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Honkers Homer Their Way to 21-9 Win over Larks

July 30, 2019 - Northwoods League (Northwoods) - Rochester Honkers News Release

Rochester, MN - Entering today's game, the Honkers were 5.5 games out of first place and they shrunk that lead to 5 games an impressive 21-9 win over the Bismarck Larks in front of 888 fans.

The Flock's starter Mike (Cal State-San Marcos) got Rochester off to a good start by keeping the larks scoreless in the top of the first inning.

Kyler McMahan (Oregon State) got to second base on error and Andy Armstrong (Oregon State) brought him home with an RBI double to give Rochester a 1-0.

But they would quickly add to that lead when Tristan Peterson (New Mexico State) drew a walk, Logan Denholm (California-Davis) was hit by a pitch, and A.J. Miller (Oregon) crushed a grand slam to give the Honkers a 5-0 after just one inning.

After a scoreless second inning, the Larks used an RBI groundout, an RBI double, and a two-run home run by Ty Hanchey to shrink Rochester's lead to one run, 5-4.

However, the Flock responded with three runs in the bottom of the third inning. It scoring started when Austin Schell (Golden West College) drew a bases-loaded walk. Evan Berkey (Cal State-Bakersfield) added another run with a sacrifice-fly and McMahan made it 8-4 with an RBI single.

Lopez bounced back in the top of the fourth inning by allowing just one base runner, which came on a walk.

The Honkers offense kept rolling in the bottom of the fourth when Peterson scored on a wild pitch and Schell drew another bases-loaded walk. But the big hit of the inning came from Berkey who's two-run single extended Rochester's lead to 12-4.

But, wait there's more. The Flock's offense stayed red hot in the bottom of the fifth inning. McMahan got it going with a single, then Peterson hit a single, and Denholm loaded the bases with a walk.

Miller came to the plate and he unbelievably hit another grand slam! The Honkers now lead 16-4 and half of their RBIs had come from Miller.

Not to be outdone, Ryan Ober (Oregon State) made it back-to-back homers with a 353-foot solo shot to make it a 17-4 game.

Bismarck's offense got a few runs back when Zack Gregory hit a two-run homer and Jack Chernow followed with a solo home run. That trimmed the Flock's lead to 10 runs, 17-7.

In the seventh inning, Micah Wallette (Golden West College) relieved Lopez and he recorded the first 1-2-3 inning of the game for either team.

The Honkers' offense showed no signs of slowing down in the bottom of the seventh when Ober hit his second home run, this one a two-run blast, to give Rochester a 19-7 lead.

That score was only temporary as Schell scored on a wild pitch and Denholm drew a bases-loaded walk to give the Flock a 21-7 lead!

Surprisingly, neither team scored in the eighth inning.

Center fielder McMahan became the first Honkers' position player to pitch when he came to get the final three outs.

The Larks weren't going to go down easy. Ty Condel hit an RBI groundout and Damon Lux lined an RBI double down the third base to make the score 21-9.

Thankfully, McMahan got his next batter to hit a pop-fly to left field to end the three and a half hour game.

The 21-9 win increases Rochester's second half record to 13-11 and their overall record improves to 31-28.

A.J. Miller was honored as the Player of the Game for accomplishing the rare feat of hitting two grand slams in the same game.

The Flock continue their series against the Larks with a double header on Tuesday, July 30. The first game is scheduled to start at 12:05 p.m. with the second game starting at 6:35 p.m. The series finale will take place on Wednesday, July 31, at 6:35 p.m.

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