Stingers explode for 15, top Honkers again

WILLMAR, Minn.—After back-to-back walk-off wins the previous two nights, the Stingers made sure that they didn't have to come from behind for a third straight night Friday at Bill Taunton Stadium. With 15 runs over the first three innings, Willmar coasted to a 15-8 victory over the Honkers to sweep the two-game series and take the season series with Rochester with five wins in eight games.

Honkers' starter Matt Bower started well on the mound in the bottom of the first inning, but following the first two outs, Reagan Fowler took Bower deep to give the Stingers (42-22 overall, 20-14 second half) the 1-0 lead, a lead that would stand for good.

Kurt Yinger faced the bare minimum three batters in the top of the second, inducing a groundball to get a double play to end the inning after allowing a one-out walk. The double play was one of three turned behind Yinger in his six innings on the rubber.

In the bottom of the second, the Stingers made sure Yinger was comfortable, giving him six more runs and a seven-run lead to work with going to the third. In its largest single inning output this season, Willmar sent 10 batters to the plate and six of the seven batters who reached base eventually came around to score. Max Dutto walked with the bases loaded to bring in the first run of the inning and Reagan Fowler and Nick Rivera had consecutive two-run singles. Brian Pruett also brought in a run with a single of his own.

If that wasn't enough for Yinger and the Willmar pitching staff, then the bottom of the third inning at the plate sealed the deal. Willmar came back from its best offensive inning this season to set a new mark for most runs in an inning this season with eight tallies in the bottom of the third. This time 14 batters came to the plate and six of the nine men in the order drove in at least one run. Brian Pruett drove in the first run of the inning with another single and Sean Beesley then promptly unloaded the bases with a double to the left-center gap. Fowler doubled right after to bring in Beesley, and Brett Barbier, Max Waletich and Dutto also drove in runs in the inning to make it 15-0.

Rochester would tally eight runs spread out over the final six innings at the plate, but it would not be enough with the large lead already in hand for Willmar.

Yinger picked up his third win of the year and Fowler was just a triple shy of the cycle. The win also sets a franchise record for most victories in a season.

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 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