(Rochester, Minn.) – The Rochester Honkers (1-0 Second Half, 17-19 Overall) earned their second 1-0 start of the season after a 6-1 win over the North Division First-Half Champion St. Cloud Rox (0-1, 25-12) Wednesday night at Mayo Field. The win broke a five-game losing streak for the Honkers.
Both offenses were held to just one hit each through three innings. The St. Cloud starting pitcher, Nick Bush (LSU), was taken out of the game two batters into the fourth inning. Will Reese (LSU) inherited a runner on first base who reached on a leadoff walk. Reese walked the first two batters he faced to load the bases with one out. He hit Chris Ceballos (Orange Coast) with a pitch, scoring Zach Zubia (Texas). Griffin Neuer (Bellarmine) followed with a single to left field, scoring Konnor Zickefoose (UC Irvine).
St. Cloud responded in the top of the fifth inning by loading the bases with one out. The Rochester starting pitcher, Manny Armendariz (Doane), was able to get out of the inning on consecutive fly outs.
Rochester added two more runs in the bottom of the sixth inning after loading the bases again with one out. Ceballos drove in his second run of the game by drawing a walk and scoring Zubia. Neuer singled in to center field, bringing Ryan Fitzpatrick (UC Irvine) in to score.
Fitzpatrick returned in the sixth inning to hit a two-run home run to left field, his sixth of the season. The home run gave the Honkers a 6-0 lead.
St. Cloud grabbed a run off the Honkers’ bullpen in the top of the eighth inning. A leadoff walk by Cameron Eden (California) led to a run on a passed ball.
Joe Wills (Cal. State Fullerton) pitched a scoreless ninth inning in his Honker debut to seal the win.
Armendariz earned the win (2-0) for the Honkers. He pitched seven scoreless innings on three hits while striking out five batters and walking one.
Bush took the loss (0-1) for the Rox. He pitched 3.1 innings, giving up one run on one hit while striking out six batters and walking two.
Rochester heads on the road Thursday night to finish the series against the Rox. First pitch from Joe Faber Field is 7:05 p.m. Hunter Sullivan (Louisville) is scheduled to pitch for the Honkers. Sullivan is 3-1 this season with a 3.52 ERA.
The Honkers’ next home game is Friday, July 7, against the Eau Claire Express. It will be American Dairy Association Night at the ballpark, with the 23rd Annual Cow Milking Contest held on the field. It is a Safe Ride Friday, presented by Yellow Cab of Rochester. There will also be a 50/50 Raffle for Bolder Options. Byron-native Ryan Thompson (Illinois) is scheduled to pitch for the Honkers.
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.