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Hanson, Lambert push Stingers past Border Cats in series finale

THUNDER BAY, Ont. — Tyler Hanson had his longest outing of the season and Greg Lambert had four hits and drove in a pair of runs to send the Stingers past Thunder Bay, 6-5, on Sunday evening at Port Arthur Stadium. 

The Stingers (16-18) fell behind after the first inning but then scored three in the top of the third inning and never trailed the rest of the way to earn the series split with the Border Cats (6-27). 

In his third season with the Stingers, Hanson (Minnesota) tossed seven sharp innings and struck out a career-high eight batters while allowing just two runs. After Hanson recorded the first out in the first inning, two singles and a fielder's choice led to the Border Cats first run of the game against Hanson. 

But Hanson settled into a groove after that and allowed just five more hits in his next six innings of work. 

Following a scoreless second inning by Hanson, the Stingers offense got on the board in the third inning with a three-run frame.

Eight men came to the plate in that third inning for Willmar, and Justin Toerner (Cal State Northridge) led off the frame with a walk. The next two batters grounded out, but then the top of the order came back and continued the rally. Quincy McAfee (Pepperdine) and Danny Pardo (Montevallo) both walked to load the bases, and Lambert (Southern Illinois) came through with a two-run single to give Willmar the lead for good. Danny Mayer (Pacific) followed with a single to plate the third run and make it 3-1. 

The Stingers offense continued to put up runs in the fourth and fifth innings, scoring three more runs total to stretch it to a 6-1 lead. Dylan Woods (Nova Southeastern) had an RBI single in the fourth, and Mayer had another RBI single in the fifth to bring home Lambert. Mayer scored later in the inning on an error. 

Thunder Bay eventually reached Hanson for a second run in the seventh inning, but that was all the more they could muster against the right-hander. The Border Cats tried to rally in the ninth inning, but they couldn't get any closer than one run. 

Tonight’s Center for Diagnostic Imaging player of the game was Tyler Hanson. 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.

Having wrapped up the four-game set with the Border Cats, the Stingers now head to Duluth for a two-game series starting Monday. 

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