ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

2 more close games for Honkers

Saturday game

at Eau Claire draws

crowd of 5,250

Post-Bulletin staff

sports@postbulletin.com

ADVERTISEMENT

If the first four games of the second half of the Northwoods League college baseball season are any indication there will be plenty of excitement ahead for the Rochester Honkers.

Rochester played its fourth straight one-run game Sunday at Mayo Field and finally lost one, falling 4-3 to the Alexandria Beetles before a matinee crowd of 833.

The loss snapped a three-game winning streak for Rochester (3-1) to start the second half of the 68-game regular season.

Alexandria scored twice in the top of the 10th inning against relief pitcher Nick Ramirez (Cal State Fullerton). The Beetles’ Keith Castillo (USC) delivered an RBI double to the left-center gap. He later stole third base and came home on the catcher’s errant throw down the left-field line.

Rochester rallied for a run in the bottom of the 10th on an RBI single by Danny Brock (St. Louis).

The Honkers had two errors that led to two unearned runs for Alexandria.

Rochester starting pitcher Bret Mitchell (Mankato State) lasted six innings and allowed five hits and one earned run, but he didn’t get a decision. Ramirez took the loss in two innings of relief and is 0-1.

SATURDAY: A huge crowd of 5,250 at Carson Park in Eau Claire watched the Honkers edge the Express 4-3 on the Fourth of July, with plenty of fireworks in the ninth inning.

ADVERTISEMENT

It was the fourth-largest crowd in Eau Claire’s five-year history.

Eau Claire rallied for two runs in the bottom of the ninth against Rochester closer Arik Sikula (Marshall), who allowed three hits, a hit batter and two runs.

Sikula earned his 10th save the hard way, escaping the jam with a 4-3 doubleplay and then a strikeout to end the game.

Winning pitcher Zach Robertson (Iowa) allowed only three hits and no earned runs through six innings and improved to 4-1.

LATE FRIDAY: The Honkers swept a doubleheader Friday against Eau Claire. The second game finished after the P-B’s early holiday deadline.

The twinbill, which was followed by a late fireworks display, drew 1,527 fans.

Rochester won the second game

3-2. Aaron Dunsmore’s ground-rule double scored Danny Pulfer (Oregon) with the winning run in the top of the ninth. Dunsmore’s hit slipped through a gap in the outfield fence; Pulfer was allowed to score from first.

ADVERTISEMENT

Rochester used five pitchers in the game. The win went to the fourth one, Jay Johnson (Prairie Baseball Academy), who pitched a scoreless fifth.

NEXT: The Honkers play their next five games at Mayo Field, beginning tonight against Alexandria. All of the games on the homestand start at 7:05 p.m.

D3:Box scores, standings

What To Read Next
Fundraising is underway to move the giant ball of twine from the Highland, Wisconsin, home of creator James Frank Kotera, who died last month at age 75, 44 years after starting the big ball.