(July 9)-Honkers snap losing streak; beat Duluth 8-5 Wednesday night
A big six-run third inning helps the Honkers split the season series with the Huskies
(Rochester, Minn.)– The Honkers end their four-game losing streak after a breakout at the plate Wednesday night in a big six-run third inning. The Honkers defeated the Huskies 8-5, moving to 3-6 in the second half and 22-21 overall.
Dylan Barrow (Tampa) made his second-consecutive start against the Honkers on Wednesday. Barrow looked to end an astonishing trend in the seven games he’s started for Duluth this season; the Huskies are 0-7 in games Barrow’s pitched in, despite Barrow putting up solid numbers this season. The Honkers took it upon themselves, however, to keep that interesting streak active.
Barrow’s counterpart, Will Bamesberger (Creighton), lured the Huskies to ground into three double plays in his first three innings, keeping the game scoreless.
The Honkers struck first in the game in the bottom of the third inning when Barrow began to lose control of the strike zone. Ryan Boldt (Nebraska) led the inning off with a single to right field and was followed by back-to-back walks from Barrow to load the bases. A wild pitch brought home the game’s first run before Casey Fletcher (Illinois) drove in another run on another hard single to right field. John Schuknecht (Cal Poly) walked – Barrow’s third in the inning – to load the bases for Reid Roper (Illinois). And on a 2-1 count, Roper lined a home run over the right field fence for his second home run in three games, this time a grand slam.
Barrow walked Jack Goihl (Augustana) following Roper’s home run and that would be all for him in an abbreviated start on Wednesday evening. The Honkers batted around in the inning, collecting six runs on four hits and four walks. Barrow could not make it through three full innings Wednesday, finishing the night allowing four runs on six hits and six walks in 2.1 innings.
The Huskies answered the Honkers’ big third inning with a pair of their own in the fourth. Michael Tinsley (Kansas) doubled in Duluth’s first run of the game with runners on first and second base. Noah Johnson (Minnesota State Mankato) drove the second run of the inning home on a fielder’s choice ground out to the Honkers’ shortstop Connor Schaefbauer, cutting the lead to 6-2.
In the fifth inning, Boldt grabbed his first RBI since his return from USA Baseball’s Collegiate Team tryouts on a single that banked off the base of the right field fence, scoring Goihl. Jordan Smith (Minnesota) scored in the next at-bat on a wild pitch from reliever Kevin Folman (North Dakota State) and the Honkers regained a six-run lead, 8-2.
Bamesberger surrendered one more run in the sixth before being removed for Ryne Roper (Illinois) in relief in the top of the seventh. Bamesberger finished the game in line for the win, pitching six innings, allowing three runs on five hits and four walks.
Ryne, who just finished his freshman season at the University of Illinois, made his first appearance on the mound since a stellar senior season at Harrisburg High School in Illinois. He recorded a couple of outs in the seventh before being relieved by lefty Brandon Stennis (Doane College), who inherited runners on second and third base with two outs. Stennis left the runners there, though, getting Austin Christensen (Nebraska) to fly out to left field, stranding the runners on second and third and keeping the game at 8-3.
Stennis stayed on in the eighth and the Huskies crawled back into the game, scoring two runs on a passed ball and a single by Dominic Brugnoni (Florida Southern). Jeff Campbell (North Dakota) relieved Stennis following the single, getting the inning’s final two outs facing the first couple batters he faced, maintaining a Honkers three-run lead.
Campbell returned to the mound in the ninth inning and recorded the game’s final three outs, 1-2-3, en route to a five-out save, his third of the season. The win Wednesday also snaps the Honkers’ four-game losing streak.
Tomorrow the Honkers welcome the Blue Anchors back to Mayo Field. Matt Kent (Texas A&M) is scheduled to make his sixth start of the season Thursday and second against Alexandria this season. Ticket information can be found 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.