Hardy Homers to Give Honkers Walk-Off Win
(Rochester, Minn.) – For the second game in a row, the Rochester Honkers hit a two-run walk-off home run to defeat the Duluth Huskies 7-5 Wednesday at Mayo Field. Matt Hardy (UC Riverside) crushed the home run with two outs in the ninth to seal the deal for the Honkers. The Honkers played their last home game on Wednesday and improved to 16-16 in the second half and 33-35 overall. The Huskies fall to 21-11 and 45-23.
The Huskies were able to take a 1-0 lead in the third as Christian Jones (Washington) was able to steal home.
The Honkers responded in the third as Nate Webb (UC Riverside) crushed a two-run home to give Rochester a 2-1 lead. For Webb, it was his third home run of the year.
In the fourth, Michael Michalak (Illinois) drove a two-run home run to put the Honkers up 4-1. It was the seventh home run of the year for the Rochester native and the second game in a row in which he has homered in.
Alex McGarry (Oregon State) gave the Honkers another run in the eighth. McGarry launched his seventh home run of the summer to put the Honkers up 5-1.
The Huskies were able to fight back in the eighth, Tony Monroy (Georgetown) singled to right to drive in a run and cut the Honkers lead to 5-2.
Duluth continued to fight back in the ninth as Sean Watkins (Cal State LA) hit a solo home run to make the score 5-3. The Huskies tied the game at five as Julian Escobedo (San Diego State) hit a two-run home run.
The Huskies three-run ninth set up Hardy to win the game with a two-run walk off home run for the Honkers in the ninth.
Honkers starting pitcher Drew Slade (Ripon) received a no decision despite a solid outing. The left-hander worked six innings giving up one run on two hits. The run was not an earned run. Michael Brandt (Augustana) came in relief to pitch 1 1/3 and gave up one run on one hit. Joshua Ibarra (Concordia Irvine) posted his third win of the summer after working 1 2/3 innings giving up three runs on five hits.
Michalak, McGarry, Webb and Hardy all had two hits for the Honkers offense.
Huskies relief pitcher Tim Holdgrafer (Cal Poly Pomona) was tagged with the loss. Holdgradfer worked 3 2/3 innings surrendering three runs on five hits.
The Honkers travel to Willmar Thursday to take on the Stingers at Bill Taunton Stadium. Logan Nissen (Bethany Lutheran) is scheduled to make his second start for the Honkers. Nissen has recorded a 1.80 ERA and has struck out 14. Willmar’s starting pitcher is to be determined. 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, 200 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.