Willmar, MN – Hance Smith (California) drilled a grand slam and helped lift St. Cloud (7-7) past Willmar (8-6) by a final score of 8-3. The Rox swept the Stingers in the two-game series and have now won three games in a row.
After falling behind 2-0 in the third inning, the Rox responded in a big way in the top of the fifth inning. Brett Bonar (Nebraska-Omaha) led off with a walk, Garrett Nielsen (California) singled and Zack Elliott (Minnesota) reached base on a bunt. With the bases loaded and no outs, Hance Smith (California) drilled a grand slam over the center field wall to go ahead 4-2.
In the next inning, Bonar crushed a two-out home run over the right field wall to go ahead 5-2.
The Rox would plate three more runs in the top of the eighth inning. Nielsen drilled a double into the gap in right field that scored Jordan Barth (Augustana) and Parker Smejkal (Nebraska-Omaha). Nielsen would soon score after an Elliott RBI single to give St. Cloud the 8-3 lead.
Justin Simanek (Southeastern Louisiana) started the game on the mound for the Rox. Rhyse Dee (Wake Forest) earned the win, tossing four strong innings out of the bullpen. Drew Garrett (Johnson County CC), Justin Wick (Creighton) and Garrett Delano (Brown) all pitched out of the bullpen.
St. Cloud returns home on Tuesday for a doubleheader with the Mankato MoonDogs. The first game gets underway at 1:05 p.m. as it’s Midweek Matinee at the ballpark, bring a co-worker/client to the ballpark for lunch. The 7:05 p.m. game is Rox Pint Glass Giveaway presented by Miller Lite to the first 500 fans 21 and older.
All single games tickets – including to the home opener – can be purchased now in person at the Rox Ticket Office located at the Municipal Athletic Complex, by calling the Rox Ticket office at 320-240-9798 between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. Monday through Friday or 24 hours a day by visiting www.stcloudrox.com.
The St. Cloud Rox are a member of the finest developmental league for elite college baseball players, the Northwoods League. The 25-year old summer collegiate league is the largest organized baseball league in the world with 22 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 200 former Northwoods League players have advanced to Major League Baseball, including three-time Cy Young Award winner Max Scherzer (WAS), two-time World Series Champions Ben Zobrist (CHC) and Brandon Crawford (SFG) and MLB All-Stars Chris Sale (BOS), Jordan Zimmermann (DET) and Curtis Granderson (MIA). All league games are viewable live via the Northwoods League portal. For more information, visit www.stcloudrox.com or download the new Northwoods League Mobile App on the Apple App Store or on Google Play and set the Rox as your favorite team.