(Mankato, M.N.)- Rested up after three days off, the Willmar Stingers rode into Mankato Wednesday night with something to prove. Riding an exceptional pitching performance, the Stingers bested the MoonDogs 5-1 to grab their 15th win of the season.
While the pitching was the highlight of the win, the Stinger bats got things going early to give them some breathing room. Willmar tallied two in the first on RBI singles from Chase Stanke and Kyle Manzardo as part of a four-hit first. The Stingers tacked on another run in the second and two more in the fourth to give them five runs in the early innings.
That’s all the Stinger pitching staff would need. DJ Wilkinson, the Stinger starter, went four innings, allowing four hits and one run. The only real gaffe on the outing for Wilkinson was a solo home run given up to lead off the second inning off the bat of Dylan Phillips.
After Wilkinson’s exit, it became the Tanner Brown show. Brown pitched five perfect innings in relief for Willmar, not allowing a single inning to solidify the 5-1 win for the Stingers. Brown struck out seven of the 15 batters faced to bring his season total in K’s up to 35, which leads the Minnesota/Iowa Pod.
Combined, Wilkinson and Brown allowed just four hits and one run to stifle the MoonDogs’ bats and end a three-game winning streak for Mankato against the Stingers.
Harrison Schnurbusch finished with two RBI for the Stingers, while Ryan Johnson chipped in an RBI of his own. Brooks Lee grabbed a hit as well and has now recorded a hit in every game he’s started this season.
Stingers and MoonDogs meet again tonight from Bill Taunton Stadium to wrap up the series with first pitch set for 7:05.