(Rochester, Minn.) – Back-to-back home runs in the seventh by Matt Hardy (UC Riverside) and Christian Robinson (Stanford) propelled the Rochester Honkers to defeat the Eau Claire Express 4-2 in a rain shortened game Wednesday at Carson Park. The two teams completed eight innings before the game was called final. The Honkers outhit the Express 11-3 to improve to 12-13 in the second half and 29-32 overall. The Express fall to 11-13 and 24-35.
The Honkers were able to get an early lead in the third. Nate Webb (UC Riverside) singled to bring in Mike Peabody (UC Irvine) to give Rochester a 1-0 advantage.
The Express came back in the fourth as Nick Brueser (Stanford) ripped an RBI single to even up the game at one.
In the fifth, Mitchell Buban (UW Milwaukee) ripped a solo home run to give the Express a 2-1 lead.
The Honkers came back with a big seventh inning. Hardy crushed a two-run home run to give the Honkers a 3-2 lead. For Hardy, it was his eighth home run of the year. Robinson came up to bat next and launched a solo home run to give the Honkers back-to-back homers. It was Robinson’s ninth home run of the year.
Webb finished the game 2-for-4 to give him his second straight multi-hit game for Rochester. Additionally, Alex McGarry (Oregon State) went 2-for-4 to give him his 15th multi-hit game of the year. Every batter in the Honkers lineup collected at least one hit.
Honkers starting pitcher Logan Nissen (Bethany Lutheran) tossed five innings and gave up two runs on three hits and struck out six. Zack Sundine (Lamar CC) picked up his second win in relief for the Honkers working three scoreless innings.
Tyler Strzelczyk (MATC) took the loss out of the bullpen for Eau Claire. Strzelczyk pitched two innings and surrendered three runs on six hits.
The Honkers and the Express play the second game of the doubleheader in Eau Claire at 7:05 p.m. Ryan Dorney (St. Martin’s) is scheduled to start for the Honkers, Dorney has a 1-4 record and a 6.24 ERA. Dorney will be up against Justin Revels (Illinois-Springfield) from Eau Claire. Revels has a 3-1 record and a 3.57 ERA.
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.