THUNDER BAY -- The seventh inning has not been a happy time lately for the Thunder Bay Border Cats.
For the third straight game the Border Cats gave up multiple runs in the frame and it cost them on Saturday as the Willmar Stingers plated two runs to break a tie and record a 4-3 Northwoods League win at Port Arthur Stadium.
The loss gives the first half North Division champion Stingers a two-game sweep over Thunder Bay (1-3) with both contests decided by a single run.
For the second straight outing the Border Cats received a strong outing on the hill, this time from southpaw Wes Helsabeck who tossed five innings while giving up only two runs.
The bats picked up their hurler in the bottom half of the fifth, erasing a two-run deficit on one swing of the bat from Adam Collins as he drove in a run with a triple and then scored on a throwing error on a play at third.
A leadoff double in the seventh from Willmar’s Jack Ross put the pressure on the Border Cats bullpen and the levee finally broke when Nick Rivera and Casey Hughston each hit run-scoring singles.
Thunder Bay made things interesting in the bottom half, starting a leadoff single by Christian Correa. Cory Kay brought him home with a two-out single, putting the tying run on first but Stingers closer Garrett Anderson was able to force Collins to ground out to first to end the game.
The Border Cats hit the road for a four-game trip, starting on Sunday against the Wisconsin Rapids Rafters.
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