(Rochester, Minn.) – The Rochester Honkers fell to the Kalamazoo Growlers 11-8 at Mayo Field Friday night. The Honkers scored eight runs in the bottom of the ninth, and got the tying run to the plate in the loss.

The Growlers scored eight runs in the second inning, and all of them were on home runs. Brandon Gomez (Nova Southeastern) hit a solo home run to get the Growlers a 1-0 lead. Tre Gantt (Ohio State) hit a grand slam to get a 5-0 lead, and then Gomez hit a three-run home run to give Kalamazoo an 8-0 lead.

In the fourth, the Growlers scored another run to make the score 9-0, and then Gantt hit his second home run of the game, this time a two-run home run to make the score 11-0.

The Honkers did their damage in the ninth, and Josh Davis (Pepperdine) got the scoring started when he hit a two-RBI double to score Jackson Thoreson (St. Mary’s) and Alex Fitchett (Hawaii) to make the score 11-2. Then, Davis scored on a wild pitch to make the score 11-3.

Keaton Weisz (Auburn) and Joey Czarske (Cal State Northridge) scored on walks to make it 11-5. Then, Thoreson hit an RBI single to make it 11-6, followed by Ryan Fitzpatrick (Saddle Back College) who scored on a walk to make it 11-7. Thoreson then scored on an error by the Growlers to make the score 11-8, but it wasn’t enough as Rochester fell 11-8.

Jackson Douglas (0-4) (Iowa Western CC) got the start and the loss for the Honkers; he pitched two innings, allowed eight runs on eight hits, walked one and struck out two. David Worrell (Corpus Christi) pitched four innings in relief; he allowed one run on three hits and struck out three. Ian Clark (Santa Barbara City) and Bayley Chesterton (Riverside City College) threw the final three innings for the Honkers.

Devin Pellien (4-0) (Nova Southeastern) pitched five innings and didn’t allow a hit, walked four and struck out two. Garvin Alston (Arizona State) threw one inning in relief and struck out one. Jeff Kross (San Diego State), Larry Wood (Northwood) and Hayden Brauser (Pratt CC) finished the final three innings for the Growlers.

Gomez went 4 for 5 with four RBI and two runs to lead the Growlers, while Gantt went 2 for 4 with six RBI and two runs scored.

Davis went 1 for 3 with three RBI and a run scored to lead the Honkers, while Thoreson went 1 for 3 with an RBI and two runs scored.

The Honkers will travel to St. Cloud to battle the Rox on Saturday and Sunday. Saturday’s first pitch is set for 6:05 p.m. and Sunday’s first pitch is set for 5:05 p.m. You can catch the action on 1520 AM ‘The Ticket’. The Honkers will then hit the All-Star Break! Turner Buis and Alex Fitchett are headed to Kenosha, Wis. as Buis will play in the All-Star Game on Tuesday, while Fitchett will hit in the Home Run Derby at the Harbor on Monday night.

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