Honkers Fall Short at Home
(Rochester, Minn.) – Noah Sifrit (Oklahoma State) and Nick Brueser (Stanford) each launched a two-run home run in the fourth inning to lead the Eau Claire Express past the Rochester Honkers 6-5 on Sunday at Mayo Field. The Express won their second game in a row to improve to 3-2 in the second half and 16-24 overall. The Honkers fall to 1-4 and 18-23.
Jaylon McLaughlin (Nevada) recorded his 17th multi-hit game of the year after going 2-for-4 and stealing two bases. Mike Peabody (UC Irvine) picked up his first multi-hit game of the season finishing 2-for-4.
Honker’s starting pitcher Eddie Mathis (Bellarmine) made his season debut for Rochester. He worked three innings surrendering two runs on two hits. Connor McCollum (Colorado Christian) took the loss in his season debut throwing two innings giving up four runs on three hits. Ryan Dorney (St. Martin’s) came in relief to quiet the Express offense, he worked three scoreless innings. Michael Brandt (Augustana) came in to work a scoreless ninth.
The Express got on top early scoring two runs in the second inning. Andrew Pratt (Lubbock Christian) singled to right to bring home the game’s first run. Sifrit grounded into a fielder’s choice to bring home another run and put Eau Claire up 2-0.
The Honkers rallied in the third to take the lead, Matt Hardy (UC Riverside) singled to right to bring home two runs for the Honkers to tie the game at two. Andy Armstrong (Oregon State) gave the Honkers a 3-2 lead as he scored on an error. Hardy put the Honkers up 4-2 as he came around to score on a wild pitch.
The Express came back in the fourth to retake the lead. Sifrit got the rally started ripping a two-run home run to tie the game at four. Brueser gave the Express a 6-4 lead hitting a two-run home run of his own.
Peabody cut the Express lead to 6-5 in the seventh coming around to score on a wild pitch.
Eau Claire starting pitcher Justin Slaten (New Mexico) picked up his fifth win of the year for the Express. Slaten tossed five innings giving up four runs on six hits. Just two of the runs were earned.
The Honkers will travel to Eau Claire for a rematch with the Express on Monday. Zak Devermann (Illinois) is scheduled to pitch for the Honkers, the left-hander has compiled a 4.78 ERA and a 2-3 record. Andrew Dean (Illinois-Springfield) is scheduled to start for the Express. Dean has a 0-4 record and a 3.81 ERA. First pitch is scheduled for 6:35 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.