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Published On: September 27th, 2013

WILLMAR–As if the occasion of our nation’s 234th birthday weren’t dramatic enough, the Stingers ratcheted up the theater a few more notches on Saturday, winning a seesaw battle with the Mankato Moondogs 6-5 at Bill Taunton Stadium, bumping their record to 16-14 on the year.  In a game that saw dozens of spine-tingling moments, there was none more memorable than the decisive one.  After Matt Serna led off the eighth inning with a single, and advanced to third via a sacrifice and an error, Carlos Leyva came up with one out and dropped down a picture perfect suicide squeeze to score what would prove to be the winning run.

The hit was Leyva’s fourth of the game, and third via the bunt.  In a bounceback performance after a pair of days off, Leyva added a steal and a run scored in a spectacular outing in the leadoff spot.  After giving up four runs in the fourth, the Stingers battled back in the fifth inning, scoring four times in the frame to retake the lead 5-4.  Isaac Ballou, Sean Dwyer, Joe Sever, and Mitch Delfino all netted RBI singles in the frame, and Delfino’s was his second of the night.

Jeff Barto got the start on the mound for the Stingers, but lasted just three and a third innings, leaving in the fourth after surrendering four earned on a pair of Moondogs home runs.  After Michael Jahns looked solid in his seventh appearance of 2010, Jayson Huett battled through some adversity, striking out the final batter in the seventh and two more in the eighth to wriggle out of a couple major league jams.  The ninth, however, belonged to Jacob Barnes, who looked darn near unhittable, striking out the first and last batters of the inning, while touching as high as 98 miles per hour on the radar gun to collect his second save of the season.

Next up for the Stingers, it’s a 4th of July tilt with the now familiar Moondogs, Sunday at 6:05 pm at Green Lakes Diamonds in Spicer.  Fans are encouraged to arrive early for this general admission event as it’s Mini Bat Night presented by United Prairie Bank.  The first 250 kids under the age of 14 through the gates in Spicer will recieve a Stingers mini bat!  For tickets, call the Stingers ticket office at 320-222-2010 or visit for more information.  As always, we remind you to log on to for all your Stingers coverage.  The 2010 season is presented by Charter.