(La Crosse, Wis.) – The Rochester Honkers (5-7) jumped out to an initial three-run lead, but fell to the La Crosse Loggers (3-9) by a score of 5-4. Both offenses hit a combined total of four home runs, accounting for seven of the nine runs.
Honker starting pitcher Ryan Thompson (Illinois) came out dealing against the Loggers. He held the La Crosse offense without a run for the first five innings of his start. La Crosse put the first two batters of the third inning on base, but Thompson struck out three of the next four batters to escape the inning. After a two-out walk in the inning, Thompson retired the next nine batters in a row.
In a scoreless game in the fourth inning, the Honker offense exploded. Weston Hatten (Nevada) led off the inning with a double. Local players Jordan Hart (Minnesota State Mankato) and Michael Michalak (DMACC) hit back-to-back home runs, jumping out to a 3-0 lead.
The Loggers finally got to Ryan Thompson (Illinois) in the sixth inning. After two quick groundouts, the next four La Crosse batters reached base. Nicholas Kahle (Washington) and Taylor Sanagorski (Emporia State) hit two home runs and scored four runs to give La Crosse a 4-3 lead.
La Crosse starting pitcher Cody Ebert (Columbia) was still pitching to start the seventh inning, but back-to-back singles by the Honker offense ended the night for Ebert. Johnathan Fleek (Western Illinois) tied the game off the Logger bullpen with a sacrifice fly to center field, scoring Ethan Ibarra (St. Cloud State).
The Loggers took their final lead of the game on a RBI single by Nicolas Kahle in the eighth inning. Rochester put two runners on base in a ninth inning comeback effort, but Chris Boettcher (Indianapolis) got three consecutive outs to end the game. Boettcher earned his first win (1-0) of the season. He pitched 2.0 innings, giving up one hit and one walk with two strikeouts.
Kyle Ferderer (North Dakota State) took the loss (0-1) for the Honkers. He pitched 1.2 innings, giving up one run on three hits. He walked one batter with one strikeout.
The Honkers will return home tomorrow June 11th to face the Bismarck Larks. This will be the first matchup against the inaugural Larks team. Tomorrow is Royalty Day at Mayo Field. All kids 15 and under that come dressed as royalty receive a free general admission ticket. It is also Golden Goose Club Night and Slider’s Kids Club Day at the ballpark. Kids can eat free on the Sports Deck and will be able to run the bases after the game. Michael Stryffeler (Lake Erie) is scheduled to make his second start on the mound for the Honkers. He is 0-1 with a 5.40 ERA. Gates open at noon for a 1:05 pm first pitch.
The Northwoods League is the proven leader in the development of elite college baseball players. The 23-year old summer collegiate league is the largest organized baseball league in the world with 20 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 160 Northwoods League players have advanced to Major League Baseball, including two-time Cy Young Award winner Max Scherzer (WAS), two-time World Series Champion Ben Zobrist (CHC) and MLB All-Stars Chris Sale (BOS), Jordan Zimmermann (DET), Curtis Granderson (NYM) and Lucas Duda (NYM). All league games are viewable live via the Northwoods League website. For more information, visit www.northwoodsleague.com or download the Northwoods League Mobile App on the Apple App Store or on Google Play.