Honkers Drop Series In Extras
The Rochester Honkers held the lead through four, but lost game two against Eau Claire in 11 innings.
The long ball got the Honkers on the board in the second inning. Reid Roper (Illinois) got on with a leadoff single before LJ Brewster (Hawaii) sent one out to give Rochester the 2-0 lead.
In the next inning, the Honkers got a leadoff single from Ryan Boldt (Nebraska). Boldt stole second and then advanced to third base on a throwing error. Connor Schaefbauer (Minnesota) drove him in two batters later on a ground ball to make it 3-0 through three.
The long ball bit Rochester starter Nick Gruener (Harvard) in the fifth. With one out, Jeff Hendrix (Oregon State) stepped up and delivered his fourth homer of the season. After hitting the next batter, Gruener gave up a two-run shot to Jack Zoellner (New Mexico) to tie the game 3-3. Nick Gruener pitched one more inning to go six, allowing three runs on four hits, a walk, a hit batsman, and five strikeouts.
With the score still 3-3 after six, Rochester went to the bullpen for Seth Holbert (Sam Houston State). Holbert had some trouble with control and hit Jeff Hendrix to lead off the inning. Hendrix advanced two bases in the inning on wild pitches, but a pair of strikeouts helped Holbert get out of the inning unscathed.
After that scoreless inning by Holbert, it was Will Bamesberger (Creighton) in to pitch. It looked like Eau Claire was about to take a lead as Daniel Salters (Dallas Baptist) sent one deep to right. The ball hit off the right field wall and was just a double. Salters did not score and the 3-3 score held.
The Honkers got a pair of one-out singles by Ryan Boldt and Alex Schultz (Nebraska Omaha) in the eighth inning, but failed to score and left the inning with the bases loaded. Boldt and Schultz ended the night with two hits apiece. The Honkers left a runner on third base in the ninth, and it was on to extras.
Bamesberger remained in the game for the tenth and retired his first batter. Daniel Salters then hit one over the fence to break the tie. LJ Brewster (Hawaii) then came in to pitch, leaving the designated hitter role. Brewster retired his two batters in the inning to keep it 4-3.
Ryan Boldt led the bottom of the tenth off with a walk and advanced to second on a sacrifice bunt by Alex Schultz. John Schuknecht (Cal Poly) tied it back up with a two-out single up the middle and it was 4-4.
The fans that stuck around got more bonus baseball in the 11th. In the top of the 11th, Jeff Hendrix led off with a walk. Hendrix later came in to score on a wild pitch to make it 5-4 Express. Jack Zoellner singled and was then driven in by Brady Burzynski (Wisconsin-Stout) to make it 6-4 Eau Claire.
The Honkers did not get a hit in the bottom of the inning, but got loaded the bases with a walk, hit batsman, and an error. But Rochester batters struck out in the other three plate appearances in the inning and 6-4 would stay as the final.
With the loss, the Honkers drop the series to Eau Claire and fall to 7-10 in the second half. Rochester will head to Battle Creek Saturday evening for a 5:05 p.m. start. Ryan Bower (Allan Hancock College) will look to add to his