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(July 3)-Honkers play long ball to earn their first win of the second half, 8-5, against Duluth

A home run by Campbell and a grand slam by Hassel help the Honkers to comeback win

(Rochester, Minn.)–  The Honkers won their first game of the second half thanks to a pair of home runs to beat the Huskies, 8-5, Thursday night at Mayo Field.

Spencer Greer (Western Nevada Community College) overcame a tough first inning to keep the Honkers in the ballgame in his five innings of work. In the inning, the first three Huskies reached base and leadoff man Trent Chatterton (UCLA) came around to score. Greer struck out the next two batters but relinquished a two-out, two-run single to Alex Michaels (Cal Poly) and the Huskies led early, 3-0.

After the first inning, Greer allowed no runs on just one hit, one walk and struck out six more batters in his final four innings of work – at one point, Greer set down nine Huskies in a row.

While Greer settled in, the Honkers were in their fifth-consecutive game where they trailed after three innings.

In the bottom of the fourth inning, Jeff Campbell (North Dakota) continued his torrid hitting streak by homering over the right field fence. The two-run home run brought the Honkers back within a run. It was Campbell’s third home run of the season and 14th straight game with a hit, the longest in the Northwoods League this season.  

The Honkers added two more in the bottom of the fifth inning after Jack Goihl (Augustana College) led off with a double. He scored on a throwing error by the shortstop Chatterton that also put Corey Hassel (Oklahoma State) on base with nobody out. Eventually, the Honkers loaded the bases for the hot-handed Campbell. He singled sharply to left field and the Honkers grabbed the lead, 4-3 – Campbell’s third RBI of the game gave him a team-high 19 on the season.

But the Huskies quickly tied the game once more in the top half of the sixth inning off of reliever Max Weinstein (California, Irvine) and then pulled ahead in the seventh with Brandon Stennis (Doane College) on the mound. Stennis allowed two hits with two outs – a double and a run scoring single delivered by Vinnie Rodriguez (Montevallo) – and the Huskies once again led, 5-4.

Two one-out singles and a walk loaded the bases for Hassel with reliever Chris Myjak (Des Moines Area Community College) pitching and the Huskies called on right-handed reliever Kevin Folman (North Dakota State) to face Hassel. Hassel connected for a long home run over the left field fence. The go-ahead grand slam put the Honkers ahead by three runs, 8-5.

Campbell had a big game at the plate, but he also came on to pitch the eighth and lock down the ninth inning. Campbell earned the win and shut the door in the ninth to get the Honkers their first win of the second half.

Tomorrow the Honkers travel to Waterloo to play a doubleheader with the Bucks, the next installment of the SCHEELS Highway 63 Cup. Seth Holbert (Sam Houston State) is slated to pitch the first game tomorrow at 6:05 p.m. The Honkers are home next on Saturday to host the Bucks for the finale of their three game series at 7:05 p.m. Ticket information can be found at rochesterhonkers.com.  

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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.