Stingers Win Game One of the Playoffs, 6-5

WILLMAR, MN – The Willmar Stingers took game one of the Northwoods League Playoffs against the St. Cloud Rox, 6-5.

The Stingers battled the Rox in a close one at Bill Taunton Stadium in game one of a three-game, first-round series that ended in their favor.

The Rox took an early lead in the top of the first with a two-run blast from Charlie Condon. The Stingers would go on to respond scoring two runs of their own in the next half inning with Scott Anderson and Drey Dirksen all driving runs home.

The Rox would score again in the top of the third but the Stingers responded automatically in the bottom of the inning when Nick Terrell sent a solo shot to deep left field tying the game. Willmar would take a 4-3 lead later in that inning when Dirksen sent home Dalton Pearson on a triple.

St. Cloud would take the lead in the next inning with a home run and sac fly, 5-4. That would be the last time the Rox would score a run.

The Stingers’ last two runs would come off of a Graysen Tarlow RBI sending home Dalton Pearson and Pearson crossing home plate on a wild pitch. Pearson would get on base in all four plate appearances and would come home in each one.

The MinnWest Technology Campus Player of the Game was Tucker Novotny. Novotny came into the game in the top of the sixth and threw four scoreless innings while striking out eight batters.

One of the key moments of the game involved Novotny in the top of the seventh when he loaded the bases with zero outs. He would go on to get three-straight outs without anyone advancing to keep the score tied. The Stingers would take the lead in the bottom of the inning.

The Stingers will travel to Joe Faber Field, the home of the Rox, tomorrow for Game Two. Willmar aims to sweep the Rox and head on to the semi-finals, one step closer to becoming league champions. The first pitch is scheduled for tomorrow at 7:05 p.m.