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Stingers ink two returners, round out roster for 2015 season

All-Star Towns, Belter come back to Willmar for second season

Willmar, Minn. – The Willmar Stingers are excited to announce the addition of two returning players from the 2014 team. The signings of 2014 North Division All-Star Andrew Towns (Walters State) and Dakota Belter (Minnesota State) help round out the roster for upcoming season of Stingers baseball, their sixth in the Northwoods League.

Towns, a 6-foot-2 sophomore left-handed pitcher, was a key part of the Stingers rotation a year ago and has carried over that success to Walters State this spring season. With a 7-2 record on the hill for the Senators, Towns helped Walters State to a berth in the JUCO World Series this upcoming weekend. In the NJCAA East District final on May 16, Towns came on in relief for Walters State and struck out 12 batters in 6 1/3 innings of work to earn his seventh victory of the year in an 18-8 Senators win. A season ago with the Stingers, Towns compiled a 4-2 record, throwing 68 innings total and recording the second-highest strikeout total (55) for a single season in Stingers franchise history.

Belter also pitched for the Stingers a season ago, and the 5-foot-11 junior recently completed his first season with Minnesota State after transferring from Century College. In 21 appearances this season with the Mavericks, which led the pitching staff, Belter had a team-best 1.77 ERA and a 3-2 record. He also led the team with 11 saves and had 26 strikeouts in 35 2/3 innings pitched. With his strong campaign for the Mavericks, Belter earned First-Team All-Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference honors.

In addition to Towns and Belter, the Stingers also signed twelve other players to complete the roster for the 2015 season:

  • Tyus Adkins, pitcher, Upper Iowa
  • Jon Ludwig, pitcher, Minnesota State
  • Jonathon Lycan, pitcher, Louisiana State-Shreveport
  • Davis Adkins, pitcher, Georgia Gwinnett
  • Justin Thaxton, infielder, Pacific
  • Jason Ortiz, pitcher, Northwestern State
  • Paul Funk, infielder, North Dakota State
  • Billy Quirke, infielder, Triton
  • Tyler Heitmann, pitcher, Bethel
  • Ruger Rodriguez, pitcher, New Mexico Military Institute
  • Zach Taylor, catcher, Scottsdale Community College
  • Lucas Tancas, infielder, Irvine Valley College

With the roster now complete, Field Manager Drew Saberhagen and the Stingers will shift focus to the upcoming season, with the season opener next Wednesday at Duluth. The 2015 Home Opener presented by Marcus Construction is Thursday, May 28th against the Thunder Bay Border Cats.

Single game tickets for the 2015 season are currently on sale and can be purchased online via www.willmarstingers.com, by calling 320-222-2010, or visiting the Stingers ticket office located at Bill Taunton Stadium from 10 am – 5 pm. For more information regarding this press release please contact the Willmar Stingers front office at 320-222-2010 or visit www.willmarstingers.com.

The 2015 season is presented by Marcus Construction. From start to finish Marcus Construction will make your job easier and build a facility you will be proud of.

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The Willmar Stingers are a member of the finest developmental league for elite college baseball players, the Northwoods League. Playing its 22nd season of summer collegiate baseball in 2015, the Northwoods League is the largest organized baseball league in the world with 18 teams, drawing significantly more fans, in a friendly ballpark experience, than any league of its kind. A valuable training ground for coaches, umpires and front office staff, more than 120 Northwoods League players have advanced to Major League Baseball, including Cy Young Award winner Max Scherzer (WAS) and MLB All-Stars Chris Sale (CWS), Jordan Zimmermann (WAS), Curtis Granderson (NYM), Lucas Duda (NYM) and Ben Zobrist (TB). All league games are viewable live via the Northwoods League Website.  For more information, visit www.willmarstingers.com.