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Stingers Drop Opener to Duluth, 10-7

WILLMAR, Minn. – Willmar scored seven unanswered runs in the first three innings, but Duluth responded with 10 runs over the next six frames to come back and take a 10-7 victory over the Stingers Thursday night at Bill Taunton Stadium.

Duluth recorded 20 hits in 45 at-bats for a .444 batting average in the game with only one extra-base hit. James Ramsay led the way with a 5-for-6 day at the plate with two runs scored and an RBI.

Trailing 7-0 entering the fourth, the Huskies chipped away at the lead with a run in each of the fourth and fifth innings before scoring twice in the sixth. In the seventh inning, the Huskies strung six-straight singles together to tie the game, 7-7. Duluth took its first lead of the game in the ninth with three runs on four hits, including RBI singles by Taylor Burch, Conor Szczerba and Ramsay.

Brady Anderson (FloridaGulfCoast) suffered his first loss of the season after entering the game in a save situation in the seventh and trying to register the final eight outs. He allowed three runs on eight hits in 2.1 innings to fall to 3-1 on the season with a league-leading 14 saves.

Willmarscored the first seven runs on the ballgame, including five in the first inning. Mitch Rowan (San Francisco) scored the first run of the contest when an error with two outs extended the frame. The Stingers capitalized on the miscue, as they went on to plate five unearned runs with RBI singles by Hunter Dozier (Stephen F. Austin), Zach Benson (Stephen F. Austin) and Brennan Moore (Texas Tech). Moore’s single scored both Dozier and Benson to cap off the big inning.

Willmar added to its lead in the second with an RBI single by Dillon Haupt (San Diego) to score Forrestt Allday, who led off the inning with his Northwoods League-record 66th walk of the year. Allday continues to lead the league in runs scored with 57, and his 2-for-3 day at the plate raised his batting average to a season-high .322.

The Stingers scored their final run of the contest in the third inning when walks to Benson, Moore and Allday loaded the bases and Rowan’s RBI groundout made the score 7-0 on his 36th RBI of the season.

Willmar’s first-place lead in the North Division second-half standings was cut to 1.5 games by the Huskies. The Stingers will try to even the series Friday night against Duluth at 7:05 p.m. It’s Pajama Night presented by ACMC Sleep Medicine Services. The first 250 kids 14-and-under will receive a pillow case, and all fans will receive a certificate for a free bag of popcorn.

The 2012 season is presented by Charter. For more information on your Willmar Stingers be sure to visit the West Central Tribune at www.wctrib.com.