Honkers steal late win in Iowa

But Madison clinches South Division first half

WATERLOO, Ia. -- The Rochester Honkers' fading hopes of a first half division title in the Northwoods League were extinguished Thursday night, despite a come-from-behind win.

Rochester beat the Waterloo Bucks 4-3 going in 11 innings before a crowd of 1,332 at Riverfront Stadium. But the outcome of the first half South Division race was decided earlier in the night in Wisconsin.

The Madison Mallards clinched their first South Division half title with a 10-6 win over the Wisconsin Woodchucks at Warner Park in Madison, Wis.

The first half of the 64-game regular season ends after today's games. First and second half division winners qualify for the post-season playoffs in mid-August.


Rochester scored the winning run on a double steal in the 11th. Derek Schermerhorn (Wichita State) singled and moved to third on a single by Nate Yoho (Iowa).

Schermerhorn and Yoho executed a double steal, with Schermerhorn scoring the go-ahead run. Waterloo relief pitcher Eric Everly (Olney Central) was so surprised he didn't throw to either base.

Waterloo took a 1-0 lead in the second inning on a catcher Jeff Parish's solo homer off Honkers pitcher Pat O'Neil (Nebraska), who made his second start.

Rochester tied the score in the top of the fifth Schermerhorm tripled into the left corner and scored on a squeeze bunt by Brandon Bingham (New Mexico).

The Bucks answered in the bottom of the fifth with two runs on two hits. Eric Eymann (Illinois) doubled in one run, and he scored on a single by Drew Harris (NIACC).

The Honkers tied it again with two runs in the sixth on just one hit. Waterloo starter Lance Beus (Cochise) walked two batters and hit one to load the bases, and Schermerhorn delivered a two-out, two-run single.

NOTES: St. Cloud won the North Division first half title with four games to spare. That means a return to the playoffs for RiverBats first-year manager Tom Fleenor. Fleenor managed Rochester for four seasons (1998-2001), and guided the Honkers to the league championship in 1999. ...

Rochester finishes a four-game road trip tonight at Waterloo. The Honkers return to Mayo Field on Saturday night to start the second half, and a six-game homestand, against the Mankato MoonDogs.

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