrib.com.