Offense carries Stingers to win over MoonDogs

WILLMAR, Minn.—In the final game of a six-game homestand and the first of four games against Mankato, the Stingers' offense got off to a quick start and broke ties on two occassions later in the game on the way to a 7-6 win Saturday evening at Bill Taunton Stadium.

The pivotal inning for Willmar (43-22 overall, 21-14 second half) was the first, where the Stingers got a scoreless top half from starter Matt Snyder and then scored three runs in the bottom half to grab the early lead. Brian Pruett led off the bottom of the first and after taking a ball, crushed the second pitch he saw over the left field wall for his first home run of the year to make it 1-0. Max Waletich followed with a double over the head of center fielder Tyler Sullivan and eventually scored on Jack Ross' single three batters later. Nick Rivera, who had walked just before Ross, scored on a Casey Hughston single to make it 3-0 after one.

Mankato (36-29, 15-14) retaliated with a run in the top of the second and two more in the top of the third, but Willmar had a response of its own in the bottom of the third. Max Waletich and Reagan Fowler reached back-to-back to start the third and Jack Ross again came up big, this time driving in both with a single down the right field line.

But as was the occasion three times during the game, Mankato scored right away after giving up a run, and with two in the top of the fourth the score was knotted, this time at five.

However, after 10 runs in the first four innings, it took two and a half innings for another team to score, and the Stingers took the lead for good in the bottom of the sixth with another two-run inning. Jack Ross was the force to be reckoned with once more and led the inning off with a walk. Hughston followed with a double to put runners on second and third with no outs, and Max Ayoub and Matt Stubbs had a single and sacrifice fly, respectively, to give Willmar the 7-5 lead.

Matt Geislinger was a big reason for the lack of scoring the rest of the way and worked three more innings in relief in addition to the two he already had after taking over for Snyder in the fifth. Geislinger allowed just one hit and one run while striking out four in his five innings.

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 Geislinger. 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