(Rochester, Minn.) – The Rochester Honkers pitching staff was able to hold the defending champion St. Cloud Rox to four hits and pick up a 2-1 victory Thursday at Joe Faber Field. The win gives the Honkers their fifth straight as they move to 10-9 in the second half and 27-28 overall. The Rox lost their third straight to fall to 9-10 and 25-30.
Honkers starting pitcher Darin Kilfoyl (Saint Johns River State) tossed four innings and surrendered just one run on one hit. Kilfoyl struck out three and did not allow a base runner after the first inning. Ryan Dorney (St. Martin’s) picked up his first win in relief after working two scoreless innings and striking out two. Logan Nissen (Bethany Lutheran) made his debut for the Honkers and pitched two scoreless innings. Michael Brandt (Augustana) tossed a scoreless ninth to pick up his second save of the season.
Christian Robinson (Stanford) and Matt Hardy (UC Riverside) both went 2-for-3 to lead the way on offense for Rochester.
The Honkers got on top scoring a run in the first. Nate Webb (UC Riverside) led off the game with a single and was driven in off a sacrifice fly from Hardy to give the Honkers a 1-0 lead.
The Rox came back in the first as Ryan Davis (Georgetown) came around to score on a wild pitch to even up the score at one.
Rochester gained the lead back in the sixth on a RBI ground out from Casey Dunlap (Point Loma Nazarene) to give the Honkers a 2-1 advantage.
St. Cloud starting pitcher Will Warren (Southeastern Louisiana) took the loss after throwing six innings giving up two runs on seven hits.
The Honkers host the Rox for a rematch on Friday at Mayo Field. Drew Slade (Ripon) is scheduled to make his ninth start for the Honkers, the left-hander has a 6.69 ERA and a 2-6 record. Slade will be up against Evan Johnson (Creighton) from St. Cloud, Johnson has a 3-0 record and a 1.97 ERA. Friday is Slider Magnet Giveaway Night, the first 500 fans will receive a Slider magnet. 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.