WILLMAR, Minn.—For just the second time this season the Stingers could not find their rhythm at home, as they fell to Alexandria 10-4 Friday night at Bill Taunton Stadium, just their fourth loss of the season.
TJ Whidby made the start on the mound for the Stingers (7-4) and although he gave up a run in the first inning, he kept Willmar within catching distance of the Blue Anchors (3-8) for a good portion of the game.
In the fourth inning with the Stingers trailing by three runs, the offense finally came to life for their starter as Nick Rivera worked a four pitch walk to start the frame. First baseman Reagan Fowler, playing in his first game in a Stingers uniform after joining the team Thursday, followed by ripping a double down the line in right to put two on with no one out in the inning. After Troy Kuhn popped out to the left side of the infield, Sam Hall reached on a throwing error by Blue Anchors' third baseman Dylan Dressel, which allowed Rivera to race home from third and put the Stingers on the board. The run put the Stingers right back into the thick of things with plenty of time still left to play.
In the top of the next inning though, Alexandria stretched its lead to six runs with four runs off Whidby, who left with just one out in the inning. But despite the deficit, the Stingers still kept their nose to the grindstone as Ben Gullo came on to replace Whidby in his first appearance of the season. From the get go, the recently acquired Gullo impressed, allowing just one hit in 2-2/3 innings of work. The tall righty fanned one batter in his almost three innings on the mound and came out of the fifth inning unscathed after he had taken over for Whidby with a runner on second base.
Hayden Cleveland relieved Gullo in the eighth inning and allowed three runs, but the Stingers continued to fight until the final out. With one out in the bottom of the ninth, Dan Motl kick started a rally the hard way after getting stung in the back by a pitch from the Blue Anchors' Rob Mouton. It was the second time in the game Motl got beaned, giving him the league lead in the hit-by-pitch category with his six. With two gone in the inning, Rivera brought Motl home from second with his RBI single. Rivera then got chased home himself with another double by Reagan Fowler to cut the lead to six.
TJ Whidby (1-1) suffered his first loss of the year, while Onas Farfan (1-0) earned his first win in his first appearance.
The 2014 Stingers season is presented by Charter. For more coverage of the Stingers visit wctrib.com
Tonight’s Center for Diagnostic Imaging player of the game was Reagan Fowler. CDI is your local medical imaging provider. It’s your choice where you go for medical imaging, for MRI, CT, mammograms and pain injections, choose CDI. Visit online at myCDI.com/CentralMN.