(Rochester, Minn.) – After scoring 10 runs in the previous game, the Rochester Honkers offense picked right back where it left off as they defeated the Willmar Stingers 11-3 Sunday at Mayo Field. The win snaps a two-game skid for the Honkers as they move to 11-11 in the second half and 28-30 overall. The Stingers fall to 15-7 in the second half and 37-20 overall.
The Honkers got on the board in the first as Michael Michalak (Illinois) doubled to center to bring in Matt Hardy (UC Riverside). On the same play, Christian Robinson (Stanford) came in to score on an error to put Rochester up 2-0.
The Stingers were able to get a run back in the second. Caleb Ricca (Northwestern State) singled to bring home a run and cut the Honkers lead to 2-1.
The Honkers pulled away with a five run second inning. Nate Webb (UC Riverside) got the rallied started by driving in two runs with a triple to the left center gap. Webb was driven in on a single off the bat of Alex McGarry (Oregon State) to extend the lead to 5-1. Matt Hardy (UC Riverside) crushed a two-run home run to cap off the scoring in the second. For Hardy, it was the second game in a row that he has homered in.
Rochester added to their lead in the seventh. McGarry doubled down the right field to bring home a pair of runs. Hardy beat out a slow roller to the shortstop that allowed a run to score and make the score 10-1. Robinson then beat out a swinging bunt that brought in another run.
The Stingers came back for two runs in the eighth. Jayson Newman (Cal State Northridge) and Tyler Reichenborn (Iowa Western) came around to score on an error to cut the Honkers lead to 11-3.
To go along with a home run, Hardy finished the game going 3-for-5. Taylor Adams (Oregon) picked up his second multi-hit game of the season after ripping two doubles down the left field line. Robinson and McGarry each added two hits for Rochester.
Honkers starting pitcher Matteo Bocchi (Texas) picked up his second win of the year after spinning six innings surrendering one run on six hits. Bocchi struck out five and walked four. Zach Sundine (Lamar CC) came in relief to work two innings and gave up two runs. None of the runs were earned. Webb came in to pitch a scoreless ninth.
Stingers starting pitcher Nick Dentoni (Delta College) was tagged with his second loss on the year. Dentoni tossed three innings giving up seven runs on six hits.
The Honkers travel to Duluth on Monday to take on the Huskies. Nick Simak (Roosevelt) is scheduled to make his debut on the mound for the Honkers. Simak will be up against Jack Corbell (Miami Ohio) from Duluth, Corbell has a 1-1 record and a 3.14 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.