WILLMAR, Minn. – Willmar scored runs in four of the first six innings and took a 5-4 lead into the eighth, but Alexandria tallied four times on only two hits in that frame to defeat the Stingers, 8-5, at Bill Taunton Stadium at Baker Field Wednesday night.
Three Stingers had multiple hits in the game. Jake Stinnett (Maryland) led the way with a 2-for-4 day at the plate and two RBIs. Stinnett finished the series against Alexandria with five RBIs in three games. Rob Elliott (Bradley) had his second-straight multi-hit game and also picked up his first RBI of the year with a 2-for-5 performance. John Haberman (Pacific) also went 2-for-5 and scored a run.
The Stingers took an early 1-0 advantage in the first inning with an RBI-single by Stinnett, which scored Jason Leblebijian (Bradley). Leblebijian scored twice in the game and leads the team with eight runs for the season.
Alexandria took the lead in the second inning with four runs on four hits, including three consecutive two-out RBIs by Bobby Martin, Ben Magsig and Jeremy Boyd. All four runs were earned against the Stingers’ starter Kody Gorden (Western Nevada College), who finished the game with four runs allowed on seven hits in 4 2/3 innings. Gorden struck out three batters.
Willmar came back with two runs in the third, one run in the fourth and one run in sixth to regain the lead. Mitch Rowan (Willamette) scored the go-ahead run in the sixth inning on an error by the shortstop Tanner Vavra.
Michael Jahns (Northwestern) made his 2011 debut for the Stingers in relief Gorden. Jahns entered in the fifth inning and pitched 2 1/3 scoreless innings before running into trouble in the eighth. Jahns walked the first two batters of the inning and eventually allowed four runs, two of which were earned, taking the loss. The deciding hit was a two-run double by pinch-hitter Mike Leviseur to give Alexandria a 6-5 lead.
Willmar will play another home game Thursday night at 7:05 p.m. The Stingers will take on the St. Cloud River Bats on Baseball Bat Night presented by Perkins Lumber. The first 300 kids 14 years of age and under will receive a full-sized 28\” Stingers baseball bat. Gates open at 6 p.m.
The 2011 season is presented by Charter.