Honkers Rally With An Eight-Run Seventh, Win Streak Now At Three
The Rochester Honkers came from behind Thursday night to defeat Battle Creek. The win keeps the Rochester winning streak rolling and brings the Honkers to 10-10 in the second half.
The Battle Creek Bombers were the first to score Thursday night. A lead-off walk, a single, and a hit batsman loaded the bases. Battle Creek scored two runs in the inning without another hit. Lead-off man Spencer Thornton scampered in on a passed ball, while the Brendan Collins came in on a Colby Bortles RBI ground out. The hardest hit ball of the inning was the first out of the inning, a ball hit right to Corey Hassel charging in from right field. The line drive zoomed into Hassel's glove too fast for the man on third to score. After one half inning, it was 2-0 Battle Creek.
Two innings later, Battle Creek struck again. This time, just as in the first, it was Bortles driving in Collins while an out was recorded. Collins got on with his second of three hits on the night and Bortles drove him in with a sacrifice fly to make it 3-0.
Rochester starter Michael Freeman did not allow any more runs in his outing. Freeman gave up two earned runs on four hits while walking five and striking out five Bombers.
With the score still 3-0 in the sixth, Connor Schaefbauer ran the count full before reaching first with a walk. A steal of second and an error on the throw put Schaefbauer at third with nobody out. After another walk, Schaefbauer scored on a fielder's choice ball hit up the middle to cut the deficit to 3-1 after six innings of play.
The Honkers went with Brandon Stennis for the seventh inning. Stennis had no trouble, retiring the side with two strikeouts.
For Battle Creek's starter Joe Mockbee, the night was over after six innings as well. Mockbee gave up just the one run through six, allowing just two hits while walking four and striking out five.
The Honkers offense then stepped on the gas for the seventh. Two walks to lead off the inning and a ball that hit Battle Creek reliever Luke Heller in the chest loaded the bases with one out with another pitcher having to come out of the Bombers' bullpen.
Hunter Jobe came in to pitch for Battle Creek and outs were hard to come by. Corey Hassel drove in the first run to make it 3-2. A fielder's choice play for a force out at home kept the bases loaded but the Honkers now had two out in the inning. Rochester then proceeded to score seven more runs with two outs in the seventh. Jeff Campbell singled, Reid Roper doubled, and Alex Schultz then singled to plate five more runs. Jordan Smith walked for the second time in the inning and then scored for the second time in the inning when catcher Jack Goihl doubled home two more runs.
When all was said and done, 12 Rochester batters got up in the seventh to score eight runs on six hits and three walks to make the score 9-3 in favor of the home team Honkers.
After the Honkers scored all those runs, the Bombers showed they were not quitting so easily. Brendan Collins led off with his third hit of the game and scored for the third time in the game on a Matt Dacey two-run blast. It was home run number six on the season for Dacey and cut it to a 9-5 lead.
The Honkers added an insurance run in the eighth on a broken bat single by Jeff Campbell to score Ryan Boldt. Initially, Boldt was more concerned about the flight of what was left of Campbell's bat, but scored as the ball got through and went a bit farther than the bat.
Brandon Stennis continued to pitch into the ninth and had no trouble after the eighth inning home run. The last six batters were retired in order and Stennis picked up his third win. Stennis pitched three innings and allowed two runs on two hits, with three strikeouts.
With the win, the Honkers improve to a .500 mark in the second half at 10-10 after three straight wins. The Honkers will look to get their first winning record of the second half Friday night at Mayo Field. Seth Holbert will take the mound against the same Battle Creek Bombers for a 7:05 p.m. start.