Big 4th Inning Kills Honkers in 10-4 Loss
ROCHESTER, Minn. -- After three good innings by Honkers (5-16) starter Spencer Johnson (L, 1-1) in front of kid-filled crowd, the Eau Claire Express (14-8) offense woke up in the top of the fourth inning, scoring 6 runs that proved to be an insurmountable deficit in a Honkers 10-4 loss
Johnson gave up a run in the third on a groundout with a runner on third, but things fell apart for him in the fourth.
Johnson retired the first batter of the inning, but followed that by allowing seven straight to reach base. He allowed a double to Kyle Marinconz, followed by an infield single to Mickey McDonald. Johnson then walked Sam Hurt on four pitches and was unable to locate the following four as he walked in Marinconz. Ben Mezzenga then hit a two-run single to right to make the score 4-0.
Mezzenga scored on a double steal after Zach Ashford's single that drove in Ripken Reyes, making the score 6-0. Ashford was then driven in by Erick Migueles, making the score 7-0 and completely out of reach for the Honkers.
In the sixth and eighth, the Express added two more runs, and brought the game to double digits with a solo shot to left by Sam Hurt in the top of the ninth. This was the seventh time the Honkers allowed double-digit runs in a game.
The Honkers did not have the same luck offensively, as they were limited to only four hits by Express starter Aaron Shortridge (W, 4-0) in his seven shutout innings, striking out eight and walking only two.
Jon Roblez put down the Honkers in the eighth allowing just one base runner, but encountered trouble in the ninth.
The Honkers had their first three batters reach, starting with Drew Ellis on a single to left. Jacob Thomas drove him in on a sac fly, and then Casey Warden hit a bomb to left to make the score 10-4. However, that was all the Honkers could muster, as Miles Lewis struck out and Turner Buis grounded to first to end the game.
The Honkers are playing again tomorrow night in Battle Creek for their first game against a South Division team. The Honkers and Bombers (12-11) will take the field at 7:05 at C.O Brown Field.