Bismarck, ND. – The Honkers won three of four games the first time they went on the road to face the Bismarck Larks, but the Larks weren’t going to let that happen again as they jumped all over the Honkers and won 11-3 in game one of the series.
Rochester’s starting pitcher Evan Layne (Lake Erie College) got off to a great start by retiring the side in the bottom of the first inning.
The Honkers got a double from Nathan Webb (California-Riverside) in the second inning, but Bismarck pitcher Josh Gray induced a groundout from Vinny Tosti (Oregon) to end the scoring threat.
Rochester’s offense scored the first run of the game in the third inning when Andy Armstrong (Oregon State) hit a single and scored on a double by Tristan Peterson (New Mexico State).
Unfortunately, the Larks responded in a big way by scoring five runs in the bottom of the fourth inning. It all started when David Mendham hit an RBI single and Stephen Baughan advanced to second base. Then, Brian Leonhardt drew a walk to load the bases. Layne’s biggest mistake was giving up a three-run triple to Cooper Bowman. The final run of the inning came when Jack Chernow hit a single to score Bowman and make Bismarck’s lead 5-1.
Meanwhile, Gray was having a great first start of the season for the Larks as he continued to keep the Honkers at just one run in the top of the fifth inning by retiring the side.
The Larks added to their lead in the bottom of the fifth when Ty Condel hit a single and AJ DiFillipo was able to score due to an error by Rochester’s right fielder Tosti. Later that inning, Condel scored on a sacrifice-fly by Mendham to give Bismarck a 7-1 lead.
Even though the Larks were facing a new pitcher, Logan Nissen (Bethany Lutheran), Bismarck continued to add more runs in the sixth inning. First, Wyatt Ulrich hit an RBI single to score Leonhardt. Second, DiFillipo hit the second RBI single of the inning to push the Larks’ lead to 9-1. Lastly, Condel laced a two-run double into center field to score Ulrich and DiFillipo. Bismarck now led 11-1.
Rochester added a run in the eighth inning when Peterson hit a solo home run.
After the eighth inning, Gray was done for the night having given up just two runs and seven hits in eight innings.
Fernando Diaz Jr. came in to pitch the ninth for the Larks. The Honkers got a lead-off double by Ryan Wrobleski (Dallas Baptist), followed by a single by Webb and Wrobleski ended up scoring when A.J. Miller hit into a double play.
The 11-3 loss moved Rochester’s record down to 18-14.
Layne’s worst start of the season meant he was named the losing pitcher.
The Honkers’ Profile Sanford Player of the Game was Tristan Peterson for going 2-for-3 with a home run and 2 RBI.
The series concludes on Sunday, June 30, at 1:05 p.m. After that, the Honkers return home to face the La Crosse Loggers for the first time this season.
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.