(Rochester, Minn.) – The Rochester Honkers (14-14) lost 11-3 to the Thunder Bay Border Cats (11-18) Tuesday night at Mayo Field. Thunder Bay scored 11 unanswered runs over four innings after trailing 0-3. Zach Zubia (Texas) did not earn a hit, but extended his league-leading on-base streak to 28 games after walking twice. The Honkers have lost all three matchups against the Border Cats this season.
The Honkers jumped out to a three-run lead in the first two innings. Morgan McCullough (Oregon) led off the bottom of the first inning with a double to right field. McCullough advanced to third base on a wild pitch. The throw after the retrieval from the catcher to the pitcher was wide and bounced down the first base side fence, allowing McCullough to score the first run of the game.
A Thunder Bay error and a hit batter led to two runs for the Honkers. Johnathan Fleek (Western Illinois) singled with two outs in the second inning, scoring David Noworyta (Hawaii) and Cam Adams (North Park).
The Rochester starting pitcher, Michael Stryffeler (Lake Erie), retired six of the first seven batters he faced, but he could not make it out of the third inning. Stryffeler walked the first three batters of the inning, loading the bases. Colin Rosenbaum (Belmont Abbey) brought home the runner from third on a sacrifice fly to right field. Two batters later, Jean-Francois Garon (Bradley) singled, pulling the Border Cats within a run. Spencer Johnson (Wayne State) relieved Stryffeler with two outs and struck out the first batter he faced to end the inning.
Kevin Biondic (Maryland) tied the game for Thunder Bay in the fourth inning with a solo home run, his second of the season.
The Border Cats blew open the game with eight runs over the next two innings. Rosenbaum and Braden Mosley (Southeast Missouri) both doubled in runs in the fifth inning, giving the Border Cats a 5-3 lead.
Thunder Bay returned in the sixth inning, scoring six runs on five hits. The inning was capped off by back-to-back home runs by Garon and Mosley.
Jacob Green (Lake Erie) and David Noworyta (Hawaii) quieted the Thunder Bay offense, pitching the final three innings of the game, while only giving up one hit.
Jake Mielock (Colorado Mesa) earned the win (1-2) for the Border Cats. He pitched 5.1 innings, giving up three runs (all unearned) on three hits. He struck out six batters and walked one.
The Honkers finish the two-game series against the Border Cats Wednesday night, June 28. It will be Aquatics & Beach Night presented by Rochester Swim Club. Gates open at 6:00 p.m. First pitch is 7:05 p.m. Chia-Ching Ho (National Taiwan Sports University) is scheduled to pitch for the Honkers. Ho is 0-1 this season with a 5.25 ERA. Patrick Ryan (Iona) is scheduled to pitch for the Border Cats. Ryan is 0-2 this season with a 6.19 ERA.
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.