ROCHESTER, Minn.—For the second straight day nine innings was not enough to declare a winner between Rochester and Willmar, but Monday night the Stingers were the ones on the short end of an extra-inning loss, 6-5 in 13 innings at Mayo Field.
The Stingers (17-6) took the lead early on in the ballgame with a run in the top half of inning number two. But Rochester (15-12) came back for one of its own in the bottom of the same inning to knot the score at one. After Willmar notched one more in the fourth, again the Honkers responded, this time with two runs to take the 3-2 lead.
In the ninth inning with the score still the same, Nick Rivera blasted a solo shot to left field to tie the game, which was his second home run of the game and third in two days. The drive sailed high out of the park to left center field and just cleared the fence in the deepest park of Mayo Field, but was enough to get the Stingers even.
Matt Geislinger, in his second inning of work, shut down the Honkers in the bottom half of the ninth for his second straight spotless frame to push the game into extra innings. Things started out well for Willmar in the 10th when Brian Pruett pinch hit and led off with a single. Two more singles by Frankie Rios and Dan Motl gave the Stingers a bases-loaded chance with no one out. After Jack Ross struck out, Reagan Fowler bounced one to Honkers' shortstop Connor Schaefbauer who looked like he had a chance to turn two, but after he bobbled the ball Fowler had enough time to reach first, as Pruett came into score. Willmar tacked on one more with Casey Hughston's RBI single to go up 5-3 heading to the bottom of the tenth.
Like it had already done two times in the game though, Rochester answered once more and tied the game at five in the bottom of the tenth inning to keep the game going. The Honkers then got a leadoff triple in the bottom of the 13th to win the game, splitting two matchups that totaled 29 innings.
The Stingers will be back at home Tuesday and Wednesday to take the North Division leading La Crosse Loggers.
Tonight’s Center for Diagnostic Imaging player of the game was Nick Rivera. 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.