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Stingers finish up historic regular season in style

Thunder Bay, Ontario-

On Sunday, the Willmar Stingers took on the Thunder Bay Border Cats to conclude the 2018 regular season schedule. For Willmar much was on the line, as the Stingers entered Sunday one-half game ahead of the Mankato MoonDogs for first place in the Northwoods League North Division’s second half.

Willmar put Jonathan McKinney (Georgia-Gwinnett) on the hill to take on Thunder Bay in this must-win contest.

McKinney was very good for the Stingers going five innings of shutout baseball, allowing just two hits and striking out three.

Offensively, the Stingers were hot. The third inning saw the Stingers put up six runs thanks in large part to two swings of the bat. After two quick outs, the Stingers put three men aboard with Eric Yang (UC-Santa Barbara) coming to the plate. Yang, with the bases loaded, saw a pitch he liked and blasted his second homer of the season over the left field wall giving Willmar a 4-0 lead. The grand slam marked the second one for the Stingers in as many days and Willmar’s second of the season. Later in the inning, Matt Rudick (San Diego St) made it 6-0 ripping a single that scored two more Willmar runs.

That was all Willmar needed as they cruised to a 7-1 victory.

With the victory, the Stingers clinched the second half crown and the number one seed in the North. The win also marked the Stingers 48th win, which is the best record the club had had in the history of their franchise, surpassing 2015’s total of 47 victories.

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.