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Published On: July 2nd, 2023

In the penultimate game of the first half, the Rochester Honkers (18-15) defeated the Eau Claire Express (19-14) by a final score of 11-7. Rochester has put themselves in a position where if they win and the Thunder Bay Border Cats and Duluth Huskies both lose, the Honkers would win the Great Plains East first-half championship and clinch a playoff berth for the first time since 2011.

Matt Brock (San Joaquin Delta College) got the start for the Honkers and immediately ran into trouble. After retiring the first hitter, he walked the next three straight batters, and a sacrifice fly gave the Express a 1-0 lead. The Honkers responded right away in the top of the second as Kimo Fukofuka smashed a solo home run way over the left field fence to tie the game at one and took over the Northwoods League lead in home runs with eight.

Eau Claire took the lead again by scoring two in the second, and the Honkers got another run back in the third inning. Brock came out after two innings, and Max Meyer (Frontier CC) relieved him, tossed four innings, and only gave up two runs.

In the fifth, the Honkers put up three runs and took the lead as Nico Regino’s (Charleston Southern) double down the left field line, plated two, and put him atop the all-time hits list for the Rochester Honkers franchise! After today, through three seasons, Regino has tallied 91 total hits.

Heading into the sixth inning, the Honkers were ahead 5-4 and were looking to break the game open. They scored five times in the top of the sixth, and it was capped off with a bases-clearing double by Fukofuka, which gave the Honkers a 10-5 lead.

Trevor Lee (Wichita State) came in to pitch in the seventh inning and finished off the game to earn the three-inning save. He had a hiccup in the ninth as he allowed two runs, but the Honkers’ offensive outburst was far too much for Eau Claire to overcome.

The Honkers are back in action tomorrow to close out the first half against the Eau Claire Express at home. First pitch is at 6:35 pm.

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!

The Northwoods League is the proven leader in the development of elite college baseball players. Now in its’ 30th season, the Northwoods League is the largest organized baseball league in the world with 24 teams, drawing significantly more fans, in a friendly ballpark experience, than any league of its kind. A valuable training ground for coaches, umpires, and front office staff, over 310 Northwoods League players have advanced to Major League Baseball, including three-time All-Star and 2016 Roberto Clemente Award winner Curtis Granderson, three-time Cy Young Award winner and World Series Champion Max Scherzer (NYM), two-time World Series Champions Ben Zobrist and Brandon Crawford (SFG) and World Series Champion Chris Sale (BOS). As well as 2019 Rookie of the Year and 2019/2021 Home Run Derby Champion Pete Alonso (NYM) and 2021 All-Star, MLB Gold Glove winner and 2019 Second Team All-MLB shortstop Marcus Semien (TEX). All league games are viewable live via the Northwoods League website at and on ESPN+. For more information, visit or download the Northwoods League Mobile App on the Apple App Store or on Google Play.