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Larson, DeRoche-Duffin power Honkers to win in home opener

(Rochester, Minn.)— Joe DeRoche-Duffin (UCONN) hit his team’s first homerun of 2015, a solo blast in the second, and Dakota Larson (RCTC) picked up three RBIs in his first start of the season as the Rochester Honkers defeated the Alexandria Blue Anchors 6-2 to win their home opener and move to 2-0 on the season. Pitcher Alex Evans (Barton CC) got his first start of the year for the Honkers, and allowed one earned run and three hits in five innings, good for his first win one the season.

A night after winning their season opener at Mankato 2-0 in a pitching duel, the Honkers got the bats going much earlier, with DeRoche-Duffin knocking a 2-1 pitch from Alexandria starter Jake Matthys(Southwest Minnesota State) over the 350 sign in left-center. The Honkers picked up two more runs in the second as Brad Mathiowetz (DMACC) scored on a wild pitch and Larson brought Zach Hoffman (St. Cloud State) across with an RBI single.

Alexandria got Tanner Buenting(Iowa Central), a Honker in 2014, across the plate to make it 3-1, but another three-run burst by Rochester, highlighted by a 2-RBI double by Larson, in the seventh put the game away. The Blue Anchors managed one run in the eighth, and their attempt at a comeback in the ninth was closed down as outfielder Trey Kamachi (Dixie State) caught a deep shot on the warning track with his back turned to home and fired it back for a double play to end the ballgame.

The Honkers host Alexandria again tomorrow night at 7:05 before heading out on a 5 game road trip. Friday’s game will conclude with a Firework Extravaganza, presented by AmericInn Hotels and Suites and ABC 6 News.

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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 22nd season of summer collegiate baseball in 2015, 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 120 Northwoods League players have advanced to Major League Baseball, including Cy Young Award winner Max Scherzer (WAS) and MLB All-Stars Chris Sale (CWS), Jordan Zimmermann (WAS), Curtis Granderson (NYM), Lucas Duda (NYM) and Ben Zobrist (OAK). All league games are viewable live via the Northwoods League Website.  For more information, visit www.rochesterhonkers.com