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Honkers reel off third straight win

Ben North drilled a grand slam and Carson Stevens went 3-for-4 with a home run and two RBIs in the Honkers' wild 12-10 victory over La Crosse.

Rochester Honkers shortstop Ben North (19) fields a ground ball before making a throw to second for the first out of a double play during a baseball game against the La Crosse Loggers Saturday, July 3, 2021, at Mayo Field in Rochester. The Honkers beat the Loggers 9-3. (Joe Ahlquist / jahlquist@postbulletin.com)
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The Honkers picked a good night to deliver one of their best offensive performances of the season.

Ben North drilled a grand slam and Carson Stevens went 3-for-4 with a home run and two RBIs in the Honkers' wild 12-10 victory over La Crosse. Every single Rochester starter got on base and the Honkers finished with nine hits and coaxed 12 free passes.

La Crosse's TJ Manteufel hit a first-inning grand slam to give the Loggers an early 4-0 lead but the Honkers cut the deficit in half thanks to RBI singles from Benjamin Rosengard and Carson Stevens. Rochester took a 6-4 lead thanks to a four-run third inning where they only managed two singles. Three walks, one hit by pitch and a passed ball all were contributing factors in the big inning.

RELATED: Honkers lean on strong pitching and timely hits in 6-2 win over La Crosse

But La Crosse wouldn't go away. Brandon Fields homered in the fourth inning and Ildefonso Ruiz hit another homer to give the Loggers a 7-6 lead. It was the second homer in as many nights for Ruiz as the La Crosse catcher has been torching the Rochester pitching staff. But Otto Grimm drew a walk to lead off the fourth and Jackson Forbes reached on an error to put the Honkers back in business. A Rosengard free pass loaded the bases and North made La Crosse's new reliever Ethan Bradford pay with a grand slam.


That gave the Honkers a 10-7 lead and they wouldn't relinquish the lead. It's the third straight win for Rochester. Matthew Maldonado earned the win with two innings of one-run ball. Maldonado struck out three. Michael Portela picked up his first save of the season with a three-inning, two-run, three-strikeout performance.

Rochester (23-24) will host the Minnesota Mud Puppies at 6:05 tonight as they look to keep the hot streak rolling.

BOX SCORE: Rochester 12, La Crosse 10

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