Stingers Crowned Second-Half Champions
WILLMAR, MN – The Willmar Stingers became second-half champions tonight after their 11-1 win against the Duluth Huskies.
With one game remaining in the regular season, the Stingers will finish the second half above the St. Cloud Rox in the Great Plains West. The Stingers will face the Rox for a three-game playoff series in the first round of the Northwoods League Playoffs starting on August 14th.
The scoring started in the bottom of the third when the nine-hole hitter, Kyle Payne, came to the plate and sent his first home run of the season to left field. Payne would send two batters home on the blast to put the Stingers up 2-0.
In the very next inning, Payne would hit another tw0-run bomb back to left field. He would go on to become the MinnWest Technology Campus Player of the Game. Before heading into the game, Payne only had three extra-base hits on the year (two doubles and a triple in the first half). His two home runs in today’s game earned him the honors of being the Northwoods League Player of the Night.
More runs were scored after Payne’s second home run in the fourth. Fitzgerald was able to drive a runner home in his first game back as a Stinger. Drey Dirksen was also able to hit a double that sent two runners across home plate. It was Dirksen’s 50th RBI of the season.
The winning pitcher was Seth Miller. Miller threw six scoreless innings while striking out eight en route to his second Northwoods League win. It was his most dominating performance of the season.
The Stingers close the regular season tomorrow. Game 68 of 68 starts tomorrow at Bil Taunton Stadium. The first pitch is scheduled for 7:05 p.m.