Rochester’s Sluggers Provide Plenty of Offense in Win
ROCHESTER, MN. – After a tough loss to St.Cloud on Friday and a rain out on Saturday, the Rochester Honkers made all 1,122 fans happy with plenty of offense en route to a convincing 10-2 win over the Bismarck Larks on Sunday, June 16.
Honkers’ starting Ryan Middendorf got things rolling early by retiring the side in the first inning.
The offense kept the momentum going by getting a double from Tristan Peterson (New Mexico State) and an RBI double from Ryan Wrobleski (Dallas Baptist) to take a 1-0 lead.
After a scoreless second inning, the Larks got two big hits against Middendorf. The first was a double by Zack Gregory that put runners on third and second base. The second was a two-run single by Wyatt Ulrich to give Bismarck a 2-1 lead.
However, Rochester responded right away and re-took the lead after getting two runs in the bottom of the third. The first run came on an RBI double by Peterson which scored Henry George (Minnesota-Duluth) from second base and then Wrobleski hit a sacrifice-fly to score Craig Shepherd (Evansville) from third base.
Middendorf bounced back from his two-run third inning by retiring the side in the fourth inning.
The Honkers got right back to work in the fourth inning thanks to a big hit by Ryan Ober (Oregon State) who was making his season debut for the Honkers. The ball he hit bounced off third base and landed in shallow right field, giving him a double. He advanced to third base on a throwing error. He later scored on a groundout by Seth Nelson (Golden West College). The Honkers led 4-2 as the game moved into the fifth inning.
The Larks got runners of third and second base in the fifth, but Middendorf induced a fly-out to get out of the jam.
In Rochester’s next at-bat, the offense recorded two quick outs but after that it just kept getting hits. Wrobleski got it going with a single, Aaron Simmons (UW-Stevens Point) followed with a single, and Tim Borden (Louisville) loaded the bases with a single. Ober got his first RBI with the Honkers by hitting yet another single to score Shepherd. Nelson provided the biggest hit of the inning by lining a single into the outfield to score two runs, but he was called out at second when he tried to stretch it into a double. Nevertheless, the Honkers now had a commanding 7-2 lead.
Middendorf showed that he was still in control as he retired the side for the third time in the sixth inning.
But wait there’s more. The Honkers’ offense added two more runs in the bottom of the sixth when Shepherd hit a two-run double to score Joey Daini (Sacramento City College) and George.
Simmons made a great diving catch in foul territory next to right field to help Middendorf complete his seventh inning of work.
Mitchell Allen (New Mexico State) came in to pitch the final two innings. He surrendered a walk to Ulrich who then stole second base, but he got out of the scoring threat with a strikeout and another diving catch, this time by shortstop Borden.
Peterson scored the Honkers last run of the game with one swing of the bat. His solo home run went an estimated 356-foot over the fence in right-center field.
Bismarck got runners on third and second base in the ninth inning, but Allen recorded two strikeouts and got the last out on a fly out to second base to end the game.
The Honkers 10-2 win improves our record to 12-8.
Tristan Peterson was named the Profile Sanford Player of the Game for going 3-5 with a home run and two doubles.
Ryan Middendorf earned his third win of the season.
The Honkers host the Larks again on Monday, June 17, in a 6:35 p.m. start. After that, Rochester finishes up their homestand with two games against the Mankato MoonDogs.
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.