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First Half Complete, Stingers Finish 18-17

WILLMAR–Make it three straight heartbreakers for the Stingers as they fell 10-9 to the Mankato Moondogs on Thursday at Bill Taunton Stadium after a wild, back-and-forth contest. The loss is the Stingers third in a row, and third in five games versus the Moondogs this season.  Bryan Willson was on the mound for his first start of the season for Willmar and came away with a no-decision after allowing five earned runs, on six hits over four innings pitched.

After Willson’s exit, Jeff Barto was ineffective in relief, giving up five runs, four of them earned, on six hits of his own in just one third of an inning to earn his third loss of 2010. The lone bright spot pitching wise for the Stingers was Central Florida’s Matt Collins who looked strong in three innings of relief after a couple of troubling outings following a brief bout with tendonitis.

Offensively for Willmar, Mitch Delfino led the way, going four for five with two RBI’s and a pair of runs scored.  All three of Willmar’s top outfielders, Jordan Smith, Isaac Ballou, and Sean Dwyer were out of the lineup for the finale of the Stingers inaugural first half in the Northwoods League’s North Division, but Delfino’s effort, in conjunction with 2 RBI’s each from Mikey Reynolds and Zach Rowles more than made up for their absence.

Next up for the 18-17 Stingers, it’s the kickoff to the second half, a pair of games in Mankato versus the now-rival Moondogs before returning home Sunday to play Mankato yet again at Bill Taunton Stadium.  For tickets, call 320-222-2010 or visit willmarstingers.com for more information.  For all your Stingers coverage, visit wctrib.com.  The 2010 season is presented by Charter.