WILLMAR, Minn. – Blake Shepherd (Viterbo) hit a three-run homer in the second inning to give the Stingers their first lead of the game, but the Stingers ultimately had to come back from a one-run deficit to earn an 8-5 victory over the Rochester Honkers at Bill Taunton Stadium Friday night.
Shepherd finished the game 3-for-4 with two runs and three RBIs. He now has a team-leading eight home runs this season along with 23 RBIs in 32 games. Pat Stover (Santa Clara) also had a three-hit game, reaching base all five times he was at the plate with three singles, two walks and an RBI. Jarid Scarafiotti (Stephen F. Austin), Chris Woolley (Western Nevada College) and Eduardo Gonzalez (Alcorn State) each added two-hit games with one double apiece. Wooley picked up his first two RBIs of the year on a double in the sixth inning to break a 4-4 tie, while Gonzalez increased his league-leading batting average to . 353.
Scarafiotti also had an excellent day in the field, catching two would-be base stealers and also picking a runner off third base in a critical moment of the ball game with the bases loaded and two out in the top of the seventh inning.
Michael Shreves (Montevallo) earned the victory after pitching a perfect 1 1/3 innings in relief of the starter Thomas Taylor (Kansas). Chris Gonzales (Point Loma Nazarene) received his first save of the season after pitching the final two innings and allowing only one hit and one walk.
Willmar will conclude its three-game homestand Saturday night against Alexandria with Summertime St. Patty’s Night presented by Miller Lite. Everything will be green at the ballpark, including the uniforms, hats and the beer. The first 250 adults 21-and-older will receive a Stingers pint glass. There will be postgame fireworks as well. The game will begin at 7:05 p.m. Gates will open at 6.
The 2011 season is presented by Charter.