(Rochester, Minn.) – The Rochester Honkers bounced back after a 12-5 loss to the La Crosse Loggers to defeat the division-leading Duluth Huskies 5-4 at Wade Stadium. The Honkers swung hot bats collecting 10 hits to improve to 16-19 and 7-9 on the road. The Huskies fall to 24-11.
Honkers starting pitcher David Lemasters (Lake Erie) gave Rochester seven strong innings to get his fifth win of the season. Lemasters gave up four runs on eight hits and whiffed six Duluth batters. Both Michael Brandt (Augustana) and Joshua Ibarra (Concordia Irvine) came in relief to work a scoreless inning, for Ibarra, it was his sixth save of the year.
Michael Michalak (Illinois) had his third straight two-hit game going 2-for-4 and driving in a run. Thomas Greely (San Joaquin Delta College) had the other multi-hit game for the Honkers finishing with two hits in three at-bats. Matt Hardy (UC Riverside) crushed his second home run of the year and added a walk to his stat line.
Duluth took a 2-0 lead in the first thanks to RBI singles by Nicholas Sogard (Loyola Marymount) and John Lagattuta (UC Berkeley). Duluth added to their lead in the second as Augie Isaacson (Friends University) scored on a wild pitch.
Jaylon McLaughlin (Nevada) reached on a fielder’s choice to lead off the third for Rochester and was driven in by a single off the bat of Michalak to cut the Huskies lead to 3-1.
The Honkers put three runs on the board in the fourth, the rally was started by an Alex Baeza (Hawaii) RBI single. Baeza came around to score later in the inning as Mike Peabody (UC Irvine) grounded out to second. Andy Armstrong (Oregon State) drove in the go-ahead run on a sacrifice fly to push the score to 4-3. Hardy ripped a home run in the fifth to extend the Honkers lead to 5-3.
Trevin Esquerra (Loyola Marymount) cut the Honkers lead to 5-4 as he hit a sacrifice fly to drive in a run.
Matthew Mogollon (Chapman) was the losing pitcher for Duluth, Mogollon worked 3 1/3 innings surrendering four runs on six hits.
The Honkers and Huskies will rematch on Tuesday at 6:35 p.m. at Wade Stadium. Zak Devermann (Illinois) is scheduled to start for Rochester, he has a 1-3 record and a 6.12 ERA. Devermann will be matched up against Zac Shoemaker (Missouri Southern) from Duluth, Shoemaker has a 3.10 ERA and a 2-0 record.
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.