Stingers Lose Pitchers’ Duel at St. Cloud

(St. Cloud, M.N.)- Despite outhitting the Rox 5-4, the Stingers were unable to score on Saturday night, falling 2-0 at the hands of St. Cloud.

The Stingers had opportunities, especially early, but ultimately it was St. Cloud who capitalized with runners in scoring position.

The Rox struck first, scoring on a wild pitch in the first inning. Marinconz crossed home plate on an errant pitch by John Bezdicek. However, Bezdicek, who had bases loaded, ultimately got out of the jam, just allowing the one run.

Stinger pitching settled in after that. Bezdicek only allowed two more base runners after the first inning, striking out five total. He retired the final ten batters he saw to end his day, throwing five innings.

The real difference maker in the game came in the fourth inning. Willmar had bases loaded with one out. Kyle Manzardo cracked a fly ball to left field. Ryan Johnson attempted to tag from third, however, an exceptional throw by Sam Ireland in left pegged Johnson at the plate, ending the Stinger threat.

The fourth inning was Willmar’s best chance as Rox pitching otherwise was tremendous. Justin Kelly, Will Anderson and Jesse Barron teamed up to hurl the complete game shutout, allowing just five total hits.

St. Cloud added an insurance run in the seventh as Nate Rombach scored on a throwing error, giving them the penultimate 2-0 lead.

On a sweet note, Evan Shaw made his Stinger debut, pitching a perfect eighth inning. The Minnesota State-Mankato product retired all three batters he faced.

Willmar is now 0-3 at St. Cloud this season and sit a game and a half back of Waterloo in the standings in the pod.

The Stingers are back on the road tomorrow to face Rochester for a two game series. Game one tomorrow a matinee set for 1:05.