Honkers Start Fast But Fall Short to Border Cats


(Rochester, Minn.) – The Honkers scored three runs in the first inning, but Thunder Bay upended the Honkers 7-6 in Thunder Bay Thursday night.

Alex Fitchett (Hawaii) hit a 2-RBI single, and then Josh Davis (Pepperdine) followed with a RBI single of his own to give the Honkers a 3-0 lead.

Joe Gellenbeck (Xavier) hit a solo home run to get the Border Cats on the board and cut the lead to 3-1. The Border Cats scored another run in the fourth to make the score 3-2.

Jackson Thoreson (St. Mary’s) hit a two-run home run in the fifth to extend the Honkers’ lead to 5-2. Then, Joey Czarske (Cal State Northridge) hit an RBI double to score Ryan Fitzpatrick (Saddle Back) and gave the Honkers a 6-2 lead.

Michael Papierski (LSU) hit a triple with the bases loaded in the bottom of the sixth to cut the Honkers lead to 6-5.

The Border Cats scored two runs in the bottom of the ninth to get the 7-6 win, including a solo home run from Shane Shepard (North Carolina State) to tie the game at 6.

Robert Paccione (LIU – Post) got the start for the Honkers; he pitched five innings, allowed two runs on six hits, walked two and struck out five. Brett Herber (Winona State) pitched 1.1 innings in relief; he allowed three runs on two hits and walked four.

Ricky Delgado (UC Riverside) went 1.2 innings and walked one. Stevie Ledesma (0-2) (Santa Barbara City) got the loss for the Honkers; he threw 0.1 innings in the loss, allowed two runs, one of them earned, on two hits.

Vinny Santarsiero (1-1) (Fontbonne University) got the win in relief for the Border Cats; he allowed three hits and struck out two. Brandon Langan (University of New Mexico) got the start; he went one inning, allowed three runs on three hits, walked two and struck out one. Seth Gill (Tarleton State) went three innings in relief; he allowed two hits, walked two and struck out five.

Davis went 3-for-4 with an RBI and a run to lead the Honkers, while Thoreson went 2-for-5 with two RBI and a run scored.

Mitch Bigras (Boston College) went 2-for-4 with an RBI and a run scored, while Gellenbeck went 1-for-4 with an RBI.

The Honkers fall to 5-8 in the second half and 12-36 overall, while the Border Cats move to 5-8 in the second half and 11-36 overall.

The Honkers will play the same Border Cats’ team Friday night, with first pitch set for 6:05 p.m. The Honkers are back at home Tuesday against the La Crosse Loggers for TV Tuesday presented by Sam’s Club. First pitch is set for 7:05 p.m. and gates open at 6:00 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!