Honkers fall on walk-off strikeout in Northwoods League basebal

Post-Bulletin, Rochester MN 

BRAINERD — Not many baseball games are decided by a walk-off strikeout, but the Rochester Honkers were on the wrong side of such an oddity Friday night.

The Brainerd Blue Thunder beat the Honkers 8-7 in a Northwoods League summer college game at Stewart C. Mills Field and swept the two-game series.

Brainerd scored the winning run in the bottom of the ninth on a passed ball with one out and the bases loaded.

Rochester pitcher Sean Finn’s called third strike to a Blue Thunder batter eluded catcher Brian Spear and went to the backstop, allowing Brainerd to score the winning run from third base.


Rochester’s record evened at 12-12 in the North Division of the Northwoods League. Brainerd is 9-13 in the North.

Honkers manager Greg Labbe sounded frustrated after his team’s second straight defeat.

"I didn’t know if this team was going to lose 12 games all year and now we’ve lost 12 in the first 24 games," Labbe said.

"Me and the coaching staff have got to do a better job of getting these guys ready to play."

Rochester bounced back from a big hole early in the game. Brainerd built a 5-0 lead with two runs in the first and three more in the third.

But the Honkers rallied for four runs in the fourth and added two more in the fifth to take a 6-5 lead. Efren Navarro Jr. (UNLV) had run-scoring single in the rally.

Rochester trailed 7-6 entering the ninth inning but tied the score at 7-7 on a Shaver Hansen (Baylor) RBI single to the gap, scoring Drew Hoisington (Toledo) from second. But Hansen was later thrown out at home plate on a 6-4-2 double play to end the inning.

The Honkers continue their seven-game road trip with games against the Duluth Huskies tonight and Sunday afternoon.


Rochester is at the Waterloo Bucks on Monday before returning home Tuesday to start a four-game homestand.

Compiled by Donny Henn .

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