Six players set to return for 2018 Stingers season


Willmar, Minn. – The Willmar Stingers are excited to announce that Gus Varland (Concordia University – St. Paul), Tyler Reichenborn (Iowa Western Community College), Corey Binger (Minnesota State-Mankato University), Eli Wilson (University of Minnesota), Myles Smith (Georgia Gwinnett College), and Braxton Johns (Georgia Southern University) are set to return to the Stingers this upcoming season. These six players are the first official signings for the 2018 season, the organization’s ninth in the Northwoods League.

Varland, a junior right-handed pitcher from Maplewood, MN, was a standout in the Stingers pitching staff last season. Varland earned spots on both the mid-season and post-season Northwoods League All-Star teams in 2017. It was easy to see why he garnered that attention, posting a 6-1 record with a 1.42 earned run average and 49 strikeouts over 50.1 innings pitched.

Reichenborn, a sophomore outfielder from Blaine, MN, was a mainstay in the outfield last summer for the Stingers, playing in 62 of the 72 games. His 30 runs batted and 35 runs scored ranked fourth on the Stingers last summer.

Binger, a redshirt junior pitcher from Victoria, MN, rejoins the Stingers pitching staff for his fourth summer after transferring to Minnesota State Mankato earlier this year. Binger proved to be a valuable asset again this season, posting a 3-1 overall record in six total appearances. In 32 innings on the mound, Binger struck out 16 batters and posted a 2.81 earned run average.

Wilson, a sophomore catcher from Seattle, WA, will be behind the plate again this summer at Bill Taunton Stadium. Wilson’s 2017 summer was cut short due to an injury, but did play in 26 games and had nine runs batted in. On July 3rd against Bismarck, Wilson posted his best hitting performance scoring three runs, knocking in two runs himself and also hit his only home run.

Smith, a sophomore pitcher from Stone Mountain, GA, was a versatile player last season, seeing time on the mound and also got a few at bats. Smith, used as a reliever in 2017 for the Stingers, Smith appeared in 17 games and struck out 32 batters in 32.1 innings pitched.

Johns, sophomore pitcher from Statesboro, GA, proved to be a reliable arm out of the Stingers bullpen last season. Johns, making 22 appearances, struck out 19 batters in his 22 innings pitched and walked a total of nine batters.

“We are excited to each of these guys back as part of our team next season,” Stingers co-owner Marc Jerzak said. “Having a solid group of returning players will provide great leadership for the rest of our roster.”

If you would like more information on tickets for the 2018 season, or more information regarding this press release, please contact the Willmar Stingers front office at 320-222-2010 or visit

The 2018 season of Stingers Baseball is presented by Marcus Construction. “From start to finish we’ll make your job easier and build a facility you will be proud of.”



The Willmar Stingers are a member of the finest developmental league for elite college baseball players, the Northwoods League. The 23-year-old summer collegiate league is the largest organized baseball league in the world with 20 teams, drawing significantly more fans, in a friendly ballpark experience, than any league of its kind. A valuable training ground for coaches, umpires and front office staff, more than 180 former Northwoods League players have advanced to Major League Baseball, including two-time Cy Young Award winner Max Scherzer (WAS), two-time World Series Champion Ben Zobrist (CHC) and MLB All-Stars Chris Sale (BOS), Jordan Zimmermann (DET), Curtis Granderson (NYM) and Lucas Duda (NYM).  All league games are viewable live via the Northwoods League portal. For more information, visit or download the new Northwoods League Mobile App on the Apple App Store or on Google Play and set the Stingers as your favorite team.