ROCHESTER, Minn. -- Thanks to a strong start from Erik Cha the Honkers (11-12, 18-40) got a hard fought 2-1 victory against the Eau Claire Express (11-11, 36-22).

The Honkers scored first in their first time up to bat. In the first the Honkers  forced Express starter Michael Gomez to throw 29 pitches, as the Honkers loaded the bases and brought Kyle Kasser in to score when Case Worden was hit by a pitch to make the score 1-0.

After that another run wasn't scored until the sixt inning as pitching ruled the day. Erik Cha had his longest outing of the year , going seven innings allowing only one run on three hits with one strikeout while working around two walks, and two hit batters. Cha was masterful, forcing weak contact his entire outing, forcing two double plays and several weak pop outs or flyouts.

The one run that Cha allowed came in the sixth as Sam Hurt lead off the inning with a single and later scored on an RBI groundout by Kyle Marinconz.

On the other side, Gomez, bounced back after a long first inning, allowing only the single run in the first, to throw six innings of one run ball allowing seven hits, while walking none and striking out one.

In the bottom of the seventh the Honkers were able to give Cha a chance at his first win of the season. Miles Lewis lead-off the inning with a single, then advanced to second on Kyle Kasser sac bunt. Following Turner Buis' fly out to right, Joey Czarske singled to right to drive in Lewis and give the Honkers a 2-1 lead.


Erik Cha with his first win of the season improved to 1-5, as Ledezma got his second save of the season, and Jon Gonrowski fell to 0-2 for giving up the go-ahead run in the seventh.

The Honkers play a double header tomorrow against Mankato MoonDogs (13-7, 35-20) with the first at Mayo Field at 12:05, and the second that evening in Mankato at Franklin Rodgers Park,