Stingers Toppled by Thunder Bay
June 1st, THUNDER BAY, ON – Steven Brault hit his first home run of the season, Zack Tillery collected four hits and JD Dorgan plated two runs with a double in the fourth, but Thunder Bay (1-3) erased a 4-0 deficit to win 7-4 at Port Arthur Stadium. The conditions were not ideal, but Willmar (2-2) bounced back offensively after a down night Friday.
The temperature stayed in the mid-40s as wind whipped and rain fell on the teams throughout the game. Despite the chilly atmosphere, Willmar jumped out to a hot start, beginning with the Brault (Regis) home run in the third. The solo shot to right-center field could have been good for two had Kyle Perry (Monmouth) not been caught stealing on a well timed pitch out.
In the fourth, the Stingers scored three runs, including an RBI single for Jake Gronsky (Monmouth). It was Gronsky’s first hit of the season and it was soon followed by another later in the game. There were hits a plenty for Willmar, in fact, the 14 hits marked a new season high.
The hot hitting of the Stingers, however, was matched by the Border Cats. Thunder Bay notched more than a dozen hits and scored all of its runs in the 5th inning or later. The two teams combined for more than 35 base runners.
Pitching was not as sharp as it had been, but the Stingers would have been hard-pressed to maintain the 0.67 ERA they brought into the game. Michael Murray (Florida Gulf Coast) made his debut for Willmar and pitched well until he ran into trouble in the fifth. Murray recorded six strikeouts while the other two Stinger pitchers, Andrew Crook (Meridian CC) and Joe Kirkland (Baylor) each recorded two.
Tillery (Florida Gulf Coast) earned CDI “player of the game” honors for his hitting performance in just his second game with the Stingers. Tillery finished 4-5 and improved his average after two games to .444.
The game was the first of a four-game road trip. Sunday, the Stingers will aim to avenge the loss against Thunder Bay and will then travel to Rochester for games on Monday and Tuesday.