Honkers Complete Sweep of Rox
St. Cloud, MN — Going on the road to face the team in first place doesn’t seem like a recipe for success, but the Rochester Honkers pulled off the second of two consecutive upsets by beating the St. Cloud Rox 8-4 on Friday, August 9.
The Flock scored the first run of the game in the top of the first inning, when Andy Armstrong (Oregon State) hit a double-play which allowed Evan Berkey (Cal State-Bakersfield) to score from third base.
Rochester starter Marty Tolson Jr. (Maryland-Eastern Shore) also got off to an impressive start by retiring three of the first four batters he faced.
Up 1-0, the Honkers kept their offensive momentum going in the top of the second inning.
Zack Zalesky (Oregon State) hit a two-run single that brought home Ryan Wrobleski (Dallas Baptist) and A.J. Miller (Oregon) and Kyler McMahan (Oregon State) hit a sac-fly to score Austin Schell (Golden West College) to give the Flock a 4-0 lead.
Tolson Jr. recorded his second consecutive 1-2-3 inning in the bottom of the third.
Rochester improved its lead 5-0 in top of the fourth inning when Henry George (Minnesota-Duluth) hit an RBI sac-fly which scored Zalesky from third base.
The Honkers tacked on another run in the top of the fifth when Zalesky hit Rochester’s third consecutive sac-fly to bring home Wrobleski.
After getting no hits and only two walks through the first four innings, St. Cloud’s offense finally broke through against Tolson Jr. in the bottom of the fifth inning.
Rox’ center fielder Ben Carew hit a two-run single to trim the Flock’s lead to 6-2.
After a scoreless sixth inning, the Honkers got those two runs back in the top of the seventh inning when Berkey hit a two-run single which scored Miller and Schell.
Now leading 8-2, Marc Bisogno (Fordham) came in to pitch the bottom of the seventh for Rochester. Tolson Jr. ended his night with five strikeouts in six innings.
Bisogno recorded a 1-2-3 inning in the bottom of the seventh, but St. Cloud scored two runs in the eighth inning on an error by Honkers’ first baseman Miller and a sac-fly by Garett Delano.
With their lead reduced to 8-4, Rochester called upon Mitchell Allen (New Mexico State) to pitch the ninth inning.
He did a great job by retiring the first three batters he faced, including two strikeouts to seal the Flock’s 8-4 win.
The victory improves the Honkers’ second-half record to 19-16 and their overall record is now 37-33.
Tolson Jr. earned Profile Sanford Player of the Game honors for striking out five, giving up just two hits, and no earned runs.
Rochester concludes its season in Mankato on Saturday and Sunday, August 10-11. Saturday’s game starts at 6:05 p.m., while Sunday’s game starts at 3:05 p.m.