THUNDER BAY – Sports — After an tough defeat at the hands of the Willmar Stingers in the series opener, the Thunder Bay Border Cats were able to regroup and rebound to a win on Saturday.
Early Thunder Bay Lead
In the top of the first inning, Graysen Tarlow of the Stingers launched a solo home run, hinting at another strong offensive performance. Aidan Byrne, the MinnWest Technology Campus Player of the Game, extended the lead with an RBI single, bringing home Kevin Fitzer.
Willmar Struggles on the Mound
However Stingers’ starting pitcher Will Whelan faced challenges in his first start of the summer. After recording two outs with just one run allowed, Tyler Kehoe of the Border Cats changed the game’s momentum with a two-run homer, giving Thunder Bay the lead. Whelan faced further difficulties, allowing three consecutive walks and a wild pitch, resulting in another run for the Border Cats.
Impressive Relief Pitching
Stingers’ field manager Freddy Smith then called upon Chris Rofe, named the Hemponix Relief Pitcher of the Game, to provide stability from the bullpen.
Rofe encountered an early setback, hitting the first batter he faced, resulting in a 5-2 lead for the Border Cats. However, Rofe rebounded admirably, throwing three scoreless innings, striking out five batters, and not conceding a hit.
Both teams exchanged runs in the middle innings, maintaining a score of 6-3 in favour of the Border Cats entering the seventh inning. The Stingers staged a spirited comeback attempt in the seventh as Aidan Byrne crushed his first home run of the season, narrowing the gap to one run. Shortly after, Parker Stinson tied the game at six with a powerful swing.
Thunder Bay’s Strong Finish
The Border Cats rallied strong in the eighth inning, scoring four runs. The highlight of the inning came from Jonah Sutton, who sealed the victory with a three-run home run.
Hard-Fought Battle on Canada Day
Despite a valiant effort, the Willmar Stingers were unable to complete the comeback in the ninth inning, ultimately succumbing to a hard-fought battle on Canada Day.
The Cats and Stingers continue their four-game series Sunday afternoon at 1:35pm with Lefthander Evans Hendricks (Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi) getting the start on the mound.
It’s Family Day with a package deal of four tickets (two adults and two children), 4 hot dogs, 4 Pepsi and 4 bags of Old Dutch chips all for just $44.00.
Get Your Tickets
Want to be part of the action? Check out the ticket pricing:
Grandstand/Party Decks/1st Base Bleachers
Senior (60+): $13.00
Students (with student ID card): $13.00
Children (4-12): $5.00
Infants (3 and under): FREE