For the second night in a row, the Honkers trailed 5-0 after a half-inning. For the second night in a row, the Honkers rallied.
But after ultimately falling short Friday against La Crosse, on Saturday the Honkers were able to finish the rally and claim a 10-inning, 8-7 win in walkoff fashion over the Willmar Stingers.
Rochester starting pitcher Dwayne Marshall lasted just one inning, yielding five runs on three hits and two walks, but he deserved a better fate. Two of the runs were unearned, and his defense failed to make multiple plays that could have limited the damage.
But then the Honkers started chipping away. Ryan Wrobleski, getting a day off from his usual catching duties, was 3-for-5 with a double as the designated hitter and scored two runs.
Andy Armstrong had three RBIs, with the biggest one being a run-scoring double in the bottom of the seventh to pull the Honkers within 7-6. Then, in the bottom of the eighth, Austin Schell tied the game with an RBI double.
Then it was Keon Taylor time.
Rochester's all-star closer struck out the side in the top of the ninth. When the Honkers failed to score in the bottom of the ninth, Taylor went out for the top of the 10th, at which point the inning starts with a runner placed on second.
Taylor got out of that jam with no damage done, and then it was Rochester's turn to start an inning with Aaron Simmons placed on second base
Nate Webb immediately singled Simmons to third, and he scored on an error by the pitcher.
The Honkers (6-4) are a half-game behind St. Cloud in the Great Plains West Division and will face the Stingers again on Sunday. First pitch is slated for 1:05 p.m.
Honkers 8, Stingers 7
Willmar: Baier 2-for-5, 2 R; Boissiere 1-for-4, R; King 1-for-4, R, RBI; Bosetti 1-for-3, R, RBI; Stanke 1-for-5, R, RBI; Bohning 1-for-4; Walsh 1-for-3, R, 2 RBI. Pitchers: Bezdicek 5 1/3 IP, 6 H, 5 R, 3 ER, 1 BB, 5 K; Claunch 1 1/3 IP, 3 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 1 K; Fernandez (LP) 2 1/3 IP, 2 H, 2 R, 1 Er, 2 BB, 2 K.
Rochester: Berkey 1 R; McMahan 1-for-4, R; Armstrong 1-for-3, 2B, 3 RBI; Wrobleski 3-for-5, 2B, 2 R; Webb 2-for-5, 2B, R; Zalesky 1-for-3, R, RBI; Tosti 1-for-4, RBI; Schell 2-for-4, 2B, RBI. Pitchers: Marshall 1 IP, 3 H, 5 R, 3 ER, 2 BB, 2 K; Nissen 3 IP, 3 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 1 K; Allen 3 IP, 2 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 2 K; Bisogno 1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 2 K; Taylor (WP) 2 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 4 K.