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Stingers scratch out victory

As the Pacific Northern Division pennant race intensifies, Salt Lake Stingers manager Dino Ebel's message to his team has simplified.

"We have to win," Ebel said.

The message, by all accounts, is getting through.

Alberto Callapso's two-run single with two outs in the eighth capped a late comeback as the Stingers defeated Colorado Springs 6-5 at Franklin Covey Field.

The victory extended Salt Lake's winning streak to four games and put the Stingers within two games of first-place Tacoma with just five games left to play.

"This was awesome," Ebel said of his team's league-leading 10th victory of the season when trailing after seven innings. "I'm proud of these guys."

The visiting Sky Sox broke a scoreless tie in the fourth inning when Ryan Spilborghs drew a bases-loaded walk and Tomas De La Rosa followed with an RBI single.

Salt Lake countered with a run-scoring hit by Curtis Pride to cut the deficit in half, but It didn't last long. Colorado Springs regained some breathing room in the fifth when Jeff Baker belted a two-run homer.

An inning later, Brad Hawpe contributed an RBI single to give Colorado Springs an even bigger lead.

Trailing 5-1, the Stingers rallied down the stretch. Nick Gorneault got things started with a two-out RBI triple in the seventh.

In the eighth, Salt Lake capped the comeback with Callapso's game-winning hit. Earlier in the inning, Adam Pavkovich and Zach Sorensen drove in runs with a single and double, respectively.

"What I like about this club is we battle every at-bat," said Ebel.

Salt Lake's home finale is tonight at 7. The Stingers will donate $1 for each fan in attendance to the American Red Cross Hurricane Relief Fund. They'll also contribute all proceeds from the "Shirt off their back" promotion, where fans bid to buy player jerseys.

Salt Lake LHP Joe Saunders (3-3, 4.71 ERA) and Colorado Springs RHP Christian Parker (2-5, 6.52 ERA) are the scheduled starters.

The Stingers then close out the regular season with a four-game series at Las Vegas. Division-leading Tacoma finishes with a homestand against Sacramento.