WATERLOO, Iowa –Willmar scored three runs in the seventh inning to grab a brief 6-5 advantage, but Waterloo (4-0) responded with three runs in the bottom half of the frame to take the lead for good in an 8-7 victory against the Stingers at Riverfront Stadium Saturday night.
Trailing 5-3 entering the seventh,Willmarbegan the inning with three-straight singles by Logan Allen (Occidental College), Mitch Rowan (San Francisco) and Steven Brault (Regis). Two batters later, Michael Suchy (Florida Gulf Coast) singled to right to score Allen for his third RBI of the year. With the bases still loaded, Kenny Roberts (Alabama) walked to tie the game at five. Karl Sorensen (St. Cloud State) followed with a single to plate Brault and give the Stingers the lead for the first time in the game.
Waterloo came right back with three runs in the bottom of the seventh. After three of the first four hitters reached, Kevin Kaczmarski cleared the bases with a double to left-center field to give the Bucks an 8-6 lead. The Stingers responded with a run in the eighth on an RBI double by Brault that scored Rowan, but Brault was stranded on second as the potential tying run and the Stingers went down in order in the ninth to fall by a final score of 8-7.
Brault finished the game 3-for-5 with three RBIs, including two different RBI doubles. Rowan, Suchy and Sorensen joined Brault with multi-hit efforts. Suchy added a run scored, while Rowan crossed home plate twice in the contest. Allen led the team with three runs scored in the game and now leads the team with four runs this season.
The Bucks grabbed the early lead with a three-run second inning that began with three straight walks. Nico Zych then hit a two-run double to right field, and Connor McClain singled to left for his team-leading fifth RBI of the season.
Willmar chipped away at its deficit over the next three frames with a run in the third, one in the fifth and another run in the sixth on a sacrifice fly by Brady Anderson (Florida Gulf Coast) to tie the game, 3-3, but Waterloo immediately responded with two runs in the bottom of the sixth to reclaim the lead, 5-3.
The Stingers will look to get their first victory of 2012 in the series finale against Waterloo Sunday afternoon at 3:05 p.m.
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.