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Published On: July 2nd, 2015

Willmar, Minn. — The Stingers and pitching were synonymous in the first half.

That didn't change in the first game of the second half Wednesday night at Bill Taunton Stadium. 

Brian Kehner had one of the finest pitching performances for any Stingers starter so far this season, throwing eight two-hit innings as the Stingers toppled Eau Claire 3-1 to open the second half with a win. 

It didn't start out the way Kehner wanted, but his finish was what mattered. Kehner allowed a lead-off home run in the top of the first inning to the Express' Sam Hurt, but then retired 23 of the final 25 batters he faced as he dominated Eau Claire the rest of the way. After that lead-off homer, Kehner set down the next 10 guys in a row. Kehner allowed a one-out hit in the fourth inning, but then put it on cruise control again, setting down the next 12 guys in a row. 

With Kehner baffling Express hitters, the Stingers (24-11) scored just enough runs to back their starter. Trailing by one going into the bottom of the first, the Stingers scored immediately to tie the game back up. Sean Beesley led off with a single and then swiped second base to get into scoring position. Kyle Gilbert followed with a two-out single, his second straight game with an RBI, to tie the score. 

Neither team scored until the sixth inning, as the Stingers took the lead for good with a single run. They would add another tally in the bottom of the seventh for insurance. 

Kehner finished his eight innings with seven strikeouts, as Jonathan Lycan came on in the ninth to pick up his first save, retiring the side. 

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

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