Honkers stop slide in opener with Duluth
After coming close in its last couple of games, Rochester was able to hang on to secure a 4-2 win in the series opener with Duluth. The victory snapped a five-game losing streak.
The difference in the ballgame came on a two-run Honkers sixth. With the game tied, JJ Cruz (Cal State Fullerton) launched a leadoff home run inside the right-field foul pole. The go-ahead homer was the first of the year for Cruz. The Honkers would add to the lead in the inning, with Jackson Forbes (San Jose St) scoring on a two-out Duluth error.
The Huskies struck first in the game’s opening frame, when Michael Brooks (Central Florida) reached on an error and scored on a double-play ball. The lead would not hold for long, as the Honkers came right back to tie things in the bottom half. Seth Betts (Crown College) reached on an error and stole a base, coming around on a Mac Horvath (North Carolina) RBI single.
Rochester took its first lead in the third. A Seth Betts walk and a Zach Cole (Ball State) double put runners on second and third with nobody out. Alex Pimentel (Long Beach State) collected his third hit in two nights to bring home a run.
The Huskies answered with an Ambren Voitik (Northern Oklahoma-Enid) RBI double to tie the game before Rochester took command in the sixth.
The Honkers pitching staff played a major role in the win. Brendan Knoll (Minnesota State Mankato) tossed five innings allowing just one earned run with four strikeouts. Jack Brodsky (Emory) earned the win in his scoreless inning of work. Alec Holcomb (Concordia-St. Paul) gave the Honkers 1.2 innings before handing the lead off to Darren Jansen (San Jose State). The sophomore inherited bases loaded and two-out in the eight, escaping the jam with a strikeout. After working a scoreless ninth, Jansen secured a Rochester win that saw three relievers combine for four shutout innings.
Rochester improves to 6-11 with the win. The Honkers and Huskies meet in the series finale tomorrow at 6:35 from Mayo Field. Gates open at 5:35 for Outer Space Night.
Nick DeLuca // Broadcasting and Media Relations Intern