Three Home Runs Not Enough in 9-7 Stingers Loss

WILLMAR, Minn. – Willmar hit three home runs in the first four innings against Alexandria to take a 4-3 lead, but the Beetles came back to defeat the Stingers, 9-7, at Knute Nelson Memorial Park Wednesday night.

Mitch Rowan (San Francisco) gave the Stingers the lead in the first inning with a solo home run on a line drive over the rightfield wall, and Dillon Haupt (San Diego) added to it in the second with a two-run homer to score Kenny Roberts (Alabama).

Willmar saw its three-run advantage disappear quickly,as the Beetles plated two runs in the bottom of the second, which included a solo home run by Ryan Padilla. Alexandria tied the game one inning later on an RBI groundout by Ben Moore, who leads the Northwoods League with 53 RBIs this season.

Roberts broke the 3-3 tie in the fourth with a 385-foot home run to leftcenter field for his league-leading 12th homer of the season, but Alexandria wasted no time responding again with two runs in the bottom of the frame to take its first lead of the contest, 5-4.

Willmar tied the game one more time, 5-5 in the sixth, when Max Kuhn (Kentucky) hit a sacrifice fly to left field to drive home Roberts, who led off the inning with a single and advanced to third on a double by Haupt. Roberts finished the game 3-for-4 with three runs scored and an RBI.

The Beetles took the lead for good in the bottom of the sixth with three runs on four hits, including two bunts to score a runner from third.

The Stingers bounced back again in the seventh. After Forrestt Allday (Central Arkansas) and Rowan reached on back-to-back base hits, MIchael Suchy (Florida Gulf Coast) singled up the middle to score both runners and pull the Stingers within one, 8-7. That ended the scoring for Willmar, though, and the Beetles tacked on an additional run in the seventh to make the final score 9-7.

The Stingers will face Alexandria again Thursday at Bill Taunton Stadium at 7:05 p.m. It’s Beer, Brats and Baseball Night presented by Westside Liquor and Cullen’s Home Center. There will be a special pre-game event at 5 p.m. with beer tasting and specialty brats served from Wick’s Meat Shoppe. All fans in attendance will also have the opportunity to win $1,500 in prizes from Cullen’s Home Center.

The 2012 season is presented by Charter. For more information on your Willmar Stingers be sure to visit the West Central Tribune at