St. Cloud, MN – Now officially eliminated from the playoffs, the Honkers were hoping to play spoilers when they traveled to St. Cloud to take on the Rox on Thursday, August 8. The Flock did just that by scoring four runs in the seventh inning to beat St. Cloud 6-3.
After two singles and a walk loaded the bases, Rochester starting pitcher Dwayne Marshall (Maryland-Eastern Shore) worked his way out of a jam in the first inning by striking out Parker Smejkal to keep St. Cloud scoreless.
Rox’ starter Alex Carrillo was pitching even better as he faced just three batters in each of the first two innings.
Marshall kept pace by retiring the side in the bottom of the second inning.
The Honkers scored the first run of the game in the top of the third inning when Kyler McMahan (Oregon State) hit an RBI single which scored Mitchell Allen (New Mexico State) from third base.
Following a walk by Austin Schell (Golden West College), Rochester tacked on another run in the top of the fourth inning when Allen doubled to left-center field.
Marshall surrendered a walk to Hance Smith in the bottom of the fourth, but he struck out his next two batters to end in the inning.
After a quiet top of the fifth for the Honkers, Anthony Rodriguez (Monroe College) relieved Marshall even though Marshall had given up just two hits and no runs.
St. Cloud broke through against Rodriguez when Garett Delano hit a two-run home run to tie the game at 2-2.
Rodriguez settled down in the bottom of the sixth by retiring the first three batters he faced.
The Flock re-took the lead in the top of the seventh inning when McMahan drew a bases-loaded walk. Then, Tristan Peterson (New Mexico State) was hit by a pitch to bring in the next run which gave Rochester a 4-2 lead.
But the Honkers weren’t done yet as the next batter, Ryan Wrobleski (Dallas Baptist) hit a two-run single to make the lead 6-2.
Allen kept the Rox scoreless in the bottom of the seventh, but they got one run back in the bottom of the eighth when Smejkal hit a solo home run.
With the Flock now in a save situation, leading 6-3, Keon Taylor (Georgetown College) came in to pitch the ninth inning and he gave up just one hit before retiring the next three batters to earn the save.
The 6-3 win boosts the Honkers’ second-half record to 18-16 and their overall record is now 36-33.
The Profile Sanford Player of the Game is Mitchell Allen for going 1-2 with two walks and pitching two innings of relief.
Rochester continues its series in St. Cloud on Friday, August 9, at 7:05 p.m. The Flock conclude their season in Mankato where they’ll play the MoonDogs on Saturday and Sunday, August 10-11.