Honkers make it to playoffs at Grand Forks

The Northwest Honkers headed home Sunday night from the Grand Forks International Tournament in Grand Forks, B.C. after finishing pool play 1-2 but allowing the least amount of runs per inning of the 1-2 teams to make it into playoff rounds dropping game one of the playoffs to the Seattle Studs.

Honkers lost game one 4-3 to the Lacey Saints. The Honkers were down 4-1 going into the bottom of the eighth and rallied for two runs but could not drive in a tying or winning run. Honkers JD Scholten pitched all nine innings for the loss giving up only seven hits. First baseman Clayton Truex and catcher Casey Fithian each had a double in the game. Designated hitter Andrew Cherin drove in two for the Honkers and center fielder Dalton Gervais drove in one.

In game two the Honkers lost to the Parkland Whitesox 4-3 in a back and forth battle between the two teams. The Honkers began the game down 1-0 in the second but tied it up 1-1 in the fifth. The Whitesox answered right back taking the lead once again in the top of the sixth 2-1 but that did not stop the Honkers who drove in two in the bottom of the seventh making it 3-2. The Honkers could not stop the Whitesox from tying it up in the top of the eighth sending the game into extra innings with a scoreless ninth. With the go ahead run on first the Whitesox were able to get a single to drive it in and held the Honkers in the bottom of the inning. Tanner Braun pitched 6.1 innings for the Honkers with Spencer Trautmann and Justin Ansdell in relief with Ansdell for the loss. First baseman Truex and designated hitter Andrew Cherin both had a double in the game for the Honkers. Third baseman Brandon Dormaier hit in two for the Honkers with Andrew Cherin driving in one.
Game three was do or die for the Honkers facing the Langley Blaze with a loss sending them home and a win sending them into playoffs. The Honkers took the lead early scoring three in the top of the seventh and keeping Langley scoreless until the bottom of the fifth with Langley scoring one and bottom of the sixth with Langley driving in two more to tie up the game. The Honkers answered right back scoring two in the top of the seventh and holding Langley to win the game 5-3 sending them into the playoffs. Honkers Travis Bradshaw pitched four innings for the Honkers for the win with Jeff Wyner, Spencer Trautmann and Bobby Wassmann in for relief and Oliver Wange in for one to close the game with the save. Center fielder Jesse Bechtold and second baseman Martin Lawrence both drove in a run.
In round one of the playoffs the Honkers faced the Seattle Studs in a tough fought game losing 2-0 to send the Honkers home. The Honkers challenged the Studs in the top of the ninth filling the bases but were unable to drive in the runs. Honkers Jason Salers pitched seven innings for the loss with Bobby Jackson in for relief in the eighth.

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