Stingers Split Doubleheader with Lunkers

WILLMAR–The Stingers split a pair of seven inning games with the Brainerd Lakes Area Lunkers on Wednesday night, walking off with a 2-1 win in game one before dropping a quirky 4-2 contest to Brainerd in the second game of the day, and penultimate home game of Willmar’s inaugural season at Bill Taunton Stadium. With the split, the Stingers regained a share of first place alongside the St. Cloud River Bats in the Northwoods League’s North Division second half standings.

In the first game of the evening, the Stingers and Lunkers burned through seven innings of baseball in less than two hours, with Willmar emerging 2-1 winners on a Bryan Willson walk-off hit in the final frame. After Anthony Bemboom’s third inning solo home run put Willmar in the lead, a leadoff single for Jared Norris in the seventh eventually resulted in Willson’s heroics. The Willmar third baseman brought Norris home on a bloop base hit into right center field.

The second game started strange and just got stranger as the innings ticked on by. First, a weird second inning play following a Jordan Smith leadoff triple brought the Stinger rightfielder in to score on a steal of home plate thanks to Jared Norris’ decoy play at first. Then, the Stingers fell behind in the third after starter Jeff Barto walked the bases loaded and a Joe Sever throwing error brought in a pair of runs. Brainerd could never get into a rhythm at the plate, and despite winning the game 4-2, ended up without a hit on the night, shut down by a quartet of Stingers hurlers.

Next up for the 36-29 Stingers, it’s a two game set with the Alexandria Beetles starting on Thursday night at 7:05 pm at Bill Taunton Stadium in the final home contest of Willmar’s 2010 inaugural regular season. It’s Fan Appreciation Night at the ballpark presented by Unicel. Fans are encouraged to stick around after the game for a postgame fireworks extravaganza! For tickets, call 320-222-2010 or log on to for more information. We remind you to visit for all your Stingers coverage. The 2010 season is presented by Charter.