Rochester, MN — After winning two consecutive home games against the Willmar Stingers, the Rochester Honkers didn’t let the All-Star Break impede their momentum as they went on the road to Willmar and beat the Stingers 4-1.
Honker’s starting pitcher Landon Anderson (Cal State-Fullerton) got off to a great start by retiring the side in the bottom of the first inning.
The second inning wasn’t nearly as easy for Anderson. He gave up a single to Tyler Bosetti who advanced to third base on an error by Rochester right fielder Vinny Tosti (Oregon). The next Willmar batter, Chase Stanke, hit a groundout which scored Bosetti to give the Stingers an early 1-0 lead.
After a quiet top of the third inning for the Honkers, Anderson bounced back in the bottom half by retiring the side in just seven pitches.
Rochester’s All-Star Tristan Peterson (New Mexico State) got the offense going in the top of the fourth inning when he drew a walk. Ryan Ober (Oregon State) then hit a fielder’s choice and Peterson was safe at second on an error by Willmar third baseman Sam Baier. Both runners adavanced a base when A. J. Miller (Oregon) drew a walk.
With the bases now loaded, the Honkers tied the game, 1-1, when Logan Denholm (California-Davis) hit a sacrifice-fly to center field. Tosti made up for his earlier error by hitting the go-ahead RBI single to score Ober.
Anderson made sure that he preserved the narrow 2-1 lead in the bottom of the fourth inning by once again retiring the side. After the bottom of the fourth, he had thrown three 1-2-3 innings in the first four innings of the game.
Rochester threatened to add to their lead in the top of the sixth inning when Peterson advanced to third base on an Ober double. Unfortunately, Willmar’s starting pitcher Masen Palmier ended his night on a high note by getting three straight outs to keep the Honkers’ lead at just one run.
Anderson also ended his night impressively by retiring the side for the fourth time in the bottom of the sixth.
Nate Webb (California-Riverside) hit a two-run home run in the top of the seven inning to give the Flock a more comfortable lead, 4-1.
Marc Bisogno (Fordham) came in to pitch the bottom of the seventh for the Honkers and although he surrendered a couple hits, he kept the Stingers scoreless at only one run by getting two fly-outs to end the inning.
After a quiet top of the eighth for Rochester, Mitchell Allen (New Mexico State) pitched the bottom of the eighth and allowed just one base runner, on a walk, to maintain the Honkers’ 4-1 lead.
Tosti led-off the top of the ninth with a walk and later stole second base, but that’s as far as he got as new Stingers’ pitcher Kade Lancour got a fly-out from Webb to end the threat.
Rochester closer Keon Taylor (Georgetown College) came in to pitch the bottom of the ninth and he gave up a walk to Willmar left fielder Brennan McKenzie but struck out the next two batters to end the game.
The Honkers’ 4-1 victory improves their second half record to 8-6 and their overall record to 26-23.
For pitching six solid innings and only giving up one run, Landon Anderson was named the Profile Sanford Player of the Game.
The Flock plays one more game in Willmar on Friday, July 19, at 7:05 p.m. Rochester follows that up by hosting the Stingers for two games starting on Saturday, July 20, at 6:05 p.m.