Stingers come up short against MoonDogs in season finale

WILLMAR, Minn.—Both teams knew the stakes coming into game three at the Beehive Wednesday night. It was loser go home, and although the Stingers had a late rally in them, it fell just short in the season-ending 9-5 loss to the MoonDogs.

As has been the case many times this year against Mankato, Willmar surrendered the early lead with the MoonDogs getting a run in the first inning against Stingers' starter Kurt Yinger. After a scoreless bottom of the first and a scoreless second for both sides, Mankato added four runs to make it a 5-0 lead. However, the big blow came an inning later in the fourth with Andrew Towns on the mound. Tanner Rockwell went deep for a two-run home run to make it 7-0, a lead that was just too big for the Stingers to overcome.

But despite being down early, the Stingers were not out of it and battled back like they have on many occasions this season. Still trailing by seven going to the sixth, Brett Barbier got the second hit of the game and that led to three runs in the inning. Willmar got three more singles in the inning, one each from Sean Beesley, Reagan Fowler and Nick Rivera. Frankie Rios drove in the first run with a groundout, and Sean Beesley then stole two bases, including a daring swipe of home to make it 7-2. Rivera drove in Fowler to bring the deficit to just four runs.

Willmar tacked on two more in the seventh, but it came after Mankato had already tallied a run, so the lead still stood at three. The rest of the way, the Stingers couldn't reach the Mankato bullpen and a rally in the ninth fell short.

The Stingers finished the season with a franchise-high 47 wins and would like to thank all the fans for another outstanding season of Northwoods League baseball in Willmar.

The 2014 season is presented by Charter. For more coverage of the Stingers visit the West Central Tribune at

Tonight’s Center for Diagnostic Imaging player of the game was Sean Beesley. 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