Honkers Beat Eau Claire Again 6-1
(Rochester, Minn.) -- The Rochester Honkers defeated the Eau Claire Express 6-1 tonight (Thursday, June 18). Jake Sparger (Louisville) earned the win in his first appearance for the Honkers. Express starter Dalton Roach (Minnesota State) stymied Rochester at the plate for most of the game, not surrendering a hit until the 7th inning, but earned a no-decision as the Eau Claire relief staff surrendered four runs in the eighth inning and two in the ninth. Reliever Teddy Cillis (Hofstra) was charged with the loss.
Leadoff man Alex Schultz (Nebraska-Omaha) continued to put his recent five-game hitless streak behind him as he went 2-4 at the plate with two runs scored,including the Honkers' go-ahead score, and a game tying RBI.
Eau Claire scored their lone run in the fifth inning, but behind Roach's performance it looked as though it might be enough.
In the eighth inning, the Express were foreced to turn to their bullpen due to Roach's pitch count, and the Honkers took advantage. Ryan Webberley (Cal Poly Pomona) lead the inning off with a double, and scored the tying run on an RBI single by Schultz. Schultz was brought in for the go-ahead run, and the Honkers never looked back as they palted two more for a 4-1 lead heading into the bottom of the eighth.
Webberley lead off the ninth with another double, and the Honkers tacked on two more runs for insurance for a 6-1 lead. Ricky Delgado (San Joaquim Delta College) threw two perfect innings in the eighth and ninth to preserve the Honkers comeback.
The Honkers will be back in Rochester tomorrow, June 19th, to face the Willmar Stingers. That game begins at 7:05 p.m., with the gates opening at 6. It will be EO Johnson Business Technologies Tablet Giveaway night, and fans will have a chance to win two Samsung Tablets.