Late game offense, pitching key win over Loggers

LA CROSSE, Wis.—Behind yet another late inning surge, the Stingers finished their season series with the Loggers on a winning note Sunday at Copeland Park. With six strong innings from starter Matt Snyder and a three-run eighth inning, Willmar defeated La Crosse 6-3 to snap a two-game losing streak.

After the Stingers didn’t score in the top of the first, La Crosse (29-29 overall, 8-15 second half) took the early lead with a run in the bottom of the same inning. Mike Nadratowski scored for the Loggers after reaching on a fielder’s choice, coming around with only one hit against Snyder.

However, the lone run in the first was the only tally Snyder would surrender the entire way in one of his best outings of the year. Although he gave up at least one base runner in every inning, Snyder had his best working with men aboard, stranding eight runners on base and seven over his final five innings.

The Stingers (38-19, 16-11), despite falling in the early hole, retaliated immediately after the Loggers took the first lead of the game. In the top of the second inning Willmar scored twice on just two hits with a groundout apiece from Tyler Cohen and Sean Beesley bringing in Jack Ross and Brett Barbier, respectively. Three innings later in the fifth the Stingers tacked on one more with Dan Motl singling in Sean Beesley to make it a 3-1 lead.

With the lead the rest of the way on the mound, Matt Snyder continued to impress. In the fourth after striking out the first two batters, he allowed back-to-back infield hits before fanning Brody Weiss to end the threat. Then during his final inning of work, Snyder walked the lead-off batter and surrendered a two-out base hit to put two on, but came back to induce a grounder to work out of another jam unscathed.

Following Snyder’s departure, the Loggers, like the day before, got right back into the game in the seventh. Nadratowski homered with a man on base and the game was tied at three.

But as had happened after La Crosse had scored the first time, Willmar responded right away. In the top of the eighth Motl led off with a bloop single into center field. Hutton Moyer advanced Motl to second with a sacrifice bunt, and Reagan Fowler dropped a double on the left field line to give the Stingers the lead for good. Nick Rivera followed the double with his second home run in as many days to make it 6-3.

Matt Geislinger held the Loggers in check in the bottom of the eighth, and Tyler Cohen got a double play in the ninth to erase a one-on, no-out opportunity for La Crosse, which was followed by a fly out to end the game.  

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 Matt Snyder. 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