Rochester could not hold on to a pair of early-one run leads in a 3-2 home-and-home opening defeat against the Eau Claire Express. The Honkers generated a baserunner in all nine innings but could not come through with a big hit to tie it. All told, Rochester left 14 men on base in the ballgame.
The Honkers took the lead in the opening inning, Jack Colette (San Jose St) and Ben North (Creighton) laced singles to help load the bases. Rochester pushed across a run on a throwing error.
Eau Claire did not trail for long, Carter Graham (Stanford) lined a double into the left-centerfield gap to knot the score.
The game remained tied until the fourth, Rochester capitalized on a Benjamin Rosengard (Rice) lead-off double. Otto Grimm (Minnesota) notched a fourth RBI in two games with a two-out single to give the Honkers the lead once again.
The Express produced what turned out to be the game-deciding blow in the fifth inning, Carter Graham made it a three-RBI night with a two-out go-ahead single to center.
The Honkers worked the tying run on base in each of the last four innings but could not find the big hit to push a run across.
Rochester falls to 24-26 on the summer and 9-9 in the second half. They take on the Eau Claire Express in the finale of the series tomorrow, first pitch from Mayo Field scheduled at 12:05.
By Nick DeLuca//Broadcasting and Media Relations Intern