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Loggers foil pair of Stingers comebacks in series finale

WILLMAR, Minn. — The Stingers answered two separate five-run deficits in the series finale against La Crosse on Friday night, but they fell just one run short in a 7-6 loss to the Loggers at Bill Taunton Stadium. 

Willmar (26-24, 8-6 second half) trailed 5-0 after the top of the third inning and then 7-2 after the top of the sixth, but had a rally in it for the second straight night to eventually take the game to the final at–bat. But with the tying run on base in the bottom of the ninth, Devin Foyle grounded into a double play to end the game. 

The Stingers got right back in the game in the bottom half of the sixth inning with a three run frame, as the bottom third of the order came through in the clutch.

Seven-hole hitter Luke Becker (Kentucky) led of the sixth with a walk, and then moved into scoring position on a wild pitch with Travis Wacker (Oklahoma State) at the plate two batters later. Wacker immediately singled Becker home for his first RBI of the night to draw the Stingers within four. A batter later, Tyler Smith (Pepperdine) doubled home Wacker, and Smith eventually scored later in the inning on an RBI single by Justin Toerner, a run that cut the Loggers' lead to just 7-5. 

After a scoreless top of the seventh, the Stingers scored once more in the bottom of the seventh to draw within a run. Danny Mayer (Pacific) singled to start that rally, and Wacker brought him home with his second run-scoring hit of the game to make it 7-6. 

Willmar stranded two aboard in the seventh and left one more on in the eighth, coming just short of tying the game in both innings. 

Trailing 5-0 in the bottom of the third, the Stingers got on the board initially with a two-run double by Greg Lambert (Southern Illinois). Lambert finished the night with three hits and the two RBIs. The Stingers also got a three-hit, two-RBI night from Wacker. 

Tonight’s Center for Diagnostic Imaging player of the game was Travis Wacker. 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 Stingers continue the homestand with a two-game set against the Rochester Honkers on Saturday and Sunday. Saturday night is Jennie-O Turkey Store night with first pitch scheduled for 7:05 p.m. 

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.