Willmar’s Comeback Falls Just Short against Eau Claire

WILLMAR, MN – The Willmar Stingers fell to the Eau Claire Express 12-10 Wednesday night.

Willmar’s heroic comeback was spoiled when Eau Claire regained the lead in the top of the ninth.

The Stingers were down by as much as eight runs when the Express led 9-1 in the middle of the sixth. The Express built its lead in the top of the 4th when a string of hits and walks allotted six runs for Eau Claire. The lead increased to eight when the Express scored three in the top of the sixth.

Despite the deficit, Willmar was able to claw their way back into the game with a six-run bottom of the sixth. The scoring run began with an RBI double from Drey Dirksen and finished with an RBI single from the bat of Aidan Byrne.

The Stingers regained the lead in the bottom of the eighth after two runs were scored after Brett Bateman walked in a run and Tim Pokornowski got an RBI infield single.

After Willmar took the lead 10-9, Eau Claire snatched it right back in the following inning, as they scored three in the top of the ninth. Second baseman, Clay Conn, tied the game at 10 when he walked in a runner from third.

Following that play, a wild pitch brought shortstop Kevin Tuttle home, and an RBI single from Charlie Szykowny would be the final run of the game.

The Stingers would outhit the Express 14 to 10, however, Willmar’s eight walks would be their downfall as they fall just short of the comeback.

Your MinnWest Technology Campus Player of the Night is Tim Pokornowski. He went 3-5 tonight with 2 RBIs. His infield RBI single would be the run that gave the Stingers the lead in the bottom of the eighth.

The second game of the Stinger’s home-opening series will take place tomorrow at 7:05 pm.