(Rochester, Minn.) – Michael Michalak (Illinois) served as the hero for the Rochester Honkers as he lined a ball to center that forced an error to bring home a run to walk-off the Thunder Bay Border Cats in the eleventh inning for a final score of 2-1 on Tuesday at Mayo Field. The Honkers move to 12-9 on the season as Thunder Bay falls to 5-16. Tuesday was the third walk-off victory for the Honkers.
Despite the no decision, Darin Kilfoyl (Saint Johns River State) turned in another impressive outing, he tossed five innings and gave up just one hit and struck out nine. Kifoyl allowed just three base runners as he hit two batters to go along with the base hit. The freshman has thrown 14 1/3 scoreless innings this season.
Michael Brandt (Augustana) allowed one run on two hits and struck out four in 1 2/3 innings of work. Ryan Dorney (St. Martin’s) threw 2 1/3 innings without allowing a base runner and struck out three. Josh Ibarra (Concordia-Irvine) came on to throw a scoreless tenth and struck out one. Ryan Casper (Point Loma Nazarene) secured his first win of the year throwing a scoreless eleventh and striking out two. The Honkers were able to strike out eight of the nine batters in the Border Cats lineup.
The Honkers did not get a hit on the board until the sixth inning as Jaylon McLaughlin (Nevada) laid down a bunt to reach base. McLaughlin advanced to second on a wild pitch and was driven in by Alex McGarry (Oregon State) to put the first run on the board for the Honkers.
The Border Cats came back to tie the game at one in the seventh as Nick Conti (Eckerd College) drove in a run with a single to center.
McLaughlin sparked the rally in the eleventh for Rochester reaching first with his second hit of the night to set up Michalak’s at bat.
Thunder Bay relief pitcher Andrew Gross (Texas-Arlington) surrendered the walk-off run and got tagged with his second loss of the year despite the run not being earned.
The Honkers and Border Cats are back at Mayo Field on Wednesday for a 7:05 p.m. first pitch. David Lemasters (Lake Erie) is scheduled for start for Rochester. Lemasters has thrown 20 2/3 scoreless innings this season and has a 3-0 record. Omar Maldonaldo III (Graceland) is scheduled to throw for Thunder Bay. Wednesday is Car Wash Promo Night. First 1,000 fans will receive a car wash and drink coupon to Holiday Gas Stations. Additionally, wear a Rochesterfest button to the game and get a $3 discount on general admission.
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.