(Bismarck, N.D.) – The Rochester Honkers (10-15 Second Half, 26-34 Overall) broke a five-game losing streak by defeating the Bismarck Larks (11-16, 27-35) by a score of 8-4 Thursday night at Bismarck Municipal Ballpark. The Honkers jumped out to a 5-0 lead through two and a half innings and never trailed. Each batter in the Honkers lineup collected at least one hit, including Konnor Zickefoose (UC Irvine), who extended his hitting streak to 14 games with a double.
Weston Hatten (Nevada) led off the top of the first inning with a double to left field. Hatten came in to score, his first of three runs, four batters later on a fielder’s choice by Ryan Fitzpatrick (UC Irvine).
After Mike Echavia (Nevada) scored on wild pitch in the top of the second inning, Zach Zubia (Texas) drove in the Honkers’ third run of the game on an infield single. The hit gave him 142 total bases, breaking a single-season team record held by Jason Washam in 1994.
Two more Honkers scored in the top of the third inning on a wild pitch and a two-out RBI single by Ethan Ibarra (St. Cloud State).
Noah Sadler (Illinois State) put the Larks on the scoreboard in the bottom of the third inning on a single to left field, scoring Scooter Bynum (Northern Illinois). Two more runs crossed on three hits in the bottom of the fourth inning, cutting the Rochester lead to 5-3.
Fitzpatrick extended the Honkers lead in the top of the seventh inning with a two-run home run to right-center field, his ninth of the season.
Bismarck threatened in the bottom of the seventh inning by loading the bases with one out. Spencer Gillund (Bismarck State) brought in a run on a groundout to the shortstop. Ryan Dorney (St. Martin’s) struck out the next batter to end the inning.
Morgan McCullough (Oregon) added an insurance run in the top of the top of the eighth inning with a triple to right field, scoring Hatten from second base.
Jacob Green (Lake Erie) closed out the final two innings of the game, striking out four batters.
Dorney earned the win (3-2) for the Honkers. He pitched three innings, giving up one run on four hits and striking out two batters.
Andy Lalonde (Southern New Hampshire) took the loss (4-5) for the Larks. He pitched five innings, giving up five runs on six hits while striking out seven batters and walking four.
The Honkers play the second game of the series against the Larks tomorrow, August 4. First pitch from Bismarck Municipal Ballpark is 7:35 p.m. Kenyon Yovan (Oregon) is scheduled to pitch for the Honkers. Yovan has a 2.81 ERA in 16.0 innings this season.
The next home game for the Flock will be a doubleheader on Monday, August 7, against the Thunder Bay Border Cats. It will be One Hit Wonder Night with Minnesota 97.5 FM. If the Honkers hold Thunder Bay to one hit in game one, then someone will win $10,000. Anyone 18 years or older may sign to win for free at the game. First pitch of game one starts at 6:05 p.m. Gates open at 5:00 p.m. Game two will begin 30 minutes after the completion of game one.
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.