WILLMAR, Minn. – Willmar bounced back from a 6-2 deficit after a six-run inning by Duluth with three runs in the fourth and two runs in the sixth to claim a 7-6 victory against the Huskies and move into first place in the North Division Friday night at Bill Taunton Stadium.
The Stingers (12-8) held the initial lead, 2-0, after Corben Green (Louisiana Monroe) singled with one out to score Forrestt Allday (Central Arkansas) and Mitch Rowan (San Francisco) in the first inning. Allday began the game with a base hit to left, and Rowan followed with a double off the centerfield wall.
Duluth (12-9) scored all six of its runs in the fourth inning on four hits and four walks. Four of the first five batters reached on a base on balls. All four hits in the inning were singles, and the Huskies sent 11 batters to the plate in the frame, leaving two men on base.
Trailing 6-2, the Stingers began their comeback effort in the bottom of the fourth when Zach Benson (Stephen F. Austin) was hit by a pitch to lead off the inning. Benson stole second base and scored two batters later on an RBI single by Allday. Rowan then hit his fourth home run of the season to center field to pull the Stingers within one, 6-5.
In the sixth inning, Brennan Moore (Texas Tech) was hit by a pitch with one out and advanced to second on Allday’s fourth single of the contest. After a passed ball allowed both runners to move up 90 feet, Rowan grounded out to second base to bring home Moore and tie the game, 6-6. The next batter, Dillon Haupt (San Diego), doubled to center to plate Allday as the game-winning run.
Allday finished the game 4-for-5 with an RBI and three runs. He now leads the Northwoods League with 51 runs scored this season, and his batting average is above .300 for the first time this year at .303. Rowan ended the contest 2-for-5 with two runs and three RBIs to give him 29 on the year.
Jonathon Flinn (Hawaii) received the victory after pitching 3.2 innings of scoreless relief, striking out three while only allowing three hits. Brady Anderson (Florida Gulf Coast) earned his second save in as many nights and his 12th of the season by striking out two while recording the final four outs.
The Stingers will complete their three-game homestand Saturday with a 7:05 p.m. game against St. Cloud. It’s a postgame fireworks night as well as a soft-sided lunch box giveaway presented by Hansen Advertising. The first 250 fans will receive a Stingers soft-sided lunch box, and all fans will be treated to a postgame fireworks extravaganza.
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