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Runaway train: Stingers stay red hot with defeat of Express

Eau Claire, Wisc. — The Stingers have played Eau Claire six times in the last eight days, and they've won all six of those games. 

Willmar came into Saturday night's meeting with the Express cruising, with wins in 18 of their last 21 games.  In the final game of the regular season series with the Express, the Stingers made it 19 of the last 22 behind a gritty 4-3 win at Carson Park and the seventh win in eight tries against Eau Claire this season. 

Willmar (27-11) struck in the early going, but the game went back and forth the rest of the way. But the Stingers pitching held the Express offense at bay, as Eau Claire tied the game on two different occasions but never held a lead over the Stingers. 

After the Express tied the game at three in the bottom of the fifth inning, Stingers starter Bradley Bailey prevented any more runs from scoring in his last inning of work in the sixth.

Then in the seventh, the Stingers offense scored the only other run it would need to take the lead for the third time and the lead for good. Dan Motl's strong night at the top of the order continued in the seventh, as he led the inning off with a single to right field. After Storm Wilson sacrificed Motl over to second, Reagan Fowler and Ky Parrott followed with back to back singles, with Parrott's driving Motl in to give the Stingers a 4-3 lead. That RBI for Parrott was his ninth in his last six games, as he continues to lead the Stingers with his 26 RBIs. 

The Stingers bullpen then held on the rest of the way with two scoreless innings from Colton Boucher and the ninth save in nine tries for Brady Anderson, which leads the Northwoods League. 

Eddie Estrada also shined for the Stingers, keeping up his recent hot stretch. Estrada had a pair of doubles, drove in a run and scored a run. as he ran his hitting streak to a modest three games. 

The 2015 Stingers 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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