A solid contest from Greer and good work from Stennis in relief, but the Honkers bats can’t support
(Rochester, Minn.)– In their season finale with the MoonDogs, the Honkers catch up late but fall in extras to Mankato, 3-2.
The Honkers had their chances in the first couple of innings, but Mitchell Traver (Texas Christian) pitched around the scoring threats early to stymie Rochester in Mankato.
The MoonDogs opened the scoring in the bottom of the first off Spencer Greer (Western Nevada Community College) when Peter Maris (California, Santa Barbara) grounded into a fielder’s choice to score the runner on third base to give Mankato the early lead, 1-0.
Mankato grabbed another run in the bottom of the fourth when Maris scored from third base after Honkers catcher Parker Guinn (Washington) attempted to throw out a runner trying to steal second.
But the Honkers rallied in the sixth – it began with a Reid Roper (Illinois) one-out double. After Jordan Smith (Minnesota) drove Reid in on a sacrifice fly, Jeff Campbell (North Dakota) reached first base on an error from MoonDogs third baseman Tanner Rockwell (Arkansas at Little Rock). With two outs, Ryne Roper (Illinois) drove in Campbell all the way from first base on a double to tie the game at two.
After some solid relief work out of the bullpen, that would be all for the MoonDogs and Honkers in the full nine innings, needing extras to decide Friday’s winner.
Brandon Stennis (Doane College) had pitched four innings of scoreless baseball in relief when he took the mound in the bottom of the 11th inning. The MoonDogs loaded the bases with nobody out for Brett Synek (Evansville) – but Synek grounded into a 4-2-3 double play to put the pressure on Stennis and Maris. Peter Maris cost the Honkers again, though, singling up the middle and scoring the MonnDogs’ game-winning run to defeat Rochester 3-2.
The Honkers travel to Alexandria tomorrow for games Saturday and Sunday against the Blue Anchors. The big lefty Michael Freeman (Oklahoma State) will pitch tomorrow to begin the Honkers’ final series of the season. To follow the Honkers, visit 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, visit www.rochesterhonkers.com.