Rox Win Home-Opener as Fans Are Welcomed Back to the Rock Pile

St. Cloud, MN – In front of a packed stadium for the first time since 2019, St. Cloud (1-2) pulled out its first victory of the season, 5-4, over Duluth (1-4).

The Rox returned to Joe Faber Field for the first time in 2021 and gave fans one to remember. After falling behind 1-0 in the third, St. Cloud took control with five unanswered runs.

Duluth’s pitchers struggled with control early in the game as Dylan Nedved (Iowa) and Chris Esposito (Nebraska-Omaha) both came across to score on wild pitches to give the Rox a 2-1 lead in the fourth inning.

In the fifth, the Rox extended the lead with a no-doubt two-run home run from Tyson Fisher (Dixie State). This was the first round-tripper for a Rox player this season and pushed St. Cloud’s lead to 4-1. Fisher leads the way for the Rox in hits, RBI’s and now, home runs on the season and he finished with a 2-4 today on Friday night.

On the mound, it was a triumphant return for R.J. Martinez (Minot State), who made his first start of his third season with the Rox. Martinez continued the Rox trend of strong pitching through the first three games. The lefty threw seven innings, allowing just one run on four hits with six punchouts.

After the game tightened up in the eighth, Kevin Davis (USC Upstate), another third-year member of the Rox, entered as the closer in a one-run game.  Davis retired the Huskies in order, all via the strikeout to clinch the Rox’ first win of 2021.

This is also the first win of David Bellamy’s tenure as the manager of the Rox. Bellamy took over as the manager after two years as an assistant in St. Cloud and now has his first victory under his belt.

The Rox’ output of five runs is the largest of the season and got contributions throughout the lineup. Esposito added his first two hits as a member of the Rox, including a double off of the right-field wall, and came across home plate twice.

For a full box score from tonight’s game, click here.

St. Cloud will face the Huskies again on Saturday afternoon, completing a two-game series with first pitch at 3:05 pm. The Rox will be back at the Rock Pile on Sunday afternoon against the Willmar Stingers, starting at 4:05 pm.

The St. Cloud Rox are a member of the finest developmental league for elite college baseball players, the Northwoods League. The Northwoods League is the proven leader in the development of elite college baseball players. Having completed its’ 27th season, the Northwoods 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 250 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 (WAS), 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 Home Run Derby Champion Pete Alonso (NYM) and MLB Gold Glove finalist and 2019 Second Team All-MLB shortstop Marcus Semien (TOR). All league games are viewable live via the Northwoods League website. 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.

 

 

 

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