(June 22)-Stingers need 16 innings to defeat Honkers in marathon, 6-2
Costly late-inning Honkers error awards Stingers with exhausting win
(Rochester, Minn.)– A good pitching matchup Sunday afternoon left runs at a premium between the Honkers and the Stingers. But it was the Stingers that finally mustered the game-winning run and more with two outs in the top of the 16th inning. The Stingers defeated the Honkers on Sunday afternoon, 6-2.
The Honkers scored two runs in the first two innings to take the early lead against one of the Stingers’ and league’s best pitchers in Andrew Towns (Walters State Community College). In the first inning, Alex Schultz (Nebraska Omaha) reached base on a single as the Honkers’ leadoff hitter. He was immediately bunted over by Connor Schaefbauer (Minnesota) and would eventually score on a single through the third base and shortstop hole on a Jeff Campbell (North Dakota) single. Campbell has reached safely in 11 straight games and hit safely in seven straight.
Formerly in a slump, Anthony Sequeira (Oral Roberts) collected four more hits Sunday and led off the second inning with a single. Sequeira would steal second and score on a deep double hit by Blaise Lezynski (Notre Dame) to make it 2-0. That would unfortunately be all the scoring the Honkers could produce Sunday, but it would take plenty of time for the game to be decided, however.
In the mean time, Logan Spitzack (St. Cloud State) started his third game for the Honkers this season and pitched well again, keeping the Stingers off the scoreboard until the top of the fifth inning. Spitzack scattered five hits and three walks, pitching out of a couple of jams throughout his start. His only run allowed came after a lead off walk in the fifth inning came around to score from a single by Nick Rivera (Florida Gulf Coast).
Spitzack began the sixth inning but was relieved by L.J. Brewster (Hawaii) after surrendering a leadoff single. Brewster walked the first batter he faced but then set down the next three batters in order on three strikeouts. Rivera would strike again for the Stingers and smack his third home run of the season to tie the game off of reliever Brewster. It was Brewster’s only blemish but enough to keep the game tied for the next nine innings.
The Honkers biggest opportunity to seize the win came in the bottom of the 13th inning with the bases loaded and just one out. Sequeira struck out and catcher Parker Guinn (Washington) flew out to right field to strand the bases full.
Campbell came on to pitch and keep the Stingers off of the scoreboard in the top of the ninth and threw spectacularly, keeping the game knotted up in his five innings of relief, allowing just two hits and one walk, letting Brandon Stennis have the ball (Doane College) at the top of the 14th inning. After two scoreless frames from Stennis, Nick Gruener (Harvard) came on in the top of the 16th inning and loaded the bases after allowing two hits and a walk. With two outs, an error by Schaefbauer opened the floodgates at last for the Stingers. The go-ahead run scored on the error and a single up the middle by Max Dutto (California) – his third hit – drove in two more. In all, the Honkers would head into the bottom of the 16th inning down 6-2. It was a lead the Honkers couldn’t overcome and the ballgame was over.
Tomorrow, the Honkers have a quick shot at some revenge at 7:05 p.m. back at Mayo Field. Seth Holbert (Sam Houston State) has a chance to earn his second win in as many starts; his first came against this same Stingers team on June 17. 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.