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Wild and out: Stingers sweep Bucks to take over Wild Card spot

WATERLOO, Iowa — In one of the more critical series of the season, the Stingers came up with a big response to sweep the Waterloo on Friday night, topping the Bucks 9-3 at Riverfront Stadium.

Trailing 2-0 going to the third inning, the Stingers (31-25, 13-7 second half) scored seven runs over the next three innings to take the lead for good, as they moved past the Bucks (30-26, 8-13) in the standings to take over the second wild card spot in the North Division.

After the Bucks got both of their runs in the second inning, the Stingers immediately responded with a run of their own in the top of the third inning. Danny Pardo (Montevallo) started the rally with a one-out single and Greg Lambert (Southern Illinois) followed with an infield single. Pardo eventually scored when Danny Mayer (Pacific) reached on an error to get the Stingers within one.

The big inning for Willmar came in the fourth when they scored four times to grab the lead. Walks played a big part in the fourth inning, as the Stingers sent 10 players to the plate with four of those 10 drawing walks. With the bases loaded and one out, Pardo put the Stingers ahead with a two-run double. Mayer followed later in the inning with a booming two-run double of his own, giving Willmar a 5-2 lead.

The Stingers offense didn’t stop there, and scored two more in the fifth inning to put the game away. Willmar used a daring base-running play in the inning to grab the first run. With Tyler Smith (Pepperdine) at third and Pardo at first, Pardo took off on first movement from Bucks’ pitcher Patrick Boyle. When the throw went to first, Smith took off for home and slid underneath the tag. Lambert then singled home Pardo later in the inning.

Lambert was part of the final run-scoring rally of the night, as he doubled home two in the seventh to make it 9-3. Lambert finished the night with three RBIs to bring his season total to 50.

Bradley Bailey (North Alabama) didn't allow any earned runs in three innings of work to pick up his first win of the season. 

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.

The Stingers now return home for a two-game homestand against the Rockford Rivets, starting with the series opener at 7:05 p.m. on Saturday night at Bill Taunton Stadium. Saturday night is First Responders & Firefighters Appreciation Night presented by the Dan Baker Foundation, a night to promote addiction awareness that includes postgame fireworks.

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.