(Rochester, Minn.) – The Rochester Honkers offense slugged their way past the Thunder Bay Border Cats on Saturday at Port Arthur Stadium for a final score of 11-4. The Honkers improved to 11-9 on the year as the Border Cats fell to 4-15.
The Honkers offense collected 19 hits which is a season high. Additionally, the 11runs were a season high for Rochester.
Christian Robinson (Stanford) led the offensive outburst with four hits. Ryan Casper (Point Loma Nazarene), Reed Hjelle (Minnesota-Crookston) and Thomas Greely (San Joaquin Delta College) all had three hits for Rochester.
Drew Slade (Ripon) got his first win this season as a Honker. Slade threw five innings and gave up two runs on five hits and struck out five. Ryan Dorney (St. Martin’s) threw two innings and gave up one run in relief. Casper tossed an inning giving up one run on two hits. Greely came in to throw a scoreless ninth inning.
Robinson gave the Honkers a 1-0 lead as he drove an RBI single in the third. Greely drove in his first run of the year with a single in the fourth, Casper added on two more runs with his seventh double of the year.
Thunder Bay fought back in the fourth as Gunner Hellstrom (Nebraska) hit a two-run double to bring the Border Cats within two runs of the Honkers.
Michael Michalak (Illinois) got Rochester started in the fifth as he came around to score on an error. Greely drove in his second run of the game with a single. Derek Scott (Abilene Christian) ripped a two-run single to give the Honkers an 8-0 lead.
Mark Vierling (Missouri) got a run back for Thunder Bay in the sixth as he grounded out to bring a run home.
The Honkers got the run back in the seventh as Casper singled to give him his third RBI of the game, on the same play Greely came around to score on an error to give Rochester a 10-3 lead.
The Border Cats came back with a run in the eighth as Vierling drove in his second run of the game with a double.
Casper got the run back for the Honkers in the ninth as he grounded out to cap off the scoring.
Thunder Bay starting pitcher Connor Centala (North Carolina State) got tagged with his first loss of the season after giving up four runs on eight hits in four innings of work.
The Honkers are back in action in Thunder Bay on Sunday for the series finale. Chad Tworek (Keiser) is scheduled to start for the Honkers, Tworek is 3-0 and has posted a 2.64 ERA. Tworek will be up against Erik Key (Lamar) from Thunder Bay. First pitch will be at 12:35 p.m.
The Rochester Honkers are a member of the finest developmental league for elite college baseball players, the Northwoods League. Now in its 25th anniversary season, the Northwoods 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 190 former Northwoods League players have advanced to Major League Baseball,including three-time Cy Young Award winner Max Scherzer (WAS), two-time World Series Champions Ben Zobrist (CHC) and Brandon Crawford (SFG) and MLB All-Stars Chris Sale (BOS), Jordan Zimmermann (DET) and Curtis Granderson (TOR). 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.