Stingers Cap Off 2020 With Win Over St. Cloud
In the 2020 season finale, the Stingers showed out in a big way to not only end their season on a high note, but also play spoiler to St. Cloud.
The Stingers turned in a complete performance to down the Rox at Joe Faber Field Thursday night by a score of 9-3. St. Cloud had an opportunity to clinch the pod with a win, but Willmar had other plans in mind, upsetting the party. With St. Cloud’s loss and Waterloo’s win, the Bucks become the Minnesota/Iowa Pod champs in 2020.
Willmar got the early lead in the first. Brooks Lee knocked a double, his fiftieth hit of the season, before Jayson Newman drove him in with an RBI single. St. Cloud responded in the bottom half of the inning with an Andrew Pintar inside-the-park home run, but after that, it was all Stingers.
Brennan McKenzie clubbed a solo home run in the second, his second of the season as part of a two-run Stinger inning. Willmar would ultimately score in six of the nine innings of play, but perhaps the biggest inning was the seventh.
With Willmar already out front 5-1, the Stingers scored three runs in the seventh to really break the game open. Jake Meyer scored on a wild pitch and Griffin Cheney turned in an opposite field two-run single to give Willmar an 8-1 lead. Cheney finished the night 3-6 with three runs driven in.
Of course, the other side of the ball played a big part in the Wilmar win as well. Seth Miller was inspiring on the mound, tossing six innings in his start. Three runs were charged to him, but only one run crossed while he was on the mound. He also put up five strikeouts while earning his first win of the season.
The bullpen for Willmar was solid as well. Wyatt Thompson pitched two innings, striking out five of the six outs he recorded. Eric Romo came out in the ninth inning for the Stingers and closed the door in the ninth, striking out the final batter of the game.
Jayson Newman finishes the season with a .405 batting average, which is currently tops in the entire Northwoods League. The Stingers finish at 22-20 on the season, ensuring a winning record and end the year on a three-game win streak.