The Honkers dropped the opening game of their two-game set with Willmar on Friday, 16-3 the final score. Seven runs and a pair of homers allowed Willmar to pull away in the ballgame.
Rochester led after a three-run first inning, Ryan Thibert (Chico St) and Seth Betts (Crown College) reached base to set the table for a Marco Castillo (Claremont McKenna) RBI double. With two-outs in the inning, Eric Rataczak (Post Grad) drove in a pair with a double.
The Honkers would be held off the scoreboard the rest of the way, and a four-run fourth for Willmar allowed the Stingers to take control. Reid Homan (North Alabama) drove a game-tying three run homer to left, and TJ Curd (Arizona) drove in the go-ahead run with an RBI single.
Willmar added three more in the fifth, Carter Howell (Augustana) went deep to start the inning with two-more runs scoring on a pair of base-hits helped by a Honkers error. The Stingers continued the scoring as the game progressed, a run in the sixth, three in the seventh, two in the eighth, and three runs in the ninth.
Marcus Krupke (Bethel) made his Honkers debut on the mound, retiring nine of the first ten batters he faced before leaving after 5.2 innings.
Rochester falls to 2-3 with the loss. The Honkers square off the Willmar for game two of the series tomorrow, first pitch is slated for 6:05 at Mayo Field.
By Nick DeLuca//Broadcasting and Media Relations Intern