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Northwoods League baseball: Payne leads Stingers past Huskies in regular-season finale

Duluth hosts Eau Claire at 5:35 p.m. Sunday at Wade Stadium in best-of-three playoff opener.

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Duluth Huskies
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WILLMAR, Minn. — Willmar’s Kyle Payne continued to be a pain to Duluth, leading the Stingers to a 10-6 Northwoods League victory over the Huskies in their regular-season finale Saturday night before 1,112 fans at Bill Taunton Stadium.

Payne, an infielder from Northwest Nazarene University, got to bat in the top of the order Saturday after batting at the bottom Friday and torching Duluth with three hits, three runs and four RBIs. This time he finished with two doubles, two runs and three RBIs as the Stingers (27-7) earned the two-game sweep.

Joe Vos, a University of St. Thomas outfielder and Duluth East graduate, had three hits and three RBIs to lead the Huskies (15-19).

Both teams were already in the Northwoods League playoffs, with Willmar capturing the Great Plains West second-half title and Duluth winning the Great Plains East first-half crown. So this was just a tuneup. The Huskies could be tired, though, as this one was not completed until 10:30 p.m.

Duluth will play second-half champion Eau Claire at 5:35 p.m. Sunday at Wade Stadium in the opening game of their best-of-three opening series. Games 2 and 3, if necessary, will be in Eau Claire, Wisconsin.

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Willmar, meanwhile, will host St. Cloud at 5:05 p.m. Sunday in their opener.

  • Duluth Huskies shortstop Kristian Campbell (Georgia Tech) and right-handed pitcher Nolan Lebamoff (Valparaiso) were named to the  Northwoods League 2022 Postseason All-Star Team announced Friday. Mankato outfielder Sean Ross was named MVP and Willmar’s Jack Habeck was named Pitcher of the Year as voted by the league coaches and media members. Wisconsin Rapids’ Kirk Shrider was named Manager of the Year and Wisconsin Rapids’ John Halama received Coach of the Year.
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