Honkers Drop Game Late To Rox
Reid Roper set the career hits record for the Honkers Monday night, but Rochester could not hold on to late leads. The Honkers fell by a final of 7-5.
St. Cloud took the lead early, coming up with two hits with two outs in the inning, a double by Clay Ardeeser (Georgia College) driving home Chris Paul for the 1-0 advantage.
But the Honkers would waste no time to strike back. A walk and a single put two on for Reid Roper (Illinois). Roper grounded a ball to shortstop and made it to first in time for a Rochester Honkers record 180th career hit. The hit drove in one run and a throwing error by the shortstop allowed the Honkers to take a 2-1 lead.
That score held until the fifth. The Rox had one on with one out before a sharply hit ball came to Reid Roper at third. Roper was not able to backhand and make the throw to get any outs. Instead of an around-the-horn double play, Roper was charged with an error and St. Cloud had two runners on base. The next ball hit was in the air to right field and looked like trouble. But going back and making the catch was Corey Hassel (Oklahoma State) for the second out. Chris Paul then singled home two runs to take the lead away from Rochester. Paul (California-Berkeley) went 4-5 in the game.
The Honkers took the lead back in the sixth. Reid Roper got his second hit of the night and came in on a Jordan Smith (Minnesota) RBI groundout to tie the game 3-3. Ben Lumsden (Mercer) came in to relieve starter Nick McCarty (Notre Dame) with two outs in the inning. While pitching to Parker Guinn, (Washington) the ball got away from Lumsden and the wild pitch score Connor Schaefbauer (Minnesota) from third. The Honkers now had the lead at 4-3.
After Ryne Roper (Illinois) held onto the lead for an inning, it was up to Jeff Campbell (North Dakota) out of the bullpen for the eighth inning. A leadoff single by Chris Paul and a hit from Clay Ardeeser led off the inning. But on the base hit by Ardeeser to left, a Jordan Smith throw on the money to third took away the lead runner. As Paul was tagged out, Ardeeser advanced to second. Mitchell Kranson (California-Berkeley) singled him home two batters later to tie the game again.
Another run came in while the Honkers batted in the bottom half. Schaefbauer singled and stole second and third before St. Cloud brought in Kevin Burgee (Georgia State) to face Blaise Lezynski (Notre Dame). A fly ball to center was deep enough for Schaefbauer to score the go-ahed run for the 5-4 advantage.
Campbell returned to the hill for the top of the ninth, looking for his third win of the season. Instead, the Rox got three runs, highlighted by a Boo Vazquez (Pittsburgh) two-run triple to put the Rox ahead for good. Rochester did not recover in the bottom half and Campbell got his first loss of the season.
The loss takes Rochester to a 12-12 record. The team will look to bounce back Tuesday night in St. Cloud tomorrow night for a rematch with the Rox at 7:05 p.m. Michael Freeman (Oklahoma State) will take the hill for the Honkers, looking to begin another winning streak. Wednesday night the Honkers will return home to face Waterloo.