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Stingers Drop Rubber Match 4-3

DULUTH–In the finale of a rain-compressed three game series with the Duluth Huskies, the Stingers dug themselves an early hole and were unable to climb out of it on Monday night, falling to Duluth by a score of 4-3 at Wade Stadium.  Stingers starter Logan Birr was forced to exit after just two innings of work after throwing thirty plus pitches in the second inning.  As per Northwoods League policy, any pitcher that throws more than thirty pitches in any one inning must leave the game once the frame is complete.

On in relief of Birr, Wally Marciel gave up three runs in the bottom of the third to stake the Huskies to a 4-0 lead.  Once again hampered by an early defecit, the now 5-7 Stingers fought back in the late innings, scoring a run in the seventh on a Jordan Smith RBI groundout, and adding two more in the eighth, including a solo home run to right off Nate Johnson’s bat, the first round-tripper in Stingers history.

The standout pitcher on the Willmar side was no doubt Jayson Huett.  The NW Missouri State product threw four and two thirds innings of scoreless ball in relief of Marciel, setting the table for Jacob Barnes’ near perfect ninth inning for the Stingers.  Despite his short outing, Birr gets the loss for the Stingers, giving up a run on two hits and walking three.  Connor Hulse was brilliant for the Huskies in his third start of the season, as the Harvard righthander went six scoreless innings, allowing just two Stinger hits and striking out four to earn the win.

Up next for the Willmar, it’s an off-day Tuesday, followed by a six game homestand starting Wednesday when the Stingers welcome the Rochester Honkers for a two-game set at Bill Taunton Stadium.  The first pitch is scheduled for 7:05 pm, but you’ll want to get to the ballpark early as it’s Create the Buzz Night presented by Hanson Advertising, KDJS 1590 AM, and the River, 97.3 FM.  The first 500 fans through the gates will recieve a Stingers kazoo.  For tickets call 320-222-2010 or check out willmarstingers.com for more information.  As always, we remind you to log on to wctrib.com for comprehensive Stingers coverage.  The 2010 season is presented by Charter.