WILLMAR, MN.- The Willmar Stingers postseason run came to a swift end on Monday at the hand of the St. Cloud Rox with the finishing blow being an 8-7 loss on Monday.
Everything went the Stingers way to open the postseason as MinnWest Technology Campus Player of the Game Andrew Sojka got Willmar on the board with a solo shot in the first inning.
The following inning saw the Stingers extend that early lead with a pair of RBI singles from Jack Hines and Luke Williams.
That wouldn’t be all for the Stingers that inning as Sojka went deep for a second time to add two more and get Willmar up 5-0.
St. Cloud would get one of those runs back on a fielder’s choice in the next half inning to begin the climb back into the game.
The Stingers were able to add in the fifth before the climb began as a passed ball and sac fly made it a 7-1 lead for the black and yellow.
After creating early action on the basepaths in the sixth, the Rox picked up a huge double from Oscar Serratos Jr. to score two and lead to a three-run inning.
Hemponix Relief Pitcher of the Game Aiden Hansen did his best to shut down a red hot Rox team as he didn’t allow an earned run in his inning of work.
That didn’t stop St. Cloud from adding to its lead as a passed ball scored one in the seventh and an eighth inning single from Noah Greise got the game within one.
St. Cloud made its biggest push in the ninth, getting a couple of early base runners before Anthony Mata tied the game with a single.
The Rox would take their first lead of the game later in the inning as Serratos Jr. would hit one deep enough to score the eventual game-winning run on a sac fly.
That would be enough as the Stingers couldn’t muster one last rally bringing their season to an early end.
For more coverage of the Stingers, visit the West Central Tribune online at www.wctrib.com.
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The Willmar Stingers are a member of the finest developmental league for elite college baseball players, the Northwoods League. The Northwoods League is the proven leader in the development of elite college baseball players. Now in its 30th season, the Northwoods League is the largest organized baseball league in the world with 24 teams, drawing significantly more fans, in a friendly ballpark experience, than any league of its kind. A valuable training ground for coaches, umpires, and front office staff, over 325 Northwoods League players have advanced to Major League Baseball, including three-time All-Star and 2016 Roberto Clemente Award winner Curtis Granderson, three-time Cy Young Award winner and World Series Champion Max Scherzer (NYM), two-time World Series Champions Ben Zobrist and Brandon Crawford (SFG) and World Series Champion Chris Sale (BOS). As well as 2019 Rookie of the Year and 2019/2021 Home Run Derby Champion Pete Alonso (NYM) and 2021 All-Star, MLB Gold Glove winner and 2019 Second Team All-MLB shortstop Marcus Semien (TEX). All league games are viewable live via the Northwoods League website. League games are viewable live at watchnwl.com and on ESPN+. For more information, visit www.willmarstingers.com or download the new Northwoods League Mobile App on the Apple App Store or on Google Play and set the Stingers as your favorite team.