ALEXANDRIA, Minn. – Willmar rallied from a 3-1 deficit with a three-run seventh inning to take a 4-3 lead, but the Beetles came back with two runs in the bottom of the eighth to knock off the Stingers, 5-4, at Knute Nelson Memorial Park Monday night.
The Stingers (19-14) took the lead initially with an RBI single in the first inning by Corben Green (Louisiana Monroe). The base hit extended Green’s hitting streak to 10 games and gave him 11 RBIs in 12 games with the club. Alexandria responded, however, with two runs on three hits in the bottom of the first to take the lead. The Beetles added another run in the fifth to take a 3-1 advantage into the seventh.
Matt Jackson (Washington) and Forrestt Allday (Central Arkansas) led off the seventh inning with back-to-back walks. After Jackson scored on a wild pitch, Michael Suchy (Florida Gulf Coast) singled to left field to score Allday from second base and tie the game, 3-3. Following Green being hit by a pitch and a walk to Steve Talbott (Purdue), Zach Benson (Stephen F. Austin) earned a walk to score Suchy and put the Stingers in front. It marked Benson’s fourth RBI in the last three gmes.
Alexandria came back in the eighth after two walks and a base hit loaded the bases with one out. Tanner Vavra and Ben Moore hit back-to-back RBI singles to take a 5-4 lead, and Anthony Bazzani pitched a perfect ninth inning to earn his fifth save of the season.
Andre Wheeler (Texas Tech) suffered his first loss of the season after surrendering two runs in 1.2 innings while striking out two. Anthony Consiglio (Western Nevada) did not factor into the decision after allowing three runs in five innings in his fifth start of the year. Kody Gorden (Nevada) pitched 1.1 innings of middle relief and did not allow a run despite walking three.
Willmar returns to Alexandria Tuesday night for another game against the Beetles at 7:05 p.m.
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.