(St. Cloud, Minn.) – The Rochester Honkers (8-6 Second Half, 24-25 Overall) fell to the St. Cloud Rox (5-10, 30-21) by a score of 7-0 Sunday evening at Joe Faber Field. Despite the loss, the Honkers still took the season series against the Rox, 5-3.
The Honkers threatened to score in the top of the first inning. Zach Zubia (Texas) hit a two-out double to the left field corner, his 12th double of the season, which is ninth-best in the Northwoods League. The Honkers were not able to bring in a run, flying out to right field to end the inning.
Michael Michalak (Des Moines Area CC) played well defensively at third base for the Honkers, including making a diving catch on a pop out in the bottom of the first inning.
After Rochester starting pitcher Kenyon Yovan (Oregon) started the game by throwing two perfect innings, the Rox scored four runs on one hit in the bottom of the third inning. The first two batters reached on a walk and a Rochester error. Michael Busch (North Carolina) scored the first run of the game after a fly out to left field by Drew Avans (Southeastern Louisiana). Three batters later, Shane Selman (McNeese State) doubled with the bases loaded, scoring all three runners.
Spencer Johnson (Wayne State) pitched three innings in relief of Yovan. He held St. Cloud scoreless in the fourth and fifth innings, but ran into trouble in the sixth. After a leadoff single, Busch extended the St. Cloud lead with a two-run home run in the bottom of the sixth inning.
Busch returned in the bottom of the seventh inning, hitting an RBI single with two outs, scoring Selman.
Robbie Palkert (Nebraska) earned the win (4-0) for the Rox. He pitched five innings, giving up three hits while striking out four batters and walking one.
Yovan took the loss (0-1) for the Honkers. He pitched three innings, giving up four runs on one hit while striking out four batters and walking two.
The Honkers will make their first trip to Willmar to take on the Stingers tomorrow, July 24. First pitch from Bill Taunton Stadium is 7:05 p.m. Michael Stryffeler (Lake Erie) is scheduled to start for the Honkers. Stryffeler has struck out 15 batters in five starts this season.
The next home game for the Flock is Wednesday, July 26, against the La Crosse Loggers. It will be Kids 3Buck Day, presented Overby Orthodontics. Kids 12 and under can gain admission to the game for only three dollars. First pitch is 12:05 p.m. Gates open at 11:00 a.m. Manny Armendariz (Doane) is scheduled to pitch for the Honkers. Armendariz is 3-0 with a 2.60 ERA.
The Rochester Honkers are a member of the finest developmental league for elite college baseball players, the Northwoods League. 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, 180 former 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 portal. For more information, visit www.rochesterhonkers.com or download the new Northwoods League Mobile App on the Apple App Store or on Google Play and set the Honkers as your favorite team.