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Published On: July 21st, 2014


Blaise Lezynski was in the middle of Sunday's late rally with solo home run to tie in the seventh

(Rochester, Minn.)– After a 17-run contest the night before, the Honkers and Border Cats both struggled to find runs Sunday. But the Honkers were the ones that broke through late, earning them the win, 4-1.

The Border Cats opened the scoring off Honkers All-Star lefty Matt Kent (Texas A&M) in the second inning. A lead off single and a throwing error put Tyler Rolland (Southern Illinois) on second base. Reaching third on a groundout to Honkers first baseman Blaise Lezynski (Notre Dame), Rolland scored on a sacrifice fly from Nick Studer (Doane College).

But after that, both Kent and Border Cats starter Gunnar Kay (Dallas Baptist) were hard to handle and the game stayed 1-0 in Thunder Bay’s favor.

The Honkers threatened to score off of Kay, loading the bases in the sixth inning with two outs after three walks from Kay. The Border Cats went to their bullpen to help escape the bases loaded jam, calling on reliever Tyler McKee to record the inning’s final out. McKee got Jordan Smith (Minnesota) to ground to the shortstop though, maintaining Thunder Bay’s 1-0 lead.

Blaise Lezynski made up for the Honkers’ missed chance in the sixth by knocking a solo home run over the right field fence off McKee to tie the game in the seventh. 

Will Bamesberger (Creighton) started the seventh in relief of Kent who finished the evening allowing one run, unearned, on six hits, two walks and four strikeouts giving him a total of 52 this season which leads the Northwoods League.

In the ninth, Smith led the inning off with a walk followed by a single from Lezynski. So with no outs, catcher Parker Guinn (Washington) hit a go-ahead single to left field, giving the Honkers the 2-1 lead late in the game. Connor Schaefbauer (Minnesota) singled in the Honkers’ third run and Corey Hassel’s (Oklahoma State) sacrifice fly brought home the fourth and the Honkers took a three-run lead to the bottom of the ninth.

Spencer Greer, who began the eighth inning, started the ninth looking to lock down the win for Rochester and his own fourth win this season. He would do so pitching around a couple of two-out singles, but the Honkers won the game, 4-1, and swept the Border Cats in their two-game series in Thunder Bay.

The Honkers get to take few days rest for the All-Star break. The 2014 Northwoods League All-Star Game is on Tuesday with Honkers Jeff Campbell (North Dakota) and Matt Kent representing Rochester. The Honkers are home next on Thursday as they host the Battle Creek Bombers at 7:05 p.m. Ticket information can be found at


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, visit