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Double trouble: Schaenzer, Vancena shut down Honkers in twin bill sweep

WILLMAR, Minn. — The Rochester Honkers drew first blood in a doubleheader on Sunday, but the Stingers pitching staff had the last laugh on the way to a sweep of the Honkers with 10-1 and 6-0 wins at Bill Taunton Stadium. . 

Willmar fell behind 1-0 to Rochester after the top of the first inning in the first game of the twin bill, but starting pitchers Brad Schaenzer (Kentucky) and Jayce Vancena (Michigan) dominated the rest of the way, as the duo both threw complete games and shut out the Honkers over the final 13 innings of the two games. 

The biggest response of the day came in the bottom of the first inning when the Stingers offense answered the Honkers' run with two of its own. Danny Pardo (Montevallo) had a one-out walk and Greg Lambert (Southern Illinois) singled after him to put two aboard. Justin Toerner (Cal State Northridge) followed two batters later with a two-run double to center field, and the Stingers never trailed the rest of the day. 

After allowing two hits in the first inning, Schaenzer allowed just two hits in his final six innings of work. Schanzer had three different innings where he retired the side in order and struck out four batters to earn his first win of the season. 

The Stingers offense put the game well out of reach in the late going, scoring eight runs combined in the final three innings at the plate. 

Willmar scored twice in the fourth on an RBI double by Brandon Perez (USC) and a sacrifice fly by Pardo. Perez finished the game going 3-for-4 with a pair of doubles. 

Following an additional run in the fifth, the Stingers put five on the board in the sixth thanks to a seven-hit inning. Danny Mayer (Pacific), Toerner, Kole Cottam (Kentucky) and Perez all had RBIs in the inning. 

In the 6-0 win in game two, the Stingers took an immediate lead in the bottom of the first after a scoreless top half by Vancena. Lambert doubled home Pardo, and that was all the offense Vancena needed. 

The right-hander didn't walk a single batter, matching his season-high with his seven innings of work in his first complete game shutout. Vancena also fanned five and had three innings where he faced the minimum. 

Like the first game, the Stingers offense added some insurance for their starter past the halfway point. Willmar put up three runs in the fourth inning and another pair in the fifth. 

In the fourth, Eddie Estrada blasted a one-out, solo home run to right-center field for his third big fly of the year. Dylan Woods (Nova Southeastern) added a two-run single later in the inning. 

Then in the fifth, Luke Becker (Kentucky) doubled home a pair for the final runs of the game. 

Pardo finished the second game with a 3-for-4 night to extend his season-high hitting streak to 15 games.

Tonight’s Center for Diagnostic Imaging player of the game was Jayce Vancena. 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.

With the two victories, the Stingers climbed within a half-game of first place in the North Division second half standings. 

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.