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Published On: July 29th, 2014


Reid Roper breaks the Honkers’ all-time hit record but the Honkers fall late to St. Cloud

(Rochester, Minn.)– A back-and-forth contest broke the Honkers’ hearts Monday night in Rochester; the Rox defeated the Honkers late, 7-5, at Mayo Field on an historic night at Mayo Field.

The Rox jumped to a quick start early in the first with two outs off Honkers starter Spencer Greer (Western Nevada Community College). Chris Paul (California-Berkeley) beat out a broken-bat infield single to Honkers shortstop Connor Schaefbauer (Minnesota). Paul stole second base soon after and Clay Ardeeser (Georgia College) smacked a double into the right center field gap, scoring Paul.

But in the bottom of the first, Reid Roper (Illinois) made some Honkers history, with runners on second and third base and just one out, Roper grounded a ball to shortstop Seth Heck (Mississippi State) and beat it out for his 180th career hit as a member of the Honkers – he now stands alone as the Honkers’ all-time hits leader. Roper’s single also drove in the runner from third base and a throwing error from Heck scored the Honkers’ second of the inning to grab the lead back from St. Cloud, 2-1.   

After the eventful first, both starters kept the score locked at 2-1 until the Rox mustered a couple of runs in the top of the fifth. A wild pitch from Greer put runners on second and third with Chris Paul at the plate. Paul roped a single to left field, scoring both runners with two outs and pushing the Rox into the lead 3-2.

McCarty relinquished the lead in the sixth inning when Jordan Smith (Minnesota) grounded out to the shortstop Heck with runners on first and third with one out. Roper scored from third base on Smith’s infield flare, tying the game at three. After walking the next batter, Blaise Lezynski (Notre Dame), McCarty was removed from the game for reliever Ben Lumsden (Mercer). On a 2-2 count and two away with Parker Guinn (Washington) at the plate, Lumsden threw a wild pitch past his catcher, scoring the go-ahead run for the Honkers and handed the 4-3 lead to Rochester reliever Ryne Roper (Illinois).

After an inning and a third scoreless from Ryne Roper, Jeff Campbell (North Dakota) came on in the eighth. A lead-off single from Chris Paul immediately threatened the Honkers’ one-run lead, and with two outs, Mitchell Kranson (California-Berkeley) singled to center field. A nifty slide at home from Paul tied the game at four on Kranson’s single.

Into the ninth, the Honkers stole the lead from the Rox once more. After a double steal, Blaise Lezynski was up with runners on second and third and just one out against Rox reliever Kevin Burgee (Georgia State). Lezynski lined out to center fielder Eric Loxtercamp (St. Cloud State) but it was deep enough for Connor Schaefbauer to score and take the lead, 5-4, with just three outs to record for Campbell in the top of the ninth.

The Rox were resilient Monday night, though, and they answered the Honkers’ eighth inning with three of their own runs. A two-run triple from Boo Vasquez (Miami) thrust the Rox into the lead and a fourth base hit from Paul scored Vasquez and the seventh run of the game for St. Cloud.

So Burgee would stay on in the ninth and pitch around a one-out single from Ryan Boldt (Nebraska) to earn his fifth win of the season. The Honkers fell to the Rox on Monday night, 7-5, on Reid Roper’s record-breaking night.

The Honkers will spend the night in Rochester before trekking to St. Cloud tomorrow night for a rematch with the Rox at 7:05 p.m. Tuesday, the Honkers will send Michael Freeman (Oklahoma State) to the mound to end their brief two-game losing streak and get back on track in the race for first place in the North. The Honkers are home next Wednesday night against the Waterloo Bucks. 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