ROCHESTER, MINN. — The Rochester Honkers strung together six hits on the night, but a seven-run fifth inning by the St. Cloud Rox (26-12) did the Team in Teal in on Tuesday night, dropping the second-to-last game of the season 9-3.
Rox left fielder Ben Norman (Iowa) opened the game with a lead-off double and came around to score on a sacrifice fly by Jack Kelly (Minnesota) to take an early 1-0 lead.
The Honkers jumped on the scoreboard in the bottom of the second when right fielder Mitch Olson (St. Scholastica) crossed the dish on a wild pitch after he reached earlier in the inning on a two-out walk.
It seemed like Rochester starting pitcher Sal Ferro (Long Island) was settling into a groove after his first four innings of work, allowing just two runs on five hits in that span. The wheels began to fall off for Ferro in the fifth, however, when St. Cloud opened the inning by loading the bases on a walk and two singles. Ferro got Rox first baseman Jordan Barth (Augustana) to pop out in foul territory before he walked in all three runners aboard. Ben Strassman (Rochester Community and Technical College) came on in relief, only to give up a three-run double by Norman — allowing his inherited runners belonging to Ferro to score — and allow another run before settling down for three more innings of relief.
The Honkers added a run in the fifth and a run in the sixth for good measure before ultimately being defeated 9-3 for Rochester’s seventh loss against St. Cloud this season.
First baseman Steven Moretto (Sacramento State) launched his first longball of the year, a solo shot over the left-center field wall to trim the Rochester deficit to six. Prior to Moretto’s homer, Taison Corio (Cal Poly) walked to bring in a run in the fifth.
Bryce Begell (Sacramento City College) and Jacob Shaver (Arizona) each turned in two-hit nights. It was Begell’s second multi-hit affair in five games, and Shaver’s two hits — a single and a double — extended his hitting streak to five games.
The notable on-base streaks of two Honkers stayed alive on Tuesday, as both Aaron Simmons (Wisconsin-Stevens Point) and Logan Sanders (Pima CC) reached base safely. Simmons extended his streak to 12 games with a lead-off walk in the fourth. Sanders’ season-long streak of eight games was achieved with a fifth-inning single that loaded the bases.
Michael Anderson (Gustavus Adolphus) tossed a scoreless inning of relief in the ninth, giving up two hits over the four batters he faced.
The Honkers return to Mayo Field for the final time in 2020 on Wednesday night for the season finale against the St. Cloud Rox. First pitch for Game Show Night is scheduled for 6:35 p.m. CST with Honkers Pregame Live presented by Rochester Toyota airing at 6:30 p.m. on portal.stretchinternet.com/NWLHonkers to get you set for the action.
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