Stingers Sweep St. Cloud
Willmar, Minn.—The Stingers sweep the Rox in the Great Plains West Division Championship 3-2. The Stingers will now advance to the Great Plains Championship in Eau Claire, WI tomorrow.
Garret Rukes (Alabama) went the distance for Willmar in his start on the mound. He went seven strong innings allowing one earned run. Rukes walked two batters and struck out five in his outing. The game was scoreless for the first four innings as both pitchers were locked in. Brandon Bohning moved the Stingers ahead in the fifth when he scored off an infield hit from Sam Baier. 1-0. The Rox tied the game up in the sixth when two hits scored a run. 1-1 tied ballgame.
The Stingers had a big seventh inning when three hits scored two runs. Brennan McKenzie (Pomona) was awarded an RBI when he was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded. The very next batter, Riley Johnson (Augustana), knocked a base hit that scored Sam Baier (Augustana) to bring the score to 3-1 Stingers. Bryant Claunch (North Alabama) was first in relief for Willmar. He went 1.2 innings allowing one earned run in the eighth.
Claunch recorded two outs in the ninth then handed the ball over to Aldo Fernandez (New Mexico State). Fernandez struck out the last batter of the game to complete the sweep of St. Cloud. The Stingers will head to Eau Claire tomorrow for the Great Plains Championship. First pitch 7:05pm CT!