Just like that the Stingers are back in first

Willmar, Minn.- Home sweet home. On Wednesday the Willmar Stingers took on the Duluth Huskies in a day night double header starting with the first game at 1:05 pm. Coming into the game the Stingers were two games behind the Huskies for first place in the North Division.

The first game was a fast game that ended up the right way for the Stingers. The combination of Louie Varland’s (Concordia) stellar pitching and Jayson Newman’s (Cal State Northridge) power led the Stingers to a 3-1 victory.

Varland in game one was outstanding going seven innings, striking out five and allowing just six hits and no earned runs. Varland was credited with the win.

Newman in game one had the biggest blow of the afternoon. Newman in the third inning after one run had already come across faced his teammate from Cal-State  Northridge Hayden Shenefield. The at-bat was a classic, Newman after going down 0-2 saw nine more pitches and finished the at bat with a booming two run homer to right center field giving the Stingers a 3-0 lead.

Duluth got one run across but the Stingers held on as Nick Mears (Sac City) got the save in the ninth.

In game two it was more of the same. Sam Gardner (Alabama) was great on the mound for Willmar. Gardner’s offense backed him and led the Stingers to a 6-1 victory.

Gardner in game two went six innings and allowed only one run to come across. Gardner also punched out four Huskies.

Offensively the Stingers got offense from different parts of the order. Matt Rudick (San Diego St) contributed with two hits and two RBIs, Joey Ortiz (New Mexico St) did the same with the two combining for four hits and four RBIs. On the night the Stingers compiled 17 hits, and drove in six runs.

Willmar now holds a share of first place with the Huskies.

The 2018 Stingers season is presented by Marcus Construction. For more coverage of the Stingers visit the West Central Tribune online at