Rox Claim Highway 23 Series Trophy in Win Against Willmar

Willmar, MN– Parker Smejkal (Nebraska-Omaha) hit his first home run of the season in the ninth inning and helped lead St. Cloud (39-22) to a 5-3 win against Willmar (35-28). With the win, the Rox clinched the season series against the Stingers and won the Highway 23 Series Trophy.

Freddy Achecar (Georgetown) put the Rox ahead 1-0 after a base hit to left field and scored Garett Delano (Brown). In the fourth inning, Ben Carew (Kent State) scored Achecar on a sac-fly to left field and the Rox led 2-1.

In the bottom of the eighth inning, the game was tied 2-2. With the bases loaded and one out, the runner on third base broke for the plate on a wild pitch. Jack Kelly (Minnesota) picked up the ball and tagged the runner out at the plate. The next batter grounded out to first base for the third out and no runs came in for the Stingers.

In the top of the ninth inning, Smejkal hit a solo home run over the left field wall to put the Rox ahead 3-2. Two more runs were tacked on. St. Cloud ended up winning by a final score of 5-3.

Trae Robertson (Missouri) started the game and tossed 4.2 innings. Nick Desalvo (LIU-Brooklyn) pitched 0.1 innings in his season debut. Justin Wick (Creighton) earned the win and threw 2.0 innings while not allowing a hit. Blake Stelzer (Concordia-St. Paul) notched the two-inning save.

For the full box score from game Thursday’s game, click here.

St. Cloud is home on Friday, August 2nd against the Willmar Stingers at 7:05 p.m in the series finale. It’s the first-ever Noisemaker Night promotion to help support the catholic charities of St. Cloud. It’s also a Friday Night Fireworks, presented by CLA and Coborn’s.

All single games tickets can be purchased 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

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 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.