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Published On: July 7th, 2014

DULUTH, Minn.—The Stingers climbed the mountain and rallied in the late going of Sunday night's matchup with Duluth, but the rally fell short as the Huskies scored in the bottom of the tenth inning to nip Willmar, 3-2 in the first of a two-game series.

TJ Whidby was the highlight of the game for the Stingers, completing his longest outing of the season as he went nine strong innings on the mound. But although he allowed just two runs, his quality start came on a night where offense was hard to come by for both sides. After Dan Motl singled to lead off the game for Willmar (24-11 overall, 2-3 second half), the Stingers didn't record another hit against Duluth starter Sean Poppen until the fifth inning. In that time frame, the Huskies (12-24, 3-2) tallied both of their runs that they got against Whidby, one each in the second and fifth innings. 

Whidby actually allowed two hits apiece in the second, third and fourth innings but he came out of two of those three innings not giving up any runs with clutch pitching and solid defense behind him. In the third inning with two on and only one out, Whidby induced a ground ball that got turned for a double play to end the inning. Then in the fourth after the Huskies started the frame with back to back hits, Whidby got the next three batters to silence the threat.

After the Huskies took a 2-0 lead in the bottom of the fifth, Willmar came right back to cut the deficit in half. The rally began with two already gone in the inning as three straight hits from Hutton Moyer, Reagan Fowler and Casey Hughston chased Moyer home to score. However, Fowler was thrown out at the plate on Hughston's double to end the frame.

Willmar hung around and eventually tied the game at two in the eighth, with Whidby finishing the ninth by setting the Huskies down in order to send the game to extras. He scattered ten hits, struck out three and did not walk a single batter in his nine innings. Duluth tallied the winning run in the bottom of the tenth off two singles with one out and then a fielder's choice. Moyer's relay throw to first on a attempted double play was just barely late, which allowed the winning run to score from third.

The 2014 season is presented by Charter. For more coverage of the Stingers visit

Tonight’s Center for Diagnostic Imaging player of the game was TJ Whidby. 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