Multiple rallies not enough as MoonDogs take game one
Five different players score, four drive in at least one in defeat
Willmar, Minn. — There aren't too many times a team comes back from more than one multiple-run deficit, but that's what the Stingers did Saturday night at Bill Taunton Stadium.
But after Willmar (33-18, 10-7 second half) tied the game after trailing on three separate occasions, a fourth rally fell just short in the final two innings in a 7-6 loss to Mankato (25-28, 7-10).
The final rally in the ninth inning actually fell short in more ways than one, as Ky Parrott drove a deep fly ball to the warning track in left field with a runner on first that would have won the game.
Even though that final rally fell short, the Stingers still managed to make three separate comebacks throughout the game, including comebacks of three runs and two runs in the first five innings. After Willmar gave up three runs in the top of the second inning, it came to the plate in the bottom half of the same inning and got all three right back. The Stingers sent nine men to the plate total in the frame and got run scoring singles from Eddie Estrada, Manny Jefferson and Dan Motl to knot the score.
Then after the MoonDogs took a 5-3 lead in the fourth, the Stingers came back an inning later in the bottom of the fifth to tie the score once more. Motl and Sean Beesley reached to start that fifth inning, and Ky Parrott brought both around with a two-run double, his 32nd and 33rd RBIs of the season.
Mankato scored in the top of the sixth, but Willmar again had an answer. Three straight hits in the inning brought the score even at six in the bottom of the sixth. Estrada doubled to start the inning and, after a Troy Dixon single, Jefferson got his second RBI of the night and season on his single that plated Estrada.
The MoonDogs scored in the top of the eighth, which proved to be the eventual game-winning run.
Willmar has one game remaining before the Northwoods League All-Star break, and will get a rematch with Mankato Sunday at Bill Taunton Stadium with first pitch set for 6:05 p.m. Sunday is Adult Jersey Giveaway Night and the first 200 adults through the gates will get a jersey.
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 Eddie Estrada. 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.