(Rochester, Minn.) – The Rochester Honkers had no shortage of offense collecting two home runs and 15 hits to take a 12-0 victory over the Thunder Bay Border Cats Friday at Mayo Field. The Honkers completed their fifth sweep of the season to improve to 7-9 in the second half and 24-28 overall. Thunder Bay has lost seven in a row as they fall to 5-11 and 18-34.
The Honkers pitching staff held the Border Cats to just one hit in the series finale. Honkers starting pitcher Matteo Bocchi (Texas) picked up his first win of the year after tossing five dominant innings. Bocchi gave up just one hit and struck out seven and walked one. Connor McCollum (Colorado Christian) worked two scoreless innings and struck out one. Casey Dunlap (Point Loma Nazarene) and Nate Webb (UC Riverside) threw a scoreless eighth and ninth respectively.
Michael Michalak (Illinois), Webb and Andy Armstrong (Oregon State) all had three hits for the Honkers. Michalak hit a three-run home run good for his fifth of the year. Matt Hardy (UC Riverside) joined Michalak in hitting his fifth home run of the year. Alex McGarry (Oregon State) went 2-for-3 to extend his hitting streak to 10 games.
Hardy gave the Honkers a 2-0 lead in the first as he crushed a two-run home run over the left field wall.
Webb extended the Honkers lead in the second hitting a RBI double to put the Honkers up 3-0. Webb was later driven in on a single off the bat of McGarry.
Rochester broke the game open putting up five runs in the fifth. Michalak got the rally started launching a three-run home run to put the Honkers up 6-0. Austin Schell (Golden West) singled to left to give him a RBI in his Honkers debut. McGarry drew a walk with the bases loaded to push the Honkers lead to 9-0.
Armstrong gave the Honkers double digit runs as he singled to put Rochester up 10-0 in the sixth.
Dunlap gave the Honkers an 11-0 advantage in the eighth with a RBI single. Webb hit his second double of the game to drive in another run and make the score 12-0 Honkers.
Border Cats starting pitcher Drew Gooch (Texas at Arlington) took his fourth loss of the year. Gooch threw 4 1/3 innings surrendering nine runs on eight hits.
The Honkers are back at Mayo Field on Saturday to begin a two-game series with the Bismarck Larks. Eddie Mathis (Bellarmine) is scheduled to pitch for the Honkers. The left-hander has posted a 3.38 ERA and a 0-0 record. Mathis will be up against Danny Kuhn (St. Johns) from Bismarck, Kuhn has a 3-1 record and a 5.19 ERA. Saturday is Ronald McDonald House Specialty Jersey Night presented by American Waterworks and ABC 6 News. Honkers players will be wearing jerseys designed by kids staying at the Ronald McDonald House of Rochester. First pitch is scheduled for 7:05 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.