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Furious Comeback by Honkers Falls Short Against Stingers

 

(Willmar, Minn.) – The Rochester Honkers (9-11 Second Half, 25-30 Overall) lost to the Willmar Stingers (14-8, 32-26) by a score of 10-7 Friday night at Bill Taunton Stadium. After falling behind 9-3 after four innings, the Honkers responded with four runs over four innings. Alex Reyes (New Mexico State) led the Stingers with six RBIs on two doubles and a sacrifice fly. Two Honkers hit home runs, totaling a league-high 64 as a team for the season. The team is now four home runs shy of tying the single-season league record of 68 held by the 2012 Honkers team.

Ryan Fitzpatrick (UC Irvine) broke a scoreless tie in the top of the first inning with a sacrifice fly to center field, which scored the leadoff batter, Weston Hatten (Nevada).

Willmar loaded the bases to start the bottom of the first inning on back-to-back singles and a walk. Three runs scored on four total hits in the inning, giving the Stingers a 3-1 lead.

Mike Echavia (Nevada) cut the lead to one run with his tenth home run of the season, a solo shot to right-center field in the top of the second inning.

The Stingers extended their lead with three runs on five hits in the bottom of the second inning, capped off by a two-run double to right field by Alex Reyes (New Mexico State).

Hatten drove in the Honkers’ third run of the game in the top of the fourth inning on a two-out single to center field, which scored Ethan Ibarra (St. Cloud State) from second base.

After a three-run double by Reyes in the bottom of the fourth inning, the Honkers scored four runs over the next four innings, starting with a solo home run to left field by Fitzpatrick in the fifth inning, his eighth home run of the season. The Honkers scored twice in the eighth inning on a bases-loaded walk by David Noworyta (Hawaii) and a fielder’s choice by Ibarra. A Willmar error brought the Flock within three runs, but that would be as far as the Honkers would get.

Willmar added their 10th run in the bottom of the eighth inning and Calvin Coker (Auburn) pitched a perfect ninth inning for his fifth save of the season.

Gus Varland (Concordia St. Paul) earned the win (5-1) for the Stingers. He pitched six innings, giving up four runs on five hits while striking out eight batters and walking two.

Drew Slade (Ripon) took the loss (4-2) for the Honkers. He pitched four innings, giving up nine runs on 13 hits while striking out three batters and walking two.

The Honkers will finish the four-game road trip in the same stadium where it began. The Honkers will take on the La Crosse Loggers tomorrow, July 29. First pitch from Copeland Park is 6:05 p.m. Kenyon Yovan (Oregon) is scheduled to pitch for the Honkers. Yovan is 0-1 this season with a 1.63 ERA. Derik Beauprez (Nova Southeastern) is scheduled to pitch for the Loggers. Beauprez is 2-3 this season with a 3.00 ERA.

The next home game for the Flock is Sunday, July 30, against the La Crosse Loggers. It will be Dash for Cash Day, presented by Country Financial. One lucky registered fan will be selected to win up to $1,000 on the field. The contestant will have 30 seconds to pick up a pile of money, located 45 feet away, using a snow shovel. The amount of money the contestant can place in their container will be theirs to keep. It will also be Bob & Steve’s Corn Sunday on the Sports Deck and Slider’s Kids Club Day. Kids eat for free on the Sports Deck and can run the bases after the game. Gates open at noon. First pitch is 1:05 p.m.

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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, more than 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.