Honkers Look Like a New Team in 9-5 Win
After a 17-0 drubbing at the hands of the Mankato MoonDogs (6-4) earlier in the evening, the Rochester Honkers (4-6) went into game two with a mindset to take the game. And take it they did.
After two early runs were given up by starter Houston Glad (W, 1-0), with two runners still on base, the Honkers looked like they may have been picking up where they left off in first game. Then Glad came to life and cast aside all the negative feelings from the first game of the double-header to carry his team to a 9-5 victory.
After the first inning, Glad went on to give up only three hits until the sixth, including retiring 11 straight and 11 of 12 after giving up a lead-off single in the second.
Glad struggled in the first with his control, walking three, but he corralled his hard fastball and killer 12-6 curveball to limit a vaunted Mankato offense.
Glad was backed with nine runs of support that started right away in the bottom of the first.
Similar to Wednesday night's game, the Honkers responded to early offense by the MoonDogs with early offense of their own. Centerfielder and lead-off igniter Bryce Marquardt started the game with a walk. He then advanced to second on Troy Traxler's first hit of the season, a single. Then Marquardt took the game into his hands, or rather, his feet. Marquardt stole third base thanks to an incredible jump. Miles Lewis then drove him in on a fielder's choice, and Troy Traxler advanced to third on an error by second baseman Jake Shepski. Traxler then scored on a wild pitch by Mankato starter Adam Rutz (L, 0-1).
The Honkers biggest inning came in the third, when they scored five runs on two hits and five straight walks to start the inning. Bryce Marquardt was at the forefront of the rally once again as he walked to lead off the inning, stole second, advanced to third on a wild pitch then stole home on a double steal with Troy Traxler.
Traxler then scored when Brett Harrison walked with the bases jammed. Christopher Scalisi came up with two outs and hit a long single to right center to drive in two runs. The inning then ended on Keaton Weitz RBI single that drove in Brett Harrison, when Weitz was thrown out as he tried to advance to second.
The Honkers added one more in the fourth on an Alex Fitchett double in his first game back from a right arm injury suffered on Sunday, and then their ninth run came in the fifth on another RBI single from Scalisi.
Glad faced some trouble in the sixth, loading the bases with one out, but he got a clutch groundball that turned into a superb double play by Scalisi and Weitz.
Ethan Kenkel came in to pitch the seventh and, after giving up three runs to make the score 9-5, Kenkel struck out Eric Peterson on a full-count pitch to end the game and secure the Honkers two wins against the league-leading MoonDogs in three games.
The Honkers are back in action tomorrow night as they play the St. Cloud Rox at 7:05 in St. Cloud.