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Anchors snipe Honkers in slugfest

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Alexandria, Minn. – The Alexandria Blue Anchors defeated the Rochester Honkers Saturday afternoon at Knute Nelson Memorial Park by a score of 14-12.  The Anchors are now 18-18 in the second half and 30-41 on the season. 

Rochester was first on the board against Zach Muckenhirn in the first inning.  He walked the leadoff batter Alex Schultz and Adam Walton followed with a single.  A passed ball moved both runners into scoring position and a groundout by Mark Contreras scored Schultz putting the Honkers on top 1-0.

The Anchors wasted little time responding in the bottom of the first.  Steve Sada walked to start the inning and he went to second on a wild pitch.  Dane Hutcheon hit a routine ground ball to short but it was mishandled allowed Sada to score and tie the game.  Merrigan then hit a double putting Hutcheon at third.  Ricky Sanchez drove in Hutcheon with a groundout putting the Anchors ahead 2-1.  

Alexandria added on in the second.  Drew Fearing and Kyle Richardson singled to start the frame.  Ben Allen provided the third-straight single to score Fearing and increase the lead to 3-1.  Richardson was caught stealing and Ben Allen was retired on a fielder’s choice by Sada. Sada would go on to steal second and come in on a single by Hutcheon making it 4-1.

Rochester got to Muckenhirn again in the third.  Ryan Summers doubled to start the frame and went to third on a wild pitch.  He came in on a double by Walton.  Another single by Contreras put tow on for Ryan Webberly.  He would single in Walton to make it a one-run game. Another single by Scott Schreiber scored Contreras to tie the ball game.  Dempsey Grover provided the fifth-straight base hit scoring Webberley and giving the Honkers the 5-4 lead.  The Honkers didn’t step off the pedal as William Paschal brought home Schreiber making it 6-4 Rochester.

The offensive outburst continued in the Anchors half of the third.  Sanchez led off with a single but was erased on a fielder’s choice by Mrosla.  This is when things got interesting.  Hopfner singled and Drew Fearing singled to load the bases.  Kyle Richardson picked up a two-RBI single to tie the game.  Ben Allen hit another single to give the Anchors the lead.  Sada collected an RBI base hit to score Richardson.  Dane Hutcheon provided yet another single.  The Anchors centerfielder, Merrigan, hit into a fielder’s choice scoring Allen.  Sanchez then was up for a second time and was hit by a pitch to load the bases.  Mrosla lifted a double to right which brought home scored Sada and Merrigan.  Hopfner hit his second single of the frame brining in Sanchez and after that rally the Anchors led 12-6.  

Against Alex McCune the fourth, the Honkers struck for four more runs, highlighted by a long, three-run homer by Schreiber making it 12-10.

With Richardson on third and Sada on second, Merrigan singled home both runners in the fourth extending the Anchors to 14-10.

Rochester got back on the board against Jake Matthys in the sixth.  Webberley lifted a sacrifice fly to center scoring Schultz making it 14-11.

Eric White came in to shut the door in the ninth.  He allowed a leadoff homer to Grover making the score final at 14-12.Muckenhirn lasted 2.1 innings allowing six hits on eight hits and a walk with four strikeouts.  McCune threw 1.2 innings of relief giving up four runs on three hits and a walk while striking out two.  Mattys (3-5) got the win pitching four innings giving up one unearned run on three hits and a walk with three strikeouts.  White got his fourth save of the year pitching the ninth giving up one run on two hits with one strikeout.

Minnesota Baseball Academy Player of the Game – Jake Mattys (RP) – In a game where offense shined, Matthys stood out on the mound.  He collected his third win of the season throwing four great innings allowing just one unearned run.  

Notes: The Blue Anchors have their season finale at Knute Nelson Memorial Park on Sunday against the Rochester Honkers…Sunday’s game is Fan Appreciation Day presented by Beverage Wholesalers…The first 250 fans through the gate will receive a pack of Blue Anchors trading cards…There will be game-day drawings and giveaways throughout the game…Seniors 60 and older can get a ticket for just $1…The game, starting at 1:05 pm, can be seen live at http://portal.stretchinternet.com/nwl.

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The Alexandria Blue Anchors are a member of the finest developmental league for elite college baseball players, the Northwoods League. Playing its 22nd season of summer collegiate baseball, the Northwoods League is the largest organized baseball league in the world with 18 teams, drawing significantly more fans, in a friendly ballpark experience, than any league of its kind. A valuable training ground for coaches, umpires and front office staff, more than 115 Northwoods League players have advanced to Major League Baseball, including Cy Young Award winner Max Scherzer (DET) and MLB All-Stars Chris Sale (CWS), Jordan Zimmermann (WAS), Curtis Granderson (NYM), Lucas Duda (NYM) and Ben Zobrist (TB). All league games are viewable live via the Northwoods League YouTube channel. For more information, www.blueanchors.com.