(Rochester, Minn.)– Some patience at the plate helped the Honkers break their five-game losing streak and earned them a win in Kalamazoo on Thursday night, 4-2, over the Growlers.
Despite going hitless in the last seven innings of the ballgame, the Honkers managed to win their first game on their road trip in Michigan. The Growlers’ pitching staff walked nine Honkers, five in the top of the ninth inning, to help Rochester snap their five-game skid.
The Honkers were wild, too, but pitched around most of the serious Growlers threats. Honkers’ starting pitcher Chad Hodges (South Dakota State) allowed one run on four hits, one walk and two strikeouts in 3.1 innings pitched. The Honkers' pitching staff that followed only allowed two hits after relieving Hodges.
Ryan Boldt (Nebraska) jumpstarted a stagnant Honkers offense Thursday night with two hits and an RBI at the top of the lineup. His single in the top of the second inning gave the Honkers the lead at 2-0 until the seventh inning. In the seventh, a leadoff walk from Honkers reliever Nick Highberger (Creighton) came around to score the tying run in the game after a double by Nick Yarnall (Pittsburgh).
But, in the top of the ninth inning, the Honkers would only have to remain patient at the plate to take the lead back from the Growlers. Kalamazoo reliever Donnie Eaton (Michigan) walked five batters, four with two outs, in the ninth inning and the Honkers took a 4-2 lead to the bottom of the ninth without recording a hit.
Carl Jameson (Missouri Baptist) came on in the bottom half of the ninth inning to record the save. He did so after walking two batters, but pitched around it to lock down the first Honkers win in six days.
Tomorrow, Friday, the Honkers will be back in Kalamazoo to try and leave Michigan with two wins in four tries. Blake Quinn (Fresno State) will start for the Honkers, seeking his first win this summer. The Honkers will return to Mayo Field on Saturday against the Alexandria Blue Anchors at 7:05 p.m. Ticket information is available at rochesterhonkers.com.
The Rochester Honkers are a member of the finest developmental league for elite college baseball players, the Northwoods League. Playing its 21st 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), Chris Sale (CWS), Jordan Zimmermann (WAS), Curtis Granderson (NYM), Allen Craig (STL) and Ben Zobrist (TB). All league games are viewable live via the Northwoods League YouTube channel. For more information, visitwww.rochesterhonkers.com.