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Walk-Off Spoils Honkers’ Opening Day

ST. CLOUD, MN. — The sellout crowd of 250 at Joe Faber Field enjoyed fireworks both during and after the home opener, as the host St. Cloud Rox (1-1) put together a late rally, stealing home to walk off the 7-6 win over the Rochester Honkers (0-1).

Rox right fielder Collin Montez started the bottom of the 10th on second base as the extra innings designated runner. After a groundout to first base advanced him to third and a walk to put runners on the corners, Honkers reliever Stone Churby (Sacramento State; 2.1 IP, L) fell behind 0-1 count on the pinch-hitting Andrew Pintar.

Pintar took the changeup to left field, but Bryce Matthews’ (Arkansas) throw slipped away from catcher Tanner Tweedt (Sacramento City College) and rolled just far enough back on the grass for the incoming Montez to swim around Churby’s eventual tag for the game-winning run.

The tie-breaker was one of three combined runs between the two teams in extra innings, with each squad scoring once in the 10th.

Before fans got treated to some free baseball, they watched both bullpens battle back from jams; 11 of the 12 frames between the fourth and ninth innings were shutouts. For the Honkers, Dallas Baptist’s MacGregor Hines and Kragen Kechely took over for starter Tanner Cunha (Nevada; 3 IP, 3 ER), striking out seven total batters.

The Honkers return to Rochester for their home opener tomorrow. First pitch at Mayo Field is set for 7:05 pm CST. Tune in to the Northwoods League Pregame Show at 6:45 here, immediately followed by Honkers Pregame Live! which takes you right up to the broadcast.

Be sure to connect with the Honkers on social media by liking them on Facebook and following them on twitter @RochHonkers and Instagram @HonkersBaseball. Join the conversation by using the hashtag #UnlockTheFlock!