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Published On: August 1st, 2016

WILLMAR, Minn. — The Rockford Rivets hit a two-run home run in the first inning and starter Drake Robison held a potent Stingers' offense in check for 6 1/3 innings, as the Rivets salvaged a series split with a 9-4 win on Sunday night at Bill Taunton Stadium. 

Despite trailing 5-0 after the fourth inning, the Stingers (32-26, 14-7 second half) battled right back into the game thanks to a big night from Justin Toerner (Cal State Northridge). Toerner blasted a two-run homer in the fifth inning with Danny Pardo (Montevallo) aboard to cut the deficit to 5-2. 

The Rivets (28-30, 11-11) got one run back in the top half of the seventh inning, but Willmar immediately answered in the bottom of the inning for two of its own.

It was Toerner again who factored into the second two-run rally of the night. Dylan Woods led off the seventh with the second of his two singles during the night, and moved to third on Pardo's single a batter later. Unfortunately, Pardo was cut down at second trying to stretch his hit to a double for the first out of the inning. But Greg Lambert kept the rally going with a single a batter later to plate Woods and make it 6-3. Then Toerner followed with his second extra-base hit of the night, a triple to the wall in right-center field. 

That was all the closer the Stingers managed to get, as the Rivets added three runs in the top half of the ninth inning to stretch their lead to five. 

Toerner finished the night 2-for-4 with three RBIs. The home run was Toerner's fifth of the season and the fourth of the series for the Stingers. Willmar has 22 home runs in the month of July alone. 

Lambert improved his hitting streak to an individual season-high 10 straight games with a 2-for-4 night. His RBI puts him at 51 for the season, just 13 shy of the all-time Stingers single season record.

Tonight’s Center for Diagnostic Imaging player of the game was Justin Toerner. 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

The Stingers now start a three-day road trip and head to St. Cloud on Monday for a doubleheader with the Rox. The first game is at 12 p.m. with the second game at 7 p.m. on Monday night. 

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