Toerning the page: Stingers blast two homers, top Honkers
ROCHESTER, Minn. — The Stingers offense has gone through a power surge to start the month of July, and that power carried the Stingers to a 10-6 win over the Rochester Honkers on Sunday afternoon at Mayo Field.
Justin Toerner (Cal State Northridge) and Danny Pardo (Montevallo) each had their third home run of the year, and the two combined for seven RBIs to help Willmar (22-19, 4-1 second half) win for the seventh time in the last eight games.
Tyler Hanson (Minnesota) picked up his fourth straight win, tying him for the longest pitching winning streak in the Northwoods League this summer. Hanson went eight innings and scattered eight hits with just one walk.
The Stingers offense struck in the early going to provide Hanson the lead. Willmar scored once against Rochester starter Max Gamboa in the second inning on an RBI single by Kole Cottam (Kentucky) and once more in the fourth on a solo home run by Toerner.
Rochester tied the game at two in the bottom of the fourth on a two-run homer by Ryan Fitzpatrick, but the Stingers responded right away in the top of the fifth to take the lead for good. Cole Gray (Midland) started the rally in the fifth with a lead-off walk and Quincy McAfee (Pepperdine) followed with the second of his four singles on the day to put runners at first and third for Pardo. Pardo promptly cleared the bags with a towering three-run shot over the right field wall to make it 5-2.
The two home runs in the game give the Stingers 11 in the month of July. Willmar had just nine homers in the first 31 games.
After the Stingers scored once more in the sixth, another two-run home run from Rochester in the bottom of the seventh drew the game within two runs at 6-4. Willmar's offense bounced right back though and scored four in the top of the eighth to put the game away. Toerner had the only RBIs in the inning, as he plated a pair on a critical two-run single to right field.
With the win, Hanson improved to 4-0 in five starts. The Stingers victory also kept them unbeaten against Rochester this year at 5-0.
Tonight’s Center for Diagnostic Imaging player of the game was Danny Pardo. 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 will go for the series sweep tomorrow at 7:05 p.m. at Mayo Field.
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.