Rodriguez Launches Two Stinger Dingers in Walkoff Victory
WILLMAR, Minn. – For the second night in a row, the Stingers won a closely contested, one-run battle with the Loggers, this time edging out La Crosse with a walkoff victory in the ninth.
Danny Rodriguez (Bethune-Cookman) led the charge by sending two home runs over the left-center field wall in the game.
His first inning home run gave the Stingers a 2-0 lead, and was his fourth of the year.
In the seventh inning, he came up once again, this time with a 3-2 lead and the bags loaded. He launched a 2-0 fastball over the left-center field wall for his first grand slam of the year, giving the Stingers a five-run lead.
La Crosse responded by scoring five in the eighth and ninth innings combined. That brought it to a tie game in the bottom of the ninth and the Stingers' heart of the order due up.
Luke Becker (Kentucky) started the inning by drawing a walk. He leads the team in walks with 22 on the year.
Josh Bissonette (Baylor) then sacrificed Becker over to third, and then Becker advanced to third on a wild pitch.
Next came the Stingers' All-Star third baseman and 2017 Home Run Derby contestant, Nolan Bumstead.
Bumstead (CS-Northridge) drove the third pitch he got into left field for the game-winning hit, lifting the Stingers above the Loggers 8-7. It was Bumstead's second hit on the day and his 32nd RBI on the year, which leads the Northroods League.
His fourth-inning double puts him back on top of the league in doubles, now with 14.
Today's Center for Diagnostic Imaging player of the game was Danny Rodriguez. 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.
Rodriguez finished the day with six RBIs, two walks, and was named the NWL Player of the Night for the first time this season.
Tonight's game was witnessed by 1,749 fans, which is the fifth-largest crowd in the eight-year history of the Stingers.
The Stingers move to 5-3 on the second half and 23-21 overall. Tomorrow, they continue the homestand against the Duluth Huskies, who come to town for the first time in 2017. Luke Chevalier (Northern State) is expected to start for Willmar.
It will be Barry Plush Doll Giveaway Night presented by Project Turnabout. The first 100 kids in attendance will receive a free Barry plush doll! Tickets are available at WillmarStingers.com or by calling 320-222-2010.
The 2017 Stingers season is presented by Marcus Construction. For more coverage of the Stingers, visit the West Central Tribune online at www.wctrib.com.