Willmar, Minn. — The Stingers' offense had led the way in recent weeks, but it was pitching that took over again Saturday night at Bill Taunton Stadium.
Colton Boucher threw five scoreless innings and three other relievers combined to shutout St. Cloud in a 3-0 victory.
The Stingers (42-21, 19-10 second half) got a pair of runs in the second inning, and that's all the pitching staff, which brought in the lowest ERA in the Northwoods League, needed. In that second innning, Eddie Estrada led off the rally with a single and Dylan Alexander followed with a single two batters later to put runners on the corners. Then Tyler Leffler drove in the only run Boucher and the Stingers would need with an RBI single into right field. Sean Beesley brought home Alexander later in the inning with a sacrifice fly.
From there, Boucher took over. He didn't allow a base runner until the third inning, a walk, and the only hit against him in his five innings came in the fourth.
But the highlight of the night came in the second inning. After a scoreless first for both sides, Boucher struck out the side in the top half of the second, and it came against the middle of the Rox order. Boucher needed just 13 pitches to whiff Liam Bedford, Webb Bobo and Kyle Serrano.
After Boucher came out in the sixth, Jonny Ortiz, Dakota Belter and Brady Anderson continued to dominate the Rox the rest of the way. In his first game back since June 29, Ortiz had two scoreless innings and gave up just one hit. Belter then threw a perfect eighth and Anderson closed out his 17th straight save in the ninth.
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 Colton Boucher. 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.