ST. CLOUD–Heading into Monday’s doubleheader with the St. Cloud River Bats, the Stingers sat two games behind their North Division Rivals for first place in the second half standings and needed a huge performance on perhaps the most impactful day of the season in terms of their playoff chances. That is exactly what Willmar was able to put together on Monday at Joe Faber Field, sweeping a pair of seven inning ballgames by scores of 2-1 and 4-3 in the final two meetings between the Stingers and River Bats this season.
In game one, Roy Metter was solid through four and two thirds, giving up no runs and just six hits, while striking out a pair to earn the win. Jayson Huett threw a solid inning and a third after Metter’s departure, and Jacob Barnes gave up a run in the seventh, but was able to hold on for his team leading seventh save of 2010. In the first game, Willmar was buoyed by Isaac Ballou’s two hit, one RBI night and Mitch Delfino’s fifth inning RBI single.
Game two was another low scoring affair in which Stingers starter David Carroll looked impressive. Leaving with one out in the seventh and with a 3-1 lead intact, Carroll surrendered just one first inning run and a measly four hits to the Bats before, just like in the first game, Jayson Huett and Jacob Barnes came on in relief. This time however, Barnes faltered, giving up two runs in the seventh, allowing St. Cloud to force extra innings. It took until the top of the tenth inning, but Willmar finally pushed ahead courtesy of an Anthony Bemboom sac fly that scored Joe Sever from third base.
With the two wins, the Stingers reclaimed a share of first place in the North Division’s second half standings with St. Cloud and wrapped up the season series with the River Bats even at five wins apiece. Next up for the Stingers, it’s a three game set back in Willmar against the first half champion Rochester Honkers. The first pitch in Tuesday’s game is set for 7:05 pm at Bill Taunton Stadium. For tickets to any and all of the seven remaining home games in the 2010 inaugural season, call the Stingers ticket office at 320-222-2010 or log on to willmarstingers.com for more information. We remind you to check out wctrib.com for all your Stingers coverage. The 2010 season is presented by Charter.