ALEXANDRIA, Minn. — The Stingers got started with a strong outing from Blake Stockert on Friday night, and they rode that the rest of the way to a 10-6 victory over Thunder Bay.
Stockert threw five innings and allowed just one run while striking out five, and Willmar struck for some immediate offense in support of its starter.
The Stingers scored two runs in the second and two runs in the third to take a 4-0 lead that it woud never look back from. Several different players got into the act offensively, as Cole Gray (Midland) and Brandon Perez (USC) each had three hit-nights. Perez had a run-scoring single in the second to open the scoring, plating Gray after Gray reached on a single to start the inning.
Gray and Perez started a three-run rally in the sixth, which proved to be enough for the win. Gray led off with a single, and Perez doubled down the right-field line to score Gray again. Danny Pardo (Montevallo) and Greg Lambert (Southern Illinois) followed with RBI singles of their own to make it a 7-1 lead.
After the four early runs from his team, Stockert (North Dakota State) began to cruise. He stranded a pair in the first in the second inning, and then only allowed two more base runners in his final three innings of work.
The Stingers put up another three runs in the eighth to ensure the win. Gray drove in a run in the eighth, and Lambert had a two-run single to make it 10-5. Lambert now has six RBIs in his last two games.
Tonight’s Center for Diagnostic Imaging player of the game was Blake Stockert. 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.
Willmar now heads on the road for two games in Rochester before returning to the Beehive on Monday for a doubleheader with Mankato.
The 2016 Stingers season is presented by Marcus Construction. For more coverage of the Stingers visit the West Central Tribune at www.wctrib.com.