The Rochester Honkers (14-10) lost game two of the doubleheader vs the Duluth Huskies (13-9) 3-1 in heartbreaking fashion. The loss pushes Rochester, who started the season 10-2, into a virtual three-way tie atop the Great Plains East.
It was an old fashioned pitcher’s duel through seven innings as neither team had allowed a run. Daniel Willie (Montreat) toed the rubber for the Honkers and was stellar through six innings. Despite not facing the minimum in any frame, the right-hander did not allow a run in his first start of the summer.
Willie scattered six hits and one walk across his start. He worked himself out of jams all night, stranding nine Huskies on base in an encouraging start for the Honkers starting pitching situation moving forward.
Alex Potter (Omaha) was equally impressive for Duluth, going six shutout innings allowing just three hits and two walks. The game would enter the top of the eighth inning tied after scoreless appearances from Corbin Barker (UC Riverside) (0-1) and Alex Humphres (Arizona State) (3-0) for Rochester and Duluth, respectively.
With one out in the top of the eighth inning, pinch-hitter Nico Regino (Charleston Southern) hit a solo home run to break the deadlock and give the Honkers the lead. It was his second home run in four games.
Barker ran into trouble in the home half of the eighth inning, loading the bases with no outs after two walks and a hit by pitch, all in succession.
With no outs and the go-ahead run at second base, Jacob Bosse (St. Ambrose) came in and struck out the first two Huskies he faced. With two outs and Rochester one strike away from escaping another jam, Kasen Wells (Texas A&M) roped a bases clearing triple to left field. The extra base hit gave Duluth a 3-1 lead they would not relinquish.
Humphres struck out the side in the top of the ninth to secure the win. Now, the Honkers sit third in the Great Plains East based on percentage points – the surging Thunder Bay Border Cats (12-8) are at the top for the first time this season.
Rochester opens another home and home series tomorrow at Mayo Field versus the Eau Claire Express (11-11). Scheduled first pitch time is 6:35 p.m.
The Rochester Honkers began their 30th season of play on May 29th. Keep up with the team on social media by following them on Twitter (@RochHonkers) and Instagram (@honkersbaseball) and like the Honkers on Facebook at Rochester Honkers Baseball Club. Interact on social by using the hashtag #FunForTheWholeFlock!
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