Honkers’ Come Back Falls Short Against Express


(Rochester, Minn.) – The Rochester Honkers fell to the Eau Claire Express 6-5 Tuesday night in Eau Claire.

The Honkers were trailing 6-1 going into the eighth inning, and then Rochester put four runs on the board, but were unable to get the win.

The Express took the lead in the first, when Dalton Varsho (UW-Milwaukee) hit a solo home run. In the third, Ben Mezzenga (Minnesota) hit a home run of his own, making the show 2-0.

The Honkers got on the board in the third, when Chase Lambert (Pepperdine) scored on an error by Mickey McDonald (UI-Chicago), making the score 2-1. The Express came back in the bottom of the sixth, scoring three runs of their own on a three-run home run by Erick Migueles (New Mexico), giving Eau Claire a 5-1 lead.

The Express got another run back in the bottom of the seventh, before the Honkers started to mount their comeback. Mark Contreras (UC Riverside) hit a solo shot, making the score 6-2. Then with the bases loaded, Jacob Thomas (UC Davis) got hit by a pitch with the bases loaded, making the score 6-3.

Later that inning, Jackson Thoreson (St. Mary’s) scored on a wild pitch, then Keaton Weisz (Auburn) singled home a run, cutting the Express lead to 6-5.

The Honkers threatened in the ninth but couldn’t push the tying run across.

Isaac Friesen (0-2) (Hawaii) got the start and the loss for the Honkers; he pitched six innings, allowed five runs on six hits, walked two and struck out two. Alex Fagalde (UC Riverside) pitched in relief; he threw two innings and struck out five.

Ryan Hamilton (2-2) (Augustana) got the start for the Express; he pitched six innings, allowed no runs and four hits, walked two and struck out one.

Varsho went 2 for 4 with two runs scored and one RBI to lead the Express offense, while Contreras went 2 for 4 with one run scored and one RBI to pace the Honkers.

The Honkers are back at home Wednesday to battle the same Express team, with first pitch set for 12:05 p.m. and gates open at 11! Wednesday’s promotion is Kid’s Three Buck Day presented by Perkins, where kids 12 and under gain general admission for only $3.00! The Honkers will then be on the road in Michigan. Rochester will take on Battle Creek Thursday and Friday, both 6:05 p.m. starts, then will play Kalamazoo Saturday and Sunday. Saturday, first pitch is set for 5:05 p.m. and Sunday first pitch is set for 2:05 p.m.


The Rochester Honkers are a member of the finest developmental league for elite college baseball players, the Northwoods League. Playing its 23rd 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 150 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 (DET), Curtis Granderson (NYM), Lucas Duda (NYM) and Ben Zobrist (CHC). All league games are viewable live via the Northwoods League portal. For more information, visit or download the new Northwoods League Mobile App on the Apple App Store and set the Honkers as your favorite team.