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Early Runs Doom Honkers in Loss to Loggers

 

Rochester, MN –  When two competitive teams face each other, it can sometimes come down to which team makes the fewer mistakes and this time that team was La Crosse as they took advantage of two Rochester mistakes and eventually won 3-1. 

The first mistake came before some of the 1,075 fans in attendance had even found their seats. Loggers’ lead-off batter, Cody Jefferis, hit a high pop-fly to left field that would normally be an easy catch, but Rochester left fielder Aaron Simmons (Wisconsin-Stevens Point) lost it in the sun and it dropped for a single. 

Following a fielder’s choice, the Honkers’ committed their first official error when center fielder Vinny Tosti (Oregon) misplayed a hit to the outfield, had to dive for it to recover, and the ball ended up bouncing off the edge of his glove. 

Now with runners on second and third base, La Crosse scored the first run of the game when JT Schwartz hit an RBi single. Tony Bullard followed with an RBI groundout to give the Loggers a 2-0 lead before the first inning ended.

After an uneventful second inning, La Crosse got a deep single from Ryan Holgate, but Zack Zalesky (Oregon State) retrieved the ball at the warning track and threw a laser to second base which arrived before Holgate for the first out in the inning. 

The Loggers had a good chance to score in the fourth inning when Hunter Watson hit a double and advanced to third base on a wild pitch. Following a walk to Trey Harris, Rochester starter Ryan Dorney (Saint Martin’s) bounced back with his second strikeout of the night and then his defense turned a double-play to keep the score at 2-0.

The Honkers threatened to score in the fifth inning when Mitchell Allen (New Mexico State), Nate Webb (California-Riverside), and Simmons each hit singles to load the bases. However, La Crosse starter Mark Sellers got Andy Armstrong (Oregon State) to hit a groundout which kept the Flock scoreless.

Dorney had his best inning yet when he had a 1-2-3 inning in the top of the sixth. 

Logan Nissen (Bethany Lutheran) came in to pitch the seventh, but Jefferis added to the Loggers’ lead with a solo home run to make it 3-0.

Rochester finally got on the board in the bottom of the eighth when Webb hit a solo home run over the left field wall. The Flock had a good chance to score more runs when Logan Denholm (California-Davis) hit a single and Zalesky drew a walk, but La Crosse reliever Jack Filby struck out Ryan Ober (Oregon State) to end the inning. 

Allen came in to pitch the ninth inning and he didn’t allow any hits to keep the score at 3-1.

Jared Freilich came in to pitch the ninth inning for the Loggers. After cruising through the first two batters, Tosti had a ninth-pitch at-bat against Freilich and ultimately reach first base on an error by La Crosse shortstop Liam Bendo. 

Fresh off his eighth-inning homer, Webb was the batter that the Rochester faithful wanted to see come up as the game-tying run. He hit the ball deep, but unfortunately it wasn’t deep enough as the Loggers’ left fielder was able to get underneath it and make the game-ending catch. 

The 3-1 loss brings the Honkers’ second half record down to 10-9 and their overall record is now 28-26.

Webb was honored the Profile Sanford Player of the Game after going 2-5 with a home run. His defense was also impressive as he made a great diving catch in the top of the ninth inning. 

The Honkers have the day off on Wednesday, July 24. Rochester returns to action on Thursday, July 25, when they travel to Mankato to take on the MoonDogs. First pitch is scheduled for 7:05 p.m. The series finale will take place on Friday, July 26, at 7:05 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.
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