Published On: July 7th, 2010

The Rochester Honkers are the ‘First Half Champions’ of the North Division of the NWL.  The Rochester Honkers won the North Division with a 19-11 record, 2.5 games ahead of St. Cloud and Willmar.  The Eau Claire Express are battling the Green Bay Bullfrogs for the South Division First Half Championship.  The two play each other the next two days with Green Bay needing to sweep to clinch the tiebreaker.  The first half of the season ends July 8th

The Rochester Honkers, 2009’s NWL Champion, swept the St. Cloud River Bats on Tuesday by scores of 7-2 and 7-4.  The Honkers, coached by Ryan Ruiz (Central Arizona), are 7-3 in their last ten games and are currently in the midst of a four game win streak.  The Honkers have been fueled by their offense in 2010.  Rochester is currently third in the NWL in batting with a .267 batting average and the second highest on-base percentage at .369.  The Honkers pitching staff has been steady this summer with a 3.38 ERA which is in the top-five of the NWL. 

The Honkers are led offensively by Matt Dittman (Illinois) who is hitting .313 with three homeruns and 25 RBI.  Devin Thaut (Paradise Valley CC) is leading the Honkers with a .362 average, 25 walks and five stolen bases.  The Honkers pitching staff is led by Danny Winkler (Parkland) and Ian Kadish (Marshall) who both have three wins on the season.  Mike Strong (Oklahoma State) leads the NWL in strikeouts at 38.
The Eau Claire Express, a 2009 South Division playoff team, currently has the league’s most wins at a record of 20-12 and is battling the Green Bay Bullfrogs for the South Division title.  The two teams play each other in the next two games with which will determine the South Division First Half Champion.  The Bullfrogs must win the next two games to clinch the tiebreaker. 

Express field manager, Dale Varsho, has been with the team since their inaugural season in 2005 and led the Express to the playoffs twice during his tenure.  The Express boast the league’s best ERA at 2.69 which is the only NWL team with a sub-3.0 ERA. 

Eau Claire’s pitching staff includes four pitchers who have three wins in 2010.  Ian Campbell (Corpus Christi) leads the staff with a 0.65 ERA and3-0 record.  The Express also have the league’s hottest hitter in Drew Heithoff (Augustana) who is leading the league at a .438 clip.  They Express’ also have power hitter, Steve McGuiggan (Illinois Chicago) who is tied for the lead in home runs with six. 

Green Bay is led by Scott Schebler (Wichita State) who is tied for the league lead in home runs (6) and third in RBI with 26.  Tom Barry (San Francisco) is also hitting well for the Bullfrogs while batting at a .317 clip with eight doubles and 20 RBI.  Field Manager Jordan Bischel (Northwest Missouri State) also has a very impressive pitching staff with a 3.36 ERA.  Riley Tincher (Wisconsin Whitewater) leads the team with a 4-2 record while pitching 33 innings. 

Follow the Honkers, Express, Bullfrogs and 13 other NWL at for the second half of the NWL season which starts July 9th.  The second half winners will face off with the first half winners in each division beginning on August 17th.   

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