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HONKERS PITCHERS FALTER IN LOSS TO STINGERS

ROCHESTER, MINN – After a 5-2 win on Opening Day the Rochester Honkers were stung by the Willmar Stingers on Tuesday night, losing 18-7 at Mayo Field.

Noah Rooney (Minnesota) got the start for Rochester and immediately was tagged. Willmar scored a run in the first on an RBI fielders choice off the bat of Drey Dirksen (Augustana), two more in the second thanks to a two run single from Aidan Byrne (Minnesota State-Mankato) and another in the third on a Elias Stevens (Maryville) home run.

The Honkers wouldn’t go down without a fight though, they put up five runs in the bottom of the third, the go-ahead hit being a three run home run off the bat of Kimo Fukofuka (San Jose State). They held the lead briefly, as Willmar tied the game in the fifth when Elias Stevens scored on a double steal. They took the lead in the sixth by scoring two runs on wild pitches from Jack Maruskin (Frostburg State).

From there the floodgates opened, the Stingers scored 11 runs in the final three innings, four in the seventh, five in the eighth and two more in the ninth. In the seventh Aidan Byrne drove in a pair with a double, Elias Stevens hit a two run home run in the eighth, followed by an RBI single from Lincoln Orellanos (American River). In the ninth Drey Dirkson and Elias Stevens hit back-to-back home runs to cap off a Stingers blowout win. Stevens had an unreal night, in six plate appearances he reached all six times, recorded four hits, three home runs, four RBI and five runs scored.

The Honkers fall to 1-1 on the season, tomorrow night they begin a four game series in Bismarck against the Larks. Lance Santerre (San Francisco) gets the start. First pitch is at 7:05 p.m.