(Mankato, Minn.) – The Rochester Honkers (9-9) broke a four-game road losing streak in a 4-3 win over the Mankato MoonDogs (9-8). Hunter Sullivan (Louisville) pitched five scoreless innings in his start. He held the MoonDogs’ offense to two hits and walked three batters. Zach Zubia (Texas) extended his on-base streak to 18 games with a 1-for-4 night.
Mankato threatened in the fourth after a leadoff walk and a Honkers’ error put two runners on-base with no outs. Sullivan retired the next three batters, striking out two of them. He earned the win (2-0) for the Honkers, finishing with five strikeouts.
Brett Newberg (Austin Peay) held the Rochester offense off the board until the fifth inning. Chris Ceballos (Orange Coast) ended the scoreless tie with his second home run of the season. The Honkers scored on three consecutive hits, all with two outs. Johnathan Fleek (Western Illinois) started with a RBI single, scoring Griffin Neuer (Bellarmine). Fleek came in to score on a double by Mike Echavia (Nevada). Zach Zubia followed with a single to score Echavia, giving the Honkers a four-run lead.
Newberg took the loss (1-2) for Mankato. He pitched 5.1 innings, giving up four runs (one earned) on seven hits. He walked two batters with six strikeouts.
Mankato cut into the Rochester lead off the Honkers’ bullpen. Zach Wiley (Bellarmine) put the MoonDogs on the board with a solo home run, his second of the season. Alvaro Rubalcaba (Cal. State Northridge) doubled with one out in the seventh and scored two batters later on a single by Wells Davis (South Alabama).
Manny Armendariz (Doane) pitched a clean eighth inning, but ran into trouble trying to close out the ninth. Mankato loaded the bases with one out on two singles and a walk. Garrett Cobb (Seminole State) relieved Armendariz, but could not end the game without a little drama. Cobb walked the first batter he faced, bringing in the third run for the MoonDogs. He returned to strike out Zach Wiley on a full count to end the game, earning his second save of the season.
The Honkers will return home tomorrow night against the North Division-leading Waterloo Bucks. It is First Responders Night at Mayo Field. Show your First Responders ID and get a free general admission ticket. First pitch Saturday night is 7:05 p.m., gates open at 6:00 p.m.
Byron-native Ryan Thompson (Illinois) is scheduled to make the start on the mound for the Honkers. Thompson is 1-0 this season with a 3.29 ERA and 10 strikeouts. He will face Anthony Ruden (Clarke) for the Bucks. Clarke is 1-0 this season with a 1,86 ERA and 10 strikeouts.
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.