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Published On: June 28th, 2014

Rox Split with Honkers After Paul’s Late-Inning Heroics

St. Cloud, MN- The St. Cloud Rox used the hitting of Chris Paul to complete a late-inning comeback in game two of Friday night’s doubleheader, as he launched a three-run home run in the seventh inning to tie the game and a sacrifice fly to right center in the ninth inning to give the Rox a 5-4 victory over the Rochester Honkers. The Rox fell to the Honkers 9-2 in game one of the doubleheader, which was a make up game from last night’s postponement at Joe Faber Field.

In game one, the Rox could not overcome the six runs tallied by the Honkers in the first two innings, as Rox starter Austin Caspersen allowed four runs in the first while Troy Whitty gave up two in the second. From there Matt Rodgers was able to stop the bleeding on the mound for the Rox, getting the last two outs in the second and throwing the next two innings while allowing just one run on three hits.

The Rox were led offensively by Mitchell Kranson in game one, who launched his third home run of the season in the fifth inning and also tallied his third double of the season in the second as he finished game one as the only Rox player to record multiple hits. Paul and Kyle Thornell also tallied doubles in the loss, as the Rox finished with six hits collectively.

In game two, Rochester continued their first-inning scoring by posting a run on Rox starter Nick McCarty off a triple from Connor Schaefbauer, who scored two batters later. The Rox answered with a run of their own in the bottom of the third when Kranson smacked another solo home run to right field to tie the game at one-apiece. Kranson finished the night a combined 3-for-8 in the two-game set as two of his three hits went for home runs.

The Honkers tallied three more in the fourth inning coming off four consecutive hits, all with two outs in the inning to take a 4-1 lead through five. The score remained the same until the final inning, when Paul stepped in as the tying run with Seth Heck and Eric Loxtercamp on base, and proceeded to tie the game with a three-run home run to left field to send game two to extra innings.

The final two innings of regulation and the two extra innings were pitched by Tyler Peitzmeier for the Rox, who allowed just two hits in his four innings of work while striking out five to keep the Rox in the game. The contest was ended in the ninth inning, as Loxtercamp led off with a walk and scored the winning run when Paul sent a fly ball to right field that proved deep enough to score Loxtercamp and give the Rox a 5-4 victory. Paul led the offense in game two, going 3-for-4 with four RBIs and a run scored as he is now batting .388 on the 2014 season.

Game one’s box score can be found at http://northwoods.bbstats.pointstreak.com/boxscore.html?gameid=222931 and game two’s at http://northwoods.bbstats.pointstreak.com/boxscore.html?gameid=210405.

The Rox continue their current home stand tonight, beginning a two-game series with the Eau Claire Express at 6:05 p.m. before playing a Monday afternoon game with the Mankato MoonDogs on June 30th. The award-winning national entertainment act, BirdZerk, will be performing all night long tonight, presented by the Plaza Park Bank and the St. Cloud Times.

Single game tickets can be purchased 24 hours a day at www.stcloudrox.com, by calling (320) 240-9798 or by visiting the Rox ticket office located at the Municipal Athletic Complex.

For more coverage of the Rox, visit www.sctimes.com