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Stingers Defeat Bucks in Freddy’s Return to Waterloo

WATERLOO, IA – The Willmar Stingers defeated the Waterloo Bucks tonight, 5-1.

Stinger’s first-year field manager, Freddy Smith, returned to Riverfront Stadium to face off against his previous team where he spent two years. Smith was a hitting and fielding instructor on the Bucks during the 2020 and 2021 seasons. In his return, It was Smith’s squad taking game one of the series.

Willmar was able to score in the opening inning after an error prolonged the inning. The Bucks tied the game 1-1 after Kyle Huckstorf hit a home run in his season debut for Waterloo.

The Stingers went back up in the fifth as Drey Dirksen hit an RBI single to send Kyle Payne home from third. Dirksen would go ahead and add two more runs in the top of the seventh when his third single of the game led to two more RBIs. Joey Walls was able to come home during a pickle to make the score 5-1. No runs crossed the plate for the remainder of the game.

Dirksen would be named the MinnWest Technology Campus Player of the Game for his three-RBI performance. Dirksen has now gotten a hit in six straight games and has found a way to get on base in every game he has played this season.

John Klein was dominant on the mound in his third start. In his win, Klein pitched eight innings, gave up one run, and sat down seven batters. The Kansas State commit now has 21 strikeouts this season, making his total second best in the Northwoods League.

The Willmar Stingers improve to 4-5 as they continue to jockey for position in the Great Plains West. Meanwhile, the Waterloo Bucks are still searching for their third win of the season as they fall to 2-9. Both teams are back at it tomorrow for game two of the series. First pitch is scheduled for 6:35 p.m.