Stingers Lose Rain-Shortened Game At Thunder Bay, 6-1

THUNDER BAY, Ontario – Willmar scored its lone run of the game in the fifth inning on a sacrifice fly by Eduardo Gonzalez (Alcorn State) to score Chris Woolley (Western Nevada) only moments before a heavy downpour hit Port Arthur Stadium in the bottom of the fifth inning to end the game in a 6-1 defeat for the Willmar Stingers against the Thunder Bay Border Cats Thursday night.

The big highlight for the Stingers came in the second inning when the team turned a triple play defensively. With runners on second and third base and nobody out, David Fallon grounded the ball to Eduardo Gonzalez who stepped on first base for the first out. Mike Hubbard, who began the play at second base ran to third, but Kevin Taylor did not try to advance from third base on the ground ball. Gonzalez threw the ball to Jason Leblebijian (Bradley) who tagged out both runners while off the base to complete the triple play.

Thunder Bay jumped out to a 6-0 lead in the first four innings with one run in the second, four in the third and an additional run in the fourth inning. In the third inning, four of the first five Thunder Bay batters reached base, capped off by a two-run homer by Ino Patron.

The Stingers had six different players with a hit in the game, including doubles by Sean Dwyer (Florida Gulf Coast) and Blake Shepherd (Viterbo). Mitch Rowan (Willamette), Anthony Bemboom (Creighton), Pat Stover (Santa Clara) and Leblebijian had the other hits. Gonzalez picked up his 32nd RBI of the season on the sacrifice fly in the sixth. He ranks second on the team in that category behind only Leblebijian, who has 36 RBIs this year.

Willmar will play its final road game of the season Friday night at Thunder Bay before returning home to Bill Taunton Stadium for Saturday and Sunday games as part of Fan Appreciation Weekend presented by Marcus Construction. Saturday’s game is Poster Night and Post-Game Fireworks presented by Marcus Construction & Lakeland Broadcasting. The first 500 fans will receive a Stingers poster. There will also be a special fireworks show after the game. Friday’s game in Thunder Bay will begin at 6:05 p.m.

The 2011 season is presented by Charter.