Stingers Blow Late Lead, Lose to Duluth In 11 Innings, 7-6

WILLMAR, Minn. – Willmar led three different times against the Duluth Wednesday night, including a 6-4 lead after seven innings, but the Huskies scored a run in each of the eighth and ninth innings to tie the game and another run to ultimately win in 11 innings at Bill Taunton Stadium, 7-6.

Jarid Scarafiotti (Stephen F. Austin) led the offensive attack for the Stingers with a 2-for-3 day at the plate, including an RBI double and a run scored. Pat Stover (Santa Clara) was 2-for-4 with an RBI and a run, while Mitch Rowan (Willamette) also had two hits and scored a run. Blake Shepherd hit his sixth home run of the season in a 1-for-5 performance.

The Stingers took an early 3-0 lead on three unearned runs in the first inning. Stover brought home the first run of the game on an RBI single to score Garrett Borba (Pacific). Eduardo Gonzalez (Alcorn State) scored two batters later on a wild pitch, and Jake Stinnett (Maryland) drove home Stover with a single to make it 3-0. The Huskies tied the game with three runs in the top of the fourth.

Willmar responded quickly with a double by Rowan to lead off the fourth inning followed by an RBI double by Scarafiotti to take a 4-3 lead. Duluth tied the game with one run on three hits in the top of the sixth, but Willmar answered again. Shepherd blasted a two-run homer to left field to break a 4-4 tie, giving the Stingers a 6-4 lead.

Duluth came back with one run on two hits in the eighth and one run in the ninth to tie the game, 6-6. Nobody scored again until the 11th inning when an RBI groundout by Brian Hansen scored Chris Manship for the decisive run.

Willmar will play its final home game prior to the All-Star Game Thursday night against Duluth. It’s “Minute to Win It Night” where fans will have an opportunity to win prizes by competing in various contests throughout the game. First pitch is at 7:05 p.m. Gates open at 6 p.m.

The 2011 season is presented by Charter.