Slade, Three Home Runs Lift Honkers Over Stingers















(Rochester, Minn.) –  The Rochester Honkers (10-10) earned their sixth straight home victory in a 5-4 win against the Willmar Stingers (10-10) Monday night at Mayo Field. Drew Slade (Ripon) pitched seven innings, giving up three runs on six hits, to earn the win (2-0) for Rochester. The Honkers are now 7-1 at home.

The Honkers threatened to score right out of the gates in the first inning. Morgan McCullough (Oregon) singled with one out in his first at-bat as a Honker. After a walk, Weston Hatten (Nevada) singled to center field. McCullough tried to score from second base, but was thrown out at the plate by the Stingers’ center fielder Marcus Still (New Mexico State). A fielder’s choice ended the inning without any runs scored.

Willmar jumped on the scoreboard first in the third inning. Tyler Reichenborn (Iowa Western) tripled to lead off the inning. He scored moments later on a double to left field by Brady Shockey (USC). Slade settled back in and retired the next five batters of the game.

The Honker bats jumped on Stingers’ starting pitcher Cameron Churchill (Nova Southeastern) in the bottom of the third inning. On his 20th birthday, Rees Rua (Lake Erie) homered on a full count to lead off the third inning. After another single by McCullough, Zach Zubia (Texas) and Weston Hatten (Nevada) homered back-to-back, giving the Honkers their first lead of the game. Rua came up to the plate again in the inning. He walked with the bases load, scoring Michael Michalak (DMACC), extending the Rochester lead to 5-1.

Willmar slowly clawed back at the Honkers’ lead. Two Rochester errors allowed the leadoff runner to advance to third base. Nolan Bumstead (Cal. State Northridge) brought the runner in to score on a RBI single to right field. Three batters later, a sacrifice fly by Danny Rodriguez (Bethune-Cookman) scored the Stingers’ third run of the game.

A solo home run by Bumstead in the eighth inning brought the Stingers within a run of the Honkers, but Willmar could not complete the comeback. Garrett Cobb (Seminole State) closed out the game by pitching a perfect ninth inning with a strikeout to earn his third save of the season.

The Honkers and the Stingers will conclude their two-game series at Mayo Field tomorrow night. It is Fly Swatter Night at the ballpark, presented by Bob the Bug Man and Y105-FM. The First 500 fans at the game will receive a Free Fly Swatter. It is also the second game in the Bob the Bug Man “Swatter Series.” First pitch is 7:05 p.m. Gates open at 6:00 p.m. Byron-native Ryan Thompson (Illinois) is scheduled to the make the start on the mound for the Honkers. Thompson is 1-0 this season with a 3.29 ERA and 10 strikeouts.

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