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Stingers Celebrate 4th With 8-7 Win

SPICER–Mankato may be a last place team, but the Moondogs have given the Stingers a couple of great games over the past two days, and the trend continued on Sunday, with Willmar holding on in the ninth for a hard fought 8-7 victory at Green Lake Diamonds in Spicer. In front of over one thousand fans on Independence Day, the Stingers overcame an early 5-1 defecit, rallying for four runs in the seventh inning to take the lead for good.

The catalyst for the Willmar offense on Sunday? Who else but the Northwoods League’s best hitter statistically, Jordan Smith.  With the bases loaded and two outs in the bottom of the seventh, Smith whacked a three and two pitch from Mankato starter Jim Stokes into left field to plate the tying and go-ahead runs. Two batters later, Joe Sever piled on for Willmar, stroking a ground-ruled double to left center that brought Smith around to score his second run of the game.

Wally Marciel made his second start of 2010 for the Stingers, but had to leave after just two frames.  After Matt Collins allowed three runs in his first relief appearance in weeks, Logan Birr rebounded from a poor start in Mankato two days ago to throw a solid five innings, good for his second win of the season.  Daniel Zapata came on in the eighth and got five outs before Jacob Barnes notched his second save in as many nights, striking out Danny Miller for the final out of the game.

Next up for the third place Stingers, it’s a pair of games in Alexandria before returning home for another two game set with the Moondogs, July seventh and eighth to close out the first half of the season.  For tickets, call the Stingers ticket office at 320-222-2010 or check out willmarstingers.com for more information.  As always, we remind you to log on to wctrib.com for all your Stingers coverage.  The 2010 season is presented by Charter.