(Willmar, M.N.) For the second straight night, St. Cloud starting pitching has found a way to stifle the bats of the Willmar Stingers. The Rox defeated the Stingers 9-3 on Sunday afternoon to take game one of the doubleheader and the series from Willmar.
Same as last night, the story for the Rox was stellar pitching. Starter RJ Martinez replicated Zane Mills’ seven innings tossed from Saturday night, throwing seven of his own, giving up just one run. Martinez also chipped in eight K’s in his winning effort.
On the flip side, Trevor Divinski went four innings for the Stingers, giving up six runs on eight hits. The big hit that turned momentum was a two-out three run blast off the bat of Ben Norman in the fourth inning. For Norman, it was his first home run of the season, marking his contribution to what was a five-run fourth for the Rox.
Another key point in the game was defense. Willmar committed three errors, including an error with two outs in the fourth inning that was ultimately followed up by four runs by the Rox. In contrast, St. Cloud went without blemish on the defensive side, marking their second straight game against Willmar without an error.
The real standout for the Stingers was Jaxon Hallmark. He made two acrobatic catches in centerfield to add to his highlight reel, as well as a double and a run scored.
Jonathan Brand pitched well in relief of Divinski as well. He threw the final five innings of the game, including four strikeouts.
The Stingers fall to 18-14 on the season and are now three games out of first place in the pod. The two foes will clash again on Sunday night to complete the doubleheader with first pitch at 6:05.