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Water logged: Stingers top La Crosse in rain-shortened win

WILLMAR, Minn. — The rain couldn't dampen the Stingers recent hot stretch, as Willmar beat La Crosse 5-0 in five innings on Wednesday night at Bill Taunton Stadium. 

The Stingers (5-4) and La Crosse (3-6) endured two separate delays throughout the course of the game, with the second rain delay eventually ending the game after five innings. 

Willmar got another strong outing from right-handed pitcher Gage Hutchinson (Daytona State), who threw all five innings, allowed just two hits and struck out four to pick up his second-straight win to open the season. 

After facing the minimum in the first inning, Hutchinson got some immediate run support from his teammates in the first inning. The Stingers put two runs on the board in the frame to take a lead they would not relinquish.

Quincy McAfee started the scoring rally with a lead-off single and went to second after Danny Pardo singled a batter later. Justin Toerner grounded into a double play, but that brought home the first run. Devin Foyle (Kansas) singled home Pardo to make it 2-0. 

Willmar added a single run in the bottom of the second to make it 3-0 and two more in the fourth inning for the final margin of victory. 

The game was plagued by weather throughout the night, as it went into a half hour lightning delay after the third inning. After resuming, the two teams played the next two innings before being halted for good after the fifth. 

McAfee and Pardo led the Stingers at the plate, as each recorded a pair of hits. McAfee drove in two runs and scored a run, while Pardo drove in his team-leading seventh run and scored another. 

The Stingers round out the brief three-game homestand with the second of two games against La Crosse on Thursday night for the second annual Rice Community All-Stars Night. First pitch is scheduled for 7:05 p.m.

Tonight’s Center for Diagnostic Imaging player of the game was Gage Hutchinson. 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.

The 2016 Stingers season is presented by Marcus Construction. For more coverage of the Stingers visit the West Central Tribune at www.wctrib.com.