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Ninth Inning Rally Leads Stingers to 6-5 Victory in Brainerd

BRAINERD, Minn. – Blake Shepherd’s (Viterbo) two-run homer in the ninth inning tied the game, 5-5, and a sacrifice fly by Eduardo Gonzalez (Alcorn State) completed the last-inning comeback for the Stingers in a 6-5 victory over the Brainerd Lakes Area Lunkers at Stewart C. Mills Field Wednesday night in Brainerd.

Gonzalez had a perfect day at the plate, going 3-for-3 with a double, a run and the game-winning RBI. Shepherd was 1-for-3, but his only hit tied the game in the ninth on his team-leading seventh homer of the season. Mitch Rowan (Willamette) went 1-for-3 with a run and an RBI, while Mitch Delfino (California) was 1-for-4 with two RBIs. Delfino picked up seven RBIs in the three games in Brainerd. Jarid Scarafiotti (Stephen F. Austin) added two hits and a run.

Trailing 5-3 entering the ninth inning, Jake Stinnett (Maryland) earned a leadoff walk in front of Shepherd to set up the game-tying blast. After that, Rowan and Jason Leblebijian (Bradley) earned back-to-back one-out walks. Rowan stole second and advanced to third on a wild pitch, which allowed Gonzalez to hit a sacrifice fly to left and plate the winning run. Ricky Knapp earned the victory to improve to 5-1 after pitching the eighth and ninth innings out of the bullpen.

The Stingers will return to Bill Taunton Stadium Thursday night for “Once Upon a Time Night” featuring a variety of fairy tale princesses. The princesses will be on hand to throw out the first pitch and take photos with kids. First pitch will be at 7:05 p.m. Gates will open at 6.

The 2011 season is presented by Charter.