Waterloo, Iowa — Close games and wins had gone hand in hand for the Stingers for the better part of the last month.
But after winning eight straight one-run games dating back to June 12, Willmar finally had its string of close victories come to a stop Monday night against Waterloo. The Stingers (27-13, 4-2 second half) struck first and got a solid outing from Garrett Anderson in his first start of the year, but Waterloo scraped across two runs in the fifth inning to win 2-1 at Riverfront Stadium.
Willmar took the lead right away in the first inning against Bucks’ starter Jordan Desguin. Willmar’s Sean Beesley started the rally in the first by singling and then moved to third on Reagan Fowler’s single a batter later. A fielder’s choice grounder by Ky Parrott drove in Beesley from third, gave Parrott his 27th RBI of the year and made it a 1-0 Stingers lead.
But after that the Stingers offense stayed quiet the rest of the way. But Anderson kept the Stingers ahead for the next four innings and stranded at least one baserunner in each of his first four innings, including two in the second inning.
Anderson allowed runners on the corners right away in the first inning, but got a strikeout to get the first out of the inning. Catcher Troy Dixon then threw out the runner at first when he tried to steal second, and Anderson finished the frame by striking out his second batters of the inning.
In the second inning the Bucks put runners at first and second with two outs in the inning. But shortstop Tyler Leffler made a ranging play behind second base to get to a ground ball and threw out the runner at first to keep the Bucks off the board.
Waterloo finally got on the board in the fifth inning with two runs on a pair of hits to take the lead. Desguin and Nathan Spielvogel out of the bullpen combined to keep the Stingers at bay the rest of the way, as the Bucks held on for just their second win against the Stingers in the last two seasons.
Willmar now returns home for its second longest home stretch of the year with seven home games over the next six days. That homestand starts Tuesday night with Ickey Woods Night at Bill Taunton Stadium.
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.
Tonight’s Center for Diagnostic Imaging player of the game was Reagan Fowler. 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.