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Stingers nudged by MoonDogs, return to Beehive Tuesday

Mankato, Minn. — In its second straight low-scoring game, Willmar ended up on the wrong end of a 5-3 score Monday night at Franklin Rogers Park.

The MoonDogs scored first in the bottom of the first inning and led the rest of the way to hand Willmar its second straight loss by the same final count after a 5-3 loss Sunday at Eau Claire. 

Southpaw Austin Warner was on from the get-go for the MoonDogs as he struck out eight in five innings of work. But even though he held the Stingers in check for the early going, retiring the first nine batters he saw, Willmar still managed to manufacture three runs on the slow offensive night. 

Dan Motl led the charge for Willmar at the top of the order, as he doubled to left-center to start the fourth inning to give Willmar its first hit. Sean Beesley then walked, but the Stingers stranded the two on second and third to end the fourth inning.

Motl came back for more in the sixth, as he doubled off the left-field wall to kick-off a two-run rally. Motl then swiped third with Beesley at the plate. Beesley ended up getting hit by a pitch, and Motl came into score when Warner tried to pick off Beesley from first and threw the ball away. Beesley also came around on a sacrifice fly from Lucas Tancas. 

But the MoonDogs responded with a run of their own in the bottom of the sixth inning to push the lead to 5-2. 

The Stingers got a run back in the ninth, but with Mankato managed to escape with the tying run at the plate to win. 

Willmar returns home Tuesday night for the second home game of the season and Rice Community All-Star night.

The 2015 season is presented by Marcus Construction. For more coverage of the Stingers, visit the West Central Tribune online at www.wctrib,com. 

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Tonight’s Center for Diagnostic Imaging player of the game was Dan Motl. 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 myCDI.com/CentralMN.

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.