WILLMAR, Minn. – The Willmar Stingers are now in sole possession of first place in the North Division after beating the Honkers 7-4 Monday night. With their victory, they have now won a season-best five in a row and are seven games above .500.
Joe Vranesic (Kent State) continued the starting pitchers' success on the mound, notching his second victory of the season. In the five games since the All-Star Break, all five Stingers' starters have gotten the win, and they have combined to allow only six earned runs.
Vranesic pitched six innings and struck out three batters, exiting the game with a 4-2 lead. He threw 64 of his 100 pitches for strikes and allowed only six hits.
He was provided with four runs of support in the first three innings. Nolan Bumstead (CS-Northridge) drove in three of them with a first-inning ground ball and a two-run double in the third.
Danny Rodriguez (Bethune-Cookman) also drove in one run in the first with a single into center field.
Luke Becker (Kentucky) walked four times in the game, upping his total to 32 walks on the season. His on-base percentage increased to a team-best .460, which places him at fourth in the league. He has struck out only nine times in 114 appearances at the dish this season.
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Bumstead finished the day 2-for-4 with three runs batted in. He leads the team with 40 RBI now on the year.
The Stingers move to 12-5 on the second half and 30-23 overall. Only 19 games remain in the 2017 season.
Tomorrow the Honkers and the Stingers will complete the two-game series. First pitch, which is expected to come from the arm of Luke Chevalier (Northern State), is scheduled for 7:05 p.m.
Tickets are available online at WillmarStingers.com or by calling the Stingers' ticket office at 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.