Stingers Split a Double-Header in Mankato

MANKATO, MN – The Willmar Stingers split a double-header series against the Mankato MoonDogs tonight.

The first game would finish 10-5 in favor of the MoonDogs. Willmar was able to jump out to an early lead scoring three in the top of the first. Mankato would come back firing in the bottom of the second, scoring four runs of their own to take the lead.

The Stingers were able to tie the game at four when Kyle Payne hit his second RBI single of the game in the third inning. Payne would go on to win the first game’s MinnWest Technology Campus Player of the Game. He went 2-4 with two RBIs and stole a base.

Mankato would go on and score two runs in the fourth and three in the sixth without any response from the Willmar. Both teams would score one run again before the game was over, 10-5.

The loss went to Willmar’s John Klein and Mankato’s Duke Benge got the win.

The second game would finish 8-5 in favor of Willmar. The highlight of the game came in the eighth when Willmar was down 4-3. Drey Dirksen came in to pinch-hit with two outs and runners on first and second. He took the first pitch and then sent the second out of the park to center fielder. Just like that, the Stingers were up 6-4.

Willmar would go on to win the game 8-5. Dylan Matela was awarded the win in his relief effort and John Bezdicek got the save in his first appearance of the season.

Dirksen would be the second game’s MinnWest Technology Campus Player of the Game. He would come in for one at-bat, and made the absolute best of it.

The Stingers and MoonDogs leave the series tied for second in the Great Plains West with both of them holding a 10-8 record.

The Stingers head back to Willmar for a two-game series against the Duluth Huskies at Bill Taunton Stadium. First pitch is scheduled for 7:05 p.m.