(Rochester, Minn.)– The Rochester Honkers opened their six-game homestand with a win Saturday night against the Alexandria Blue Anchors, 6-3, after rain delayed the first pitch by two hours. The win puts the Honkers above .500 again, now 10-9. The loss for the Blue Anchors keeps them at a league-worst 3-16.
Nick Gruener (Harvard) started on the mound for the Honkers and after a shaky first inning, put in another quality performance. Gruener allowed two runs on back-to-back doubles to begin the game but after that the Blue Anchors couldn’t muster much against the Harvard freshman. Gruener would finish the night throwing six innings allowing two runs on six hits, one walk and struck out six.
Unlike the last couple of weeks, the Honkers generated some clutch hitting with two outs and with runners on base. After the Blue Anchors scored two in the top of the first, the Honkers answered by filling the bases after three straight one-out walks by Blue Anchors starter Jason Zgardowski (Angelo State). Jeff Campbell (North Dakota) stepped into the box four for his last four going back to last game and singled up the middle to score two runs. Casey Fletcher (Illinois) followed Campbell with an RBI fielder’s choice that put the Honkers in the lead where they would stay throughout the game.

In the bottom of the second, Ryan Boldt (Nebraska) dropped a single into left field with two outs. Alex Schultz (Nebraska Omaha) also singled in a run with two outs, helping the Honkers regain some confidence in the clutch at the plate.

Brandon Stennis (Doane College) relieved Gruener after the sixth inning and pitched well into the ninth when he walked two and allowed a single to fill the bases with nobody out. Closer Carl Jameson (Missouri Baptist) came on with the bases loaded and only allowed one of his inherited three baserunners to score on a walk but struck out the three other batters he faced to lock down his third save of the season.

The Honkers meet the Blue Anchors again Sunday afternoon, for a 1:05 p.m. first pitch. Spencer Greer is set to take the mound for the Honkers on Father’s Day seeking his second win of the season.