Eau Claire, Wis.- On Wednesday night in Eau Claire the Willmar Stingers continued their magical season in style with a comeback victory over the Express.
The Stingers and the Express played a hard fought ball game with two great pitching performances.
For the Stingers Sam Gardner (Alabama) was on the mound. Gardner pitched well going 6.1 innings, striking out two and allowing just three hits. The only blemish on Gardner’s line was a solo homer in the sixth inning off the bat of Eau Claire’s Nick Brueser (Stanford).
Willmar’s bullpen with a combination of Bryant Claunch (North Alabama) and Braxton Johns (Georgia Southern) held the game at 1-0 into the ninth.
Justin Revels (Illinois-Springfield) was superb on the mound for the Express. Revels went 8.2 shutout innings until Bo Henning made the call to pinch hit Jayson Newman (Cal-State Northridge) in the ninth. After Revels got two quick outs in the ninth inning Newman came to the plate. Before the game Newman was not feeling well and did not even take batting practice with the team, but Henning made the choice to go to one of his most dangerous weapons at the plate. Newman with two strikes and no balls got a slider from Revels and did not miss it. Newman drove a rocket into the night tying the game up at one. Newman’s homer marked his sixth of the season which puts him all alone atop the Stingers in that category.
Nick Mears (Sac City) game in for the Stingers in the ninth and pushed it to extra innings. In Extras the Stingers put up a three spot in the tenth, thanks in large part to bases loaded walks issued from the Express, and won the game by a final score of 4-1.
With Duluth and La Cross both losing on Wednesday the Stingers now find themselves all alone atop the North Division in the second half standings with four games left to play.
Willmar returns home to take on Rochester for their final home series of the season, the first game is tomorrow night at 7:05.
The 2018 Stingers season is presented by Marcus Construction. For more coverage of the Stingers visit the West Central Tribune online at www.wctrib.com.