ROCHESTER, MN. – After scoring seven runs in their first two wins, the Honkers proved they can win with pitching and defense as they defeated the Thunder Bay Border Cats 3-1 in front of 1,037 enthusiastic fans.
Rochester’s starting pitcher Daniel Silva (UC-Colorado Springs) bounced back after a rough first appearance by throwing five shutout innings.
Silva’s lone shortcoming was giving up eight hits, but his defense backed him up, often in spectacular fashion.
In the first inning, Honkers’ second baseman Evan Berkey (Cal State-Bakersfield) made a diving catch to rob Thunder Bay of a hit and potentially a run as they had a runner on second. Another great play was made in the top of the second inning by Aaron Simmons (UW-Stevens Point) who made a diving catch in center field and then completed a double play by throwing out a base runner who had left first base.
After five innings, with the score still 0-0, Silva was taken out of the game and replaced by Keon Taylor (Georgetown College) who made his first appearance for the Honkers. He made quick work of the Border Cats in top of the sixth.
For the fourth straight game, the Honkers plated the first run of the game. This time it came via a RBI-single by Brennan Schmitt (UW-La Crosse). After a Trace Peterson (Lake Erie College) single advanced Schmitt to third, he scored on a RBI-single by Mitchell Allen (New Mexico State) to give Rochester a 2-0 lead.
Taylor recorded his third and fourth strikeout of the night in the seventh inning. He allowed only one hit in his two innings of work.
Logan Nissen (Bethany Lutheran) came in to pitch the eighth, and again the Honkers’ defense supported their pitcher. This inning it was Craig Shepherd (Evansville) who made the highlight by turning a double play to end the top of the eighth.
Rochester added an insurance run later that inning when a wild pitch by Border Cats’ pitcher Tanner Bercier allowed Joey Daini (Sacramento City) to cross home plate. Daini had gotten to third base thanks to a double by Schmitt.
Nissen gave up one run in the ninth on a double by Thunder Bay’s Bryce Jorgenson. After that, he settled down and got a strikeout to end the game. The 3-1 win improved the Honkers’ record to 3-1.
Rochester goes on the road for this first time this season to face the Waterloo Bucks on Saturday, June 1, at 6:35 p.m. Following the game, the Honkers will come back home to Mayo Field to host the Bucks on Sunday. First pitch is scheduled for 1:05 p.m.
Season tickets and new all-you-can-eat ticket packages are available for purchase right now at www.RochesterHonkers.com or by calling the Honkers front office at 507-289-1170.
The Rochester Honkers are a member of the finest developmental league for elite college baseball players, the Northwoods League. Now in its 26th 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, over 200 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 (MIA). 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.