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(July 7)-Rain in St. Cloud keeps bats slow; Rox beat Honkers Monday night, 2-0

Honkers and Rox combine for just eight hits on a rainy, stormy night in St. Cloud

(Rochester, Minn.)– In a game stopped and stalled by rain and stormy weather, the Honkers offense just stalled in St. Cloud. The Rox edged out the Honkers for the shutout win late Monday night, 2-0.

Honkers starter Nick Gruener (Harvard) pitched well until an hour-long delay in the middle of the game forced him from his outing after play was resumed. Gruener allowed just one hit, one walk in three innings pitched. Ryan Bower (Allan Hancock College) relieved Gruener in the fourth inning out of the rain delay.

In the fourth, Bower allowed an infield single to Kade Scivicque (Louisiana State) to leadoff the inning. Scivicque advanced to second base after a sacrifice bunt and a fielding error from third baseman Ryne Roper (Illinois) moved him to third. Scivicque came around to score in the next at-bat on a fielder’s choice from shortstop Seth Heck (Mississippi State).

After relinquishing the game’s first run, Bower pitched very well in relief, making sure the unearned run in the fourth inning was all the Rox would get on his watch. Bower pitched four innings, surrendering just the one run on two hits, one walk and struck out seven.

The Rox pitching staff ensured the Honkers never had a real chance to break through at the plate, either. The Honkers never had a baserunner reach third base and only collected four hits all evening.

Nick Highberger (Creighton) relieved Bower in the bottom of the eighth inning and allowed the Rox to grab an insurance run from a run-scoring double with two outs off the bat of Scivicque, and the Rox led 2-0.

The Honkers’ best chance to tie came in the top of the ninth inning with runners on first and second base and just one out. But Blaise Lezynski (Notre Dame) grounded into a 4-6-3 double play to end the game and hand the Honkers their third-consecutive loss.

Rochester returns to Mayo Field tomorrow to begin a six-game homestand Tuesday, starting with the Duluth Huskies. Spencer Greer (Western Nevada Community College) will be given the ball to halt the losing skid Tuesday night, seeking his fourth win this season. Ticket information for the 7:05 p.m. game 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.